Tribal Thursday

Tribal Thursday – Excerpt taken from The Tribal Bible. The root of tribal belly 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 MidEastern dance in her presentations at the Northern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire with her seminal group Bal Anat. It is important to recognize that Jamila did not call this fusion blend of influences “tribal” or anything other than “belly dance”. In an interview conducted with Suhaila, Jamila’s daughter, in 1996. She 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 our 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 Ease, cabaret style included!”