Probably I should be the last person to speak about fusions as I consider myself to be a dancer whose let her imagination fly and get inspiration from fusions by incorporating non arab elements to my belly dance routines.
The Fusions started long ago, as belly dance became a global phenomenon, dancers from all over the world began to incorporate little things of their own culture, adding new steps and new flavours to the raqs sharki. The ATS (American Tribal Style) was one the main promoters of "the fusions" the bridge from the classical belly dance to the modern music with ethnic roots in the dancing. However in this last couple of years the belly dance has been used as a mere TRAMPOLINE to dance whatever thing comes in your mind with shimmies and camels to whatever music: Rock, rap, hip-hop, heavy metal etc... doesn't matter! the important is to keep up with the fashion of "doing fusions"!
As I mentioned before, maybe I'm the least indicated to point this fact out as my dance style is not pure arabic but, to use a "Rammstein" song, do some movements that I could do in any other melody, but just because this melody is not arabic, call it a "fusion" and name myself a creator of a new belly dance Style!.
I do not want we confuse the good fusions from the mediocre ones, cause I have seen amazing performances where they mix two different dancing styles with success. So, ¿What makes a good or bad fusion? the answer is: Imagination and creation.
Lets suppose you wanna make a hip-hop belly. The first step would be to learn hip-hop, get the essence and moves of it, later add the belly dance, choose a good song for the matter and practice it!. Do not expect to put any type of music shake a bit and call it a fusion.
The belly dance is a disciple like any other dance style, and I'm in favor to add some foreigner elements to enhance it, but STOP using belly dance as a trampoline to make other dance styles., just because the belly dance is indulgent in age, anatomy and years of study wise doesn't mean you have to use it to do what you couldn't did before.
In countries such as Russia or Ukraine exists a phenomenon called "Fantasy belly dance" which basically are performances of the most unusual combinations some of them are just AMAZING! some others....mm not so much. A performance of this style has a very thin line between the wonderful and the ridiculous, of course the perception of each one is different.In this article I'm just trying to bring up the importance of belly dance by itself without any external contaminations but, if like me, you are the kind of girl who likes the mixology , here are some tips which I found useful.
1. Get the right music (This is the most important) take your time to find the perfect melody for your performance, this is a long process that can take weeks, even months to get it done, and many times you have to mix 2 or 3 different tracks to obtain what you need.
2.Use the right outfit: Leave the belly dance traditional bedla behind, what your gonna do is something unique! get costume to fit your performance,it will be part of the magic!
3.We suppose that the knowledge of belly dance is there, now, if you wanna do a fusion is time to take some classes about that particular style: hip-hop, jazz, tango, hawaian etc..
4.Try not to make an eteeeeernal performance, is better to leave the audience asking for more than make them bored with 8 or 12 min.
5.Before taking your performance to the stage, ask yourself : ¿Why do I want to dance this, and which is the reason for it? If you get answers such as: "Because this song of the bee gees is my favourite" or "I'm fan of iron maden and now fusions are in fashion so I will dance it".Think the following: ¿Is it coherent what I'm gonna dance with the music I have chosen?
The dance as universal language must be able to touch the heart or like from people around the world, doesn't matter where they come from, this is how a performance from Ukraine, Russia,Argentina, Brasil or any other country can be appreciate it and like in the rest of the world.
Thanks for reading this article, and I hope you find it useful!
Are you searching inspiration for fusion dances?check this names on youtube!
-Amir Thaleb (Oriental tango)
-Ebony (Hip-hop belly)
-Nadia Nikishenko (Fantasy Belly dance)
-Daniela Gómez (Salsa- belly )