Tribal Thursday – Excerpt from The Tribal Bible on the origins of Tribal belly dance. The root of this dance began in the late 1960’s in the SanFrancisco Bay Area of California. Jamila Salimpour is credited for beginning this eclectic fusion approach to Mid Eastern dance in her presentations at the Northern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire with her seminal group Bal Anat. However, it is important to recognize that Jamila did not call this fusion blend of influences “tribal” or anything other than “belly dance.” Im fact in an interview with her daughter Suhaila Salimpour published in Jareeda Magazine in 1996 Suhaila mentions that “The whole split in America between tribal and cabaret styles is really funny to me. My mom never taught any differences. My Mom’s troupe was a little of this and a little of that. Many of the costumes and dances were inspired by pictures in the National Geographic, but out finale was always a cabaret style dance. So it wasn’t tribal style, it was more like an attempt to give the audience a 30-minute education in the dances of the Middle East, cabret style included!”
I love this paragraph. I have been telling my students this same thing since the day I started teaching. It’s all dance.. all of it. Express yourself in the ways that make you feel good while learning the history of the dance in entirety to show respect for the roots in which the dance evolved. Love love love the paragraph above.