originally published November 6, 2012 in fuse: a tribal and tribal fusion belly dance magazine
As an aficionado of both Cabaret and Tribal belly dance forms, I have always found myself asking the question, “Tribal or Cabaret? Cabaret or Tribal? Which of these styles will help me express my choreography best?” Carrie Konyha answers this riddle simply; why not both?
In World Dance New York’s latest production for the belly dance inclined, Tribaret Bellydance: Techniques & Combinations for the Versatile Dancer, the artistic director of Sedona Bellydance, Carrie Konyha, seams Cabaret and elements of American Tribal Style® (ATS) belly dance together to create a fun and playful expression for dancers who wish to incorporate both traditions into their repertoire.
As with most of World Dance New York’s instructional DVDs, Tribaret Bellydance: Techniques & Combinations for the Versatile Dancer, comes with a fundamentals section where Konyha breaks down basic movement from Cabaret and ATS for the viewer. These are, indeed, very basic moves and those who have already studied either style may just want to skip through these sections and go straight to the warm up and then to the choreographies. They are however, useful sections if you are new to belly dance or merely want to clean up your drills.
Konyha then takes us on a journey into the interesting method of combining Cabaret with ATS which can be performed solo or within a group using cues. This was the most fascinating aspect of Tribaret. Using cues has always been a foundation of ATS but Konyha has created cues to be used in Cabaret as well. The choreography section mixes the earthy nature of ATS with the playful attitude and expressive movement of Cabaret using layering, traveling, shimmies, level changes, etc. Beginners may find these chapters a little challenging, but she does keep the pace manageable and repeats each section several times to build up muscle memory.
I wish there would have been a section on costuming, but perhaps Konyha will add something like that to her website in the near future if enough people request it.
For the intermediate dancer, Tribaret Bellydance: Techniques & Combinations for the Versatile Dancer, will help you develop new combinations and generate ideas for ways in which to further explore the fusion of different styles.
The DVD can be purchased at www.worlddancenewyork.com
Watch a video preview of the DVD
Carrie Konyha is a dancer and instructor of Orientale, Folkloric, and Tribal Improvisation styles of bellydance. More information can be found about her, her belly dance studio and her performing troupe atwww.sedonabellydance.com.