Friday, 22 July 2011

Video of the Week - WildCard Bellydance!

We've been avid followers of these ladies for quite a few years now, for lots of reasons! Their beautiful dancing is top of the list of course - but we're also addicted to their gorgeous costuming and the happiness that radiates from them when they perform together. They seriously need to get themselves over here to the UK; we'll be first in the queue for their workshops!

They describe themselves as :

A professional troupe of Tribal Style belly dancers based in Sonoma County California. Rooted in American Tribal Style (ATS) belly dance, our style is a modern fusion of traditional dances from cultures along the Silk Road; the Romani trail from from Spain through North Africa, the Middle East, Persia, India and beyond.

American Tribal Style belly dance is a format based upon synchronized group improvisation. WildCard BellyDance has developed a unique repertoire of movements along with visual and verbal cues to execute complete synchronicity within the group. Each and every performance is unique and ever changing; it is "art created in the moment".

WildCard website

The  fabulous Troupe Director, Seba, has been talking to us about how the troupe's style has evolved from their early BlackSheep roots and from their videos it is fascinating to see how they have revisited traditional ATS and have then built upon it to develop their own distinctive and very beautiful style. It is often a hard job to select videos and images for this blog, but trust us - this time it's been REALLY tough! There are so many breathtaking performances and gorgeous photos of these girls - mostly courtesy of Seba's talented husband, Dan - and we really have been spoilt for choice! So we've decided to give you a few taster videos, and to then point you in the direction of lots more so you can browse to your hearts content if you haven't already discovered these ladies (and if so, where HAVE you been for the past few years?!!)

Our first videos are promo videos showing a few performances from 20010/11 and 2009/10 :

So, do you see what we mean now? Simply amazing! Their technique is fantastic and they dance with spot-on synchronicity - they are so together!  (What fabulous spins in that first video!) When they are performing to slow music there is such as sense of serenity and peaceful happiness, and when they go into their fast pieces the joy in dancing just exudes from them. And oh, those skirts! Wonderful work, ladies!

However we can't move on without a mention of the superb video editing - we are just mesmerised by the bit in the second video at 3:04 where the video moves perfectly from swordy spins in one perfotrmance into swordy spins in another. We just HAD to include the video here so you could see it for yourselves.  Have another look and see what we mean! Wow!

Our next video shows a full performance set from four of the WildCard girls. It's taken from a show at the Russian River Brewing Co. earlier this year:

There were just so many videos to choose from here! We went for this one because we love the feeling of intimacy about it - the entrance through the middle of the audience, the smaller stage area, the proximity of the dancers to the audience. It's just the sort of venue where we love to dance (such fond memories of the Bodega Bar in Glasgow!!) and we love the way we can see every move and expression close up. The ladies dance beautifully as both duets (and as you know Sakura are a duet so that's something we always love to see) and as a quartet. That second piece of music (Beni Beni by Niyaz) is breathtaking and will have to go on the list of potential music for future Sakura performances! There is some beautiful, strong and fluid swordwork there too. We just love the 'feel' of the whole performance!

However, WildCard don't just perform - they also teach tribal bellydance:

"WildCard BellyDance teaches Tribal Style (aka. ATS) belly dance lessons and workshops for belly dancers of all levels and abilities from the beginner to advanced in Sonoma County, California and beyond.

The women of our troupe have been dancing and teaching together since 2005. In 2009 we created a new ITS (Improv. Tribal Style) belly dance format which has been fully incorporated into our weekly belly dance classes."

WildCard BellyDance website

And good news! Those of us who live many miles from California can also get in on the act! Seba has recently put up a series of short  instructional videos, shot by her husband, Dan, on You Tube. Here's one just to whet your appetites; here Seba is teaching the Turkish right from basics:

Seba really does break things down so thoroughly - the counts, arm positions, how to place feet for turns, how to layer on that shimmy. And this is characteristic of all her videos! She makes everything so clear and easy to follow - even if you think you know the move already there's still lots to pick up on and learn. Do have a look at her other instructionals - they're all excellent. We're waiting for a dvd from you Seba!

It has to be said that we've really only touched the tip of the iceberg as far as WildCard are concerned. There's so much more out there for you to discover and enjoy! Find out more at the following places :

WildCard website - information and lots of photos : here
WildCard YouTube channel - videos (performance and instructional) : here
WildCard Facebook page : here

Thank you ladies for sharing your amazing dancing with us!

Well, that's it for this time! Next week's video will be a little early as we're away on tribal training in Bournemouth  for the weekend - so are planning ahead!

Until then, happy dancing!

Thanks to WildCard Bellydance & Dan for use of the images in this post

1 comment:

  1. Oh my GOODNESS!!! This is Kristen from WildCard BellyDance and I am so honored that you had such kind and beautiful words to say about us. We've worked really hard over the past few years and it's really wonderful to be recognized. I know that all of us would LOVE to travel to the UK and teach you whatever you wanted to learn!

    Thank you again!!!