Thursday, 7 July 2011

Video of the Week - Tribal Blossoms!

It's time for some more antipodean adventuring this week - we're off to visit our lovely dance sisters, Tribal Blossoms, in Queensland, Australia! The Blossoms, a Gypsy Caravan based troupe, are directed by Dee Thomson; we had the pleasure of taking a lesson alongside her in Portland last year, Beautiful lady, beautiful dancer.

 'Tribal Bellydance is a modern form of Bellydance blending the ideas of ancient traditions for today’s dancer.  Brisbane’s first Bellydance School focused exclusively on Tribal Style Bellydance, with a firm reputation in delivering great technique and high energy performances. Formed in 2006  Tribal Blossoms Tribal Blossoms offers tuition and performance in Brisbane & Mt Tamborine, Australia - bringing dancers into our circle with a technique focused primarily on mastering improvisation skills within the Gypsy Caravan dance format.'

Tribal Blossoms website

Our two videos this week are both bang up to date - from a recent Soiree hosted by the Blossoms in Mt Tamborine. The first shows the troupe improvising during the finale of the show :

This video really has that Gypsy Caravan feel that we love to both watch and dance. Yes, we really, really enjoy watching other Tribal formats and can thoroughly appreciate their elegance and beauty (for example the gorgeous ATS performance by Jesse and Lisa at last week's Merhaba hafla), but this is the one that speaks to us. On her website Dee says how she loves the way this dance 'breathes' and we can really identify with that. With those few moments before you step onto the dance floor when you draw yourself up into position, tense your muscles, feel the adrenalin --- and then the music starts and you begin to move, and there is an almost imperceptible sigh, a soft release of breath, an ever so gentle relaxation as you feel your muscles, bones, heart sink into the sounds, movements, dance. It's magic - and when you see this style danced well you can feel it as it happens to the dancers. And we feel it here!

We love the flow and gentle grace of the slow dancing, as each girl takes her place centre stage with quiet confidence and self assurance. We love the way that Dee's other students join the group and just slot in naturally and unobtrusively. And we love the way they are all so together during the faster part of the music - all taking their turn to lead, sharing that trust and group responsibility - true improv! Thank you ladies!

Our second video today is from the same event, but this time showcases Dee performing a Tribal sword solo:

Dee has done a lot of sword work and has also taken intensive training with Sabine of Oregon. What we particularly like about this video is that although she's dancing solo with a few feet of very shiny metal on her head she has still managed to maintain that tribal 'feel' to her performance. She hasn't moved into the realms of fusion (although there are lots of performances in that category that we love too!) but has stayed very true to her own roots and style. She has welcomed the sword into her own dance, and has made adaptations to meet it there, if that makes sense. Even if we didn't know, and even if she wasn't in tribal costume we would still recognise this as being a tribal solo based on the Gypsy Caravan format, because of the moves themselves but also because of the flow and quality and feel of it. That's what we love about it!

If you want to find out more about Dee and Tribal Blossoms check out their website here. Dee also has a blog and the Blossoms have their own Facebook group.

Now we are conscious that we do talk a fair bit about what we love about the Gypsy Caravan style of Tribal Bellydance. We've had gorgeous examples of that this week, whilst last week we had some amazing examples of ATS from Moirai here in the UK. Both styles are beautiful, but quite obviously have some key differences - which is why each of us has our favourite to dance, the one that is that perfect 'fit' when we are out there on the floor! Sharon Moore of Seattle wrote a great article a few years ago highlighting some of these differences - posture, movement, musical interpretation, performance and so on. She's studied both styles and so it makes for a really interesting read, which you can see here on her site. There are more really interesting articles on the site too.

Right, that's about it for now. Until next time, happy dancing!

Thanks to Dee Thomson and Tribal Blossoms for use of the images in this post


  1. Beautiful dancing! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Beautiful improv. I also love the travelling maya,with the sword held in front- so elegant.