Friday, 20 May 2011

Video of the Week : Awalim!

This week we're back across the Atlantic to Atlanta, Georgia - and the fabulous dancing of Awalim Dance Company!  Formed twelve years ago by Ziah Ali McKinney-Taylor, with the aim of promoting World Fusion Tribal Bellydance in their corner of the USA, they have since gone from strength to strength as both performers and teachers and have fans worldwide. Ziah also organises theTribalCon dance convention in Atlanta.

"Awalim’s particular flavor of Tribal belly dance is decidedly upbeat and earthy while being sophisticated and urban, bringing Atlanta’s strongest characteristics to the Tribal genre.
Our style comes from a good technical foundation of Middle Eastern Dance / Raks Sharki combined with American Tribal Style, American Cabaret, North African, Turkish, Indian Rajisthani and Persian. Fusion is our main focus however we make an effort to attain significant knowledge of a style before fusing it with another in order to stay true to its feel."
Awalim Dance Company website

I cannot tell a lie; once again I have been racked with indecision regarding which video to choose from these lovely ladies.  So (just for a change, and because I think you all deserve a treat!) we're going to feature two!

The first one is from a performance in Tampa, Florida last year :

I couldn't resist that one - not least because it includes a stick dance to 'Shashkin' but also because it shows off Awalim's trademark bustled skirts to perfection!

The second video is from this year's TribalCon :

Wonderful live music here, not to mention my big costuming love : pantaloons!

We've chosen both of these videos because they illustrate everything we love about Awalim. The first time we saw them was at Tribal Vibe North in Glasgow way back in 2008. They quite simply lit up the room, and not just with the palm flames they were carrying. This is happy tribal at its very best; their joy and love of the dance shine through in every look, every move. It's one big smile from beginning to end, not just from the Awalim ladies but from you as their audience - you just can't resist sharing their happiness.

They also interact brilliantly with their audience. Their smiles are of course a huge part of this, but they are constantly making eye contact, teasing, inviting you into the dance with them. As we've blogged before, this is something that we love and that, as Sakura, we're constantly working to develop. These girls are a real inspiration to us!

Finally of course Awalim are great dancers! These videos show this off beautifully, and also give you an idea of their amazing prop work (they also do some mesmerising fire dancing - have a look for yourself on You Tube!). Their roots in both tribal and folkloric dance styles are showcased really well and it's wonderful to see them not only dancing to pre-recorded music but also interacting with a live band.

Last but not least, these ladies do wear rather fabulous costumes - bright colours (which we love!) and bustles to die for!

If you want to find out more about Awalim and see more of them in action check out their website here. They also have a Facebook page here to help you keep up with goings on!

Hopefully one day soon these goings on might include a return trip to the UK. How about it ladies?

Well, that's our video(s) for another week! Next time we write we'll be able to tell you all about our adventures at the Shekinah haflas - there may even be photos of us in our new costumes!!!

Until then, happy dancing!

Thanks to Awalim Dance Company for the images in this post

1 comment:

  1. Another great video, Awalim are one of my favourite troupes. I love the veil section in the first one. Fantastic spins.