Elysium Tribal Blog
Video clip of American Tribal Style® group improvisation June 1, 2017 12:00
American Tribal Style® dance: a set vocabulary of movements and system of non-verbal cues that allows a group of dancers to improvise a performance... it can easily be mistaken for a choreography!
American: because the dance form was developed in the late 1980's at the FatChanceBellyDance® studio in San Francisco, California.
Tribal Style: because it combines elements of Egyptian bellydance and Flamenco with traditional dance movements from tribal people living in Northern Africa, India and Central Asia.
Every year American Tribal Style® dancers from around the world gather together for three days of intensive workshops called the ATS® Homecoming. During the participants showcase, dancers from thirteen FatChanceBellyDance® Sister Studios, including Elysium Tribal, perform here as the 'Lone Wolves' troupe. The music and costuming choices were selected ahead of time, but many of the dancers had never met before the event. With no time to rehearse prior to the show, we confidently walked onto the stage and let the magic of group improvisation take over!
This edited musical clip contains a portion of "Nefertari's Dream" by Phil Thornton and Hossam Ramzy. (available on iTunes)
Glorious post performance photo! February 2, 2017 01:43
I was thrilled to perform for the third year running, the annual ATS® Homecoming conference in San Francisco. The ladies joining me are all FatChanceBellyDance® Sister Studios, like Elysium Tribal. We come from all over the world, some of us have met before and some are complete strangers...but we speak a common language in our dance! We agree on a piece of music in advance, then at the conference, we'll meet up to plan how we will enter and exit the stage. All that is left is to get into our dance gear and hit the stage. No choreo, just awesome group improv! Special thanks to Carrie from The Dancers Eye for the lovely photo!
Homecoming 2016 January 30, 2016 20:04
I've just returned from the annual 'Homecoming' dance conference hosted by FatChanceBellyDance® in San Francisco. In simple terms, it was even bigger and better than last year! But a gathering like Homecoming deserves more complex descriptors. 'Awesome' applies, although the true weight of the word has been diluted by rampant over use in pop culture. I happily allowed myself to get caught up in the joyful energy of the event. In a large group setting I'm typically the reserved one at the back of the room, yet somehow at this Homecoming I found myself blissing out in the front row! (That's me in the pink shirt)
While the workshops were fun and informative, the impromptu dancing was fantastic as well. It's a welcomed challenge to follow bodies you've never danced with before and the situation requires a mindful clarity to your own cueing when in the lead. As a participant, you can't help but be forever changed by the experience. The beautiful sense of community I felt at Homecoming was a warm hug that lasted for days!
Dancing in the Flow January 24, 2015 00:33
"Flow is dancing in the divine subconscious." ~ Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman
It's been two weeks since I've returned home from the first ever ATS® Homecoming in San Francisco. The three day event was exciting and physically demanding and exhausting, but in a good way. I've been mulling over the words of this post since I got back, hoping I could do it justice. Even though I teach classes in my studio and perform on stage for crowds of strangers, that is the extent of my outgoing nature. I'm a quite loving introvert that thrives on solitude. I've always felt far more than I can actually describe so writing is really not my forte. Still, I feel compelled to put this out into the world.
One of the most profound experiences I've ever felt occurred during the closing workshop, Dancing in the Flow with Carolena. With nearly 200 women in the Marriott Ballroom, she explained that she would lead us in an hour of dancing where there would be absolutely NO talking. The music would be divided into three sets with a two minute water beak in between them...with NO talking. She said during the first set, our minds would be a whirl of chattering thoughts - Did I time that floreo right? There's a twinge in my right knee. I need to work on my Reverse Turn. I still have to pack tonight. Would there be room in my suitcase for one more skirt from the vendors? And on it went. During the second set she said there would be less chatter and more focus and again she was right. By the last set there were no thoughts, just bodies moving in synch, our individual energies merged into something greater than us all. When the music ended she turned to face us with tears in her eyes and hands at heart centre, she bowed and said thank you. Right on cue, the rest of us broke into tears as well.
Carolena offered us a dance with the divine and we blissfully followed her there.