Friday, 15 July 2011

Video of the Week - Qu Tu!

"It's a bit like ATS ..... but on Acid!"

What on earth are they warbling on about now, many of you will be asking - whilst those of you in the know will be nodding sagely! We are of course talking about BTS or British Tribal Style, the brainchild of the darkly delicious Pauline Qu who is based in the Midlands, right here in the UK!

We reckon it's best to let her describe this style in her own words :
"British Tribal Style is based on and heavily influenced by American Tribal Style, in particular the Fat Chance Belly Dance format as created by Carolena Nericcio

However, the further down the line that BTS travels, the further away it gets from ATS, and now it has its own vocabulary of moves, combos, cues, transitions and formations. It is still totally improvised and never ever forgets its debt to ATS and Fat Chance."

Pauline describes her style as improvised, dynamic and organic. It;s also fast, furious (some of the time - it does have its slow, juicy moments too!) and FUN! And we can say this with great authority because we've been travelling to distant lands (well, Derbyshire, York and Nottingham!) to take workshops with Pauline for a few years now!).

There are a number of BTS tribes inspired and mentored by Pauline, but for our video this week we'd like to focus upon Qu Tu, a group of dancers and drummers (including Pauline's fabulous drumming husband, Asif) who perform at events all over the country (they danced and played at Planet Egypt in London at the end of June). This video shows them at Sahara nights last October. Over to you, Qu Tu!!!

Qu Tu are Pauline, Barbara and Jo - and yes, it IS the same Jo that we keep mentioning on here (she's the one with pigtails, at the left as the video starts. This video shows the girls dancing to recorded music but then moving on to dancing to live drumming which is an important aspect of BTS - Pauline and Asif have worked hard to develop a system of cues and communication between drummers and dancers that results in the close interaction between them that you can see here! We especially like the cheeky little zilly-teasy bit where the girls get right up to those drummers! 

This video also captures the BTS spirit perfectly for us - the energy and sheer enjoyment shines out from that dance floor! You can see those ATS roots in there, but can see how Pauline has adapted and developed this to create her own very unique and distinctive style. And how fast does she turn? She's like the Road Runner of tribal - now you see her, now you don't!

It's always great to highlight videos of dancing friends near and far, whether they're friends in person or whether we know them via t'internet. But it's especially exciting to feature friends that we've danced with in classes, workshops and performances, partied with, hung out with at festivals, drummed with, stitch 'n' bitched with ...... So thank you girls (and boys!) - you're fabulous!

Now, Pauline and Asif are people of many talents - dancers, drummers, costumiers, henna artists, event organisers (Pink Bellydance festival, Close Encounters of the Tribal Kind, Tribal Sleepovers ..) ...... Look out for them and their work in future 'Spotlight On' posts here on Tribal Pilgrims. In the meantime you can find out lots more about them on the BTS website here.

We'll be back soon - in the meantime, happy dancing!

Thanks to Pauline Qu for the images in this post!

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