Thursday, 11 August 2011

Video of the Week - Pedralta World Fusion Bellydance

We're in the UK again this week, in Lichfield, Staffordshire, to take a look at the fabulous Pedralta World Fusion Dance Company. The group was originally formed in 2005 by Donna Gardner and Lesley Hogg; they have now been joined by Amanda Tivey and Rebecca Jones.

'Pedralta return to the roots of World dance forms, seeking inspiration for their ever-growing repertoire of improvised fusion, now encompassing Flamenco and Sevillanas, Saaidi stick, Balkan moves and 9/8 rhythms, and graceful oriental veil. Remaining true to the group improvisational aspect of ATS, their improvised performances are known for their dynamism, power and grace.'

Pedralta World Fusion Facebook page

Many UK dancers will already be familiar with Pedralta and its dancers; both Donna and Lesley performed with one of our all-time favourite troupes, Rashani International, with Donna directing and producing their 'tarab' show in Birmingham (if you haven't seen the Rashani/Pedralta performance dvd, Magic Caravan, you really need to get yourself a copy pronto - it is just one of the best feel-good dvds we've ever seen! It totally deserves its 'Magical' title!).

Donna and Lez teach weekly classes in Staffordshire - check them out on the Pedralta site here - and Donna teaches workshops across the UK and Europe  (we have been to Saidi Stick and Flamenco workshops with her and learned so much!) (and had great fun of course!)

Pedralta also perform across Europe, but our video this week brings them right back home - to a very recent performance outside Lichfield Cathedral. Over to you, Pedralta!

Wow! Just beautiful! You can really see in this both that strong base of ATS moves within an improvised tribal format - but also the wonderfully proud Flamenco influence! They combine perfectly to give a performance that is powerful, passionate and just oozing 'duende'! Add to that the glorious setting and the sublimely beautiful music and you get a performance that you just can't leave alone - actually we're just off to watch it again! Excuse us ...............

Sigh ...... Just gorgeous! Thank you ladies! Do check them out on You Tube: the Pedralta channel there incudes extracts from the Magic Caravan video (you really do need it, you know!) plus dances with sticks. swords, veils ..... You can also find a variety of other Pedralta videos if you do a quick YOU Tube search!
Here's another video to whet your appetites even more - this one's a compilation of different performances:

Simply fabulous!

Now, not only are Pedralta extremely talented dancers, but they also have a fantastic website. Run by Donna there is just so much information on there- about classes, events, music, health and fitness, costuming .... There are also goodies to buy, from dvds (including Magic Caravan) to funky street clothing to accessories. This was actually one of the very first tribal sites we discovered several years ago - Cayte actually got her first tribal skirt from Donna (and is still wearing it!).  Have a look for yourself right here.

We can't finish without a special mention for Cayte's very favourite Pedralta product -- their famous dance sandals! Inspired by seeing the lovely Debbie Berry of 400 Roses dancing in a pair, Cayte now won't be parted from hers! You really don't know that you're wearing them - they are so subtle and soft that they really are a delight to dance in, and make spins and turns a dream (says Cayte, spinning off into the distance!). Cayte has her eye on a black pair now, to add to her neutral pair.
Hope you enjoyed this week's videos - we're sure you did!

Until next time, happy dancing!

Thanks to Donna Gardner and Pedralta for use of images in this post.

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