About Sarasvati Tribal
Sarasvati Tribal are a Tribal Fusion Bellydance duo based in Glasgow, Scotland, with a reputation for professionalism, innovation, and wowing their audiences.
They have performed at numerous events across the UK, hosted workshops with international names in bellydance, including Sherri Wheatley, Onça O'Leary, Sharon Kihara, and Mardi Love, and have also produced two critically acclaimed and successful shows, 2009's 'Extraordinesque!' and 2010's 'The Gaslight Faeries', which were performed in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders, as well as charity fundraising in support of the Marine Conservation Society.
Sarasvati Tribal also performed as part of 'Club Bellydance' with the Bellydance Superstars, and the Tribal Pura Show featuring Carolena Nerricio-Bohlman in 2012.
About Tribal fusion... and a brief history
Dancer family tree - author unknown
Sarasvati Tribal, GFAD Winter Afternoon Shimmy 2016. Photo by Fiona McLaren Arts
If we had to describe Tribal Fusion Bellydance in the most concise way, we would say:
"Tribal Fusion Bellydance is a constantly evolving contemporary form of bellydance, taking elements of traditional bellydance from various Middle Eastern, North African, and Turkish countries, and fusing them with a variety of influences and inspirations from around the globe, both old and new".
But what does that mean, exactly? Well, maybe a little history will help...
The United States in the 1960s and 1970s was a melting pot of global immigration, including from those countries where bellydance had originally evolved. That brought bellydance to Western audiences, and over time, the art form further evolved, with dancers developing their own variations of the dance. One of these early pioneers was Jamila Salimpour, and later her daughter, Suhaila. Through her work with her troupe, "Bal Anat", Jamila introduced a series of vignettes of various folk dances from the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey, particularly at the many Ren (Renaissance) Faires which were - and still are - popular throughout the USA. It was through this that Masha Archer saw bellydance, and from this, one of her students, Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman, developed a codified style of dance steps, which allowed dancers to learn a 'language' of dance, and perform without choreography - and American Tribal Style (R) was born.
From ATS (R), dancers took the steps they had learned, fusing these with their own preferred influences, changing the look, working with different music, and choroeographing the dance - this, in the late 1990s/early 2000s, was the beginning of Tribal Fusion Bellydance.
One of the earliest pioneers in Tribal Fusion was Jill Parker - often hailed as the Mother of Tribal Fusion. She and her troupe, Ultra Gypsy, were a hotbed of creativity, giving rise to some of the biggest names in the genre, such as Rachel Brice, who - through the Bellydance Superstars, a travelling professional troupe - took Tribal Fusion Bellydance to a global audience in the early 2000s.
Since then, dancers the world over have seen the creative potential in Tribal Fusion, embracing the flexibility it allows its proponents - to work with movement, music, themes, and costuming of their own choosing, whilst still harking back to the twin roots of Tribal Fusion - both bellydance, and American Tribal Style (R).
It can be a controversial and sometimes emotive subject - this question of 'what is Tribal Fusion?' - so the views above are those of Sarasvati Tribal, and may not represent every Tribal Fusion bellydancer. But it's what *we* feel best describes what we do, and where it has come from!
About Sarasvati Tribal
Laura would like to say she's a lifelong dancer, but the reality is that despite her mum's best efforts, 4 year old Laura was a complete tomboy and not at all interested in the 2 weeks of Latin American classes her mum took her to, complete with sparkly silver sandals. Her mum gave up, although periodic nagging paid off in 2000 when Laura finally consented to accompany her mum to her first bellydance class – and Laura was hooked.
Laura’s love of Tribal Fusion was sparked in 2004 when she witnessed a live performance of the Bellydance Superstars’ first UK tour, featuring The Indigo Bellydance Company. Laura was entranced by the precision, presence and poise of Tribal Fusion – and the costumes! - and ever since has studied the genre intently.
Laura’s workshops and classes are known for their hard work, for sharing insights, history and knowledge of the genre, as well as for their fun and laughter! She also teaches weekly Tribal Fusion classes in Glasgow, and her student troupe, Lakshmi, are rapidly gaining performance experience at local haflas.
Laura has studied with many of the top names in the genre, travelling to Europe and the States, and in 2009 was invited to teach and perform in South Africa alongside Sharon Kihara and Sherri Wheatley.
Laura finds her inspiration from many sources, drawing not just from the work of the well-known Tribal Fusion dancers of today, but also looking to her roots in Modern Egyptian and back to the old stars of Egyptian belly dance. Laura’s eclectic style, power, and love of the quirky and unexpected, drives Sarasvati Tribal onwards and ever upwards!
Despite being an actual Doctor of Literature, Kelly hasn't written her bio yet... so here's some fun factoids you may or may not know about Kelly...
She's originally from Johannesburg
She once won a prestigious South African Tribal Fusion dance competition
Her PhD research topic was "The Emergence and Development of the Sentient Zombie: Zombie Monstrosity in the Postmodern and Posthuman Gothic"
She bakes the most delicious - and beautifully decorated - cakes and cookies
She's rarely seen without a smile
Some of the wonderful dancers Sarasvati Tribal have been honoured to have as members over the years!
Stefanie Scott... click the picture to visit her Facebook page. Photo by Dark Soul Photography
Tigerlily... click the picture to visit her site. Photo by Fiona McLaren Arts.
Alison Kilgour, photo by Dark Soul Photography