Monday, July 28, 2014

Best Oriental Dans Videos on Youtube - 2010

(Originally published on Yahoo! Voices on November 18, 2010. The links in this article were extracted then)

A couple years ago, I wrote an article that featured four Oriental Dans videos as found on An update is in order. For this particular article, the list has been expanded to fourteen. These videos span a greater range of what is happening in Oriental Dans today. Some well known performers are featured and some who are as yet obscure. I have included one video that celebrates the folk dance in its most native form- among the everyday people- and one that is entirely for fun. The videos themselves are linked to out of respect for those who own them.

The first one was posted by MarimarBd. It is called "Urban Gypsy- Evolution Tribal Fusion Belly Dance". It is described as cirque du flame and fire fusion. Brace yourself. This is the best fire dance I have ever seen. A plethora of props are used and it is performed to live music. Belly Dance Super Star Zoe Jakes is in the troupe.

Second on the list is another offer from MarimarBd. This one features two Belly Dance Super Stars veterans performing in sync. It is titled "Kami Liddle & Sabrina - Tribal Fusion Belly Dance". A more apt description might be human liquid gold. Kami Liddle and Sabrina are two of the most fluid dancers in Oriental Dans today. In this stunning display, they fuse the deliberate, earthy movements of Tribal Fusion with those poses we associate with Thailand and the Far East in an unforgettable routine. The costumes are fantastic and the sound of a bird's flapping wings at the beginning adds something uplifting.

The third video was posted for our enjoyment by daughteroftheworm. Much of the description is not in English. It is labeled "Kayra Danza Oriental/Bellydance". This is a more traditional dance. The bedlah (traditional belly dance costume) is lovely for Kayra's skin and she has long flowing hair. Her movements are smooth and confident. the performance itself seems to have been recorded at Bellyfest Fuengirola 2007. This is skillfully danced.

Fourth is a post by samirafloripa. There is almost no information with this video. It is called "Karina Iman". This is a full belly dance troupe in bedlahs that bring to mind wood sprites dancing on a spring morning. These girls are very well synchronized and a true pleasure to watch. This is excellent choreography.

Moving on to the more celebratory mood of traditional cabaret, bellydancestars gives us one of the longest titled videos on our list: "Belly Dance.bds. One of the Best Dancers (World Belly Dance)". The name is a mouthful and the dance itself is equally exuberant. Gimatdinova Lilia dances her heart out to a fast-paced mix of various traditional songs. This woman is not shy and she is very light on her feet in a challenging routine.

Sadie gives us one of the most dynamic drum solo performances ever recorded. Omundodainternet shares with us the last half of an extraordinary dance from 2008. Sadie exhibits an amazing amount of control, skill, and grace. The audience is one of the most vocal I've heard. To say that this is impressive is an understatement.

For our seventh video, we return to MarimarBd and Kami Liddle. Called "Kami Liddle- Evolution Tribal Fusion Belly Dance", this is a seductive offering in redish lighting and intriguing costume. Kami demonstrates more of her polished, controlled style in an evironment worthy of a Belly Dance Super Star. This is the Tribal Fusion style of Oriental Dans at its best.

Carolina Nericcio of FatChanceBellyDance invented a new form of Orential Dans that is the ultimate form of fusion. This dance is based on belly dance but borrows heavily from other folk traditions as well, including flamenco. She called this new form American Tribal Style (ATS). It is because of her invention that we now have Tribal Fusion. The former is the mother of the latter. Therefore, the dance troupe FatChanceBellyDance- based in Chicago- is now a legend among Oriental Dans enthusiasts. For that reason, I here include a video posted by FatChanceBellyDance itself. This is that legendary troupe performing an authentic ATS dance at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco as part of the 2008 WestWave Dance Festival.

The next two videos are performed to the same music. The first is a rehearsal session (that goes perfectly) and is posted for us by cherchezlafemmedance. It is titled "Sherri Tribal Fusion Bellydance". It is without doubt one of the best examples of the mechanical ticking or stuttering that has recently been introduced to Oriental Dans via hip-hop. This cries out to be watched repeatedly.

Lest some think that Oriental Dans is only for the female gender, let me introduce you to Jonathan Contreras via this video offered to us by ImpactVideoProd. This was recorded at a talent show and demonstrates that, while the moves do seem tailored to the female physique, often it is the male who is better at technique. Jonathan shows us that belly dance can indeed be masculine.

Currently in the U.S., Tribal Fusion is the most popular form of Oriental Dans as the videos available on attest to. It is a very interesting form because it seems to have no limits. DeathKitten has given us a seminal performance in a very recent video that is dated 2010. In this video, we have Maureen O'Donnell dancing to original music by Stereognosis called "Sumerian Breakbeat".

Kiaroskuro has posted another fine example of stuttering the muscles in a video titled "Asharah at Spring Caravan- May 2009. This is also an excellent example of the fact that, unlike traditional belly dance forms, Tribal Fusion can be performed to any kind of music- even the game geek sounds that finish this routine.

Now we are down to our final two videos. This one, put up for viewing by naimayazbek, celebrates the true nature of Oriental Dans. She captures Middle Eastern in the streets, at weddings, festivals, etc. dancing for the fun of it. No list of Oriental Dans videos would be complete without this one. The children are especially precious.

Lastly, here is one just for fun. U2 opened the gates to the opening date of their now legendary Zoo TV Tour in 1992 and were surprised to see a woman walk in wearing a full bedlah. She had seen the music video for "Mysterious Ways" which featured belly dancing and decided it would be fun to go to the concert in her costume. Even better for the band, she was indeed a professional dancer. They asked her to join them onstage and perform during "Mysterious Ways" on that night. She did- and on every night of the American leg thereafter. When U2 were preparing for the European leg, however, she could not continue with them on account of prior obligations. Morleigh Steinberg, who later became The Edge's wife, was also a professional dancer, but knew nothing of belly dance. She took a crash course and continued the performances throughout the rest of the tour. It is Morleigh who was immortalized as the "Mysterious Ways" belly dancer on the official VHS of the "Zoo TV Tour- Live In Sydney" and it is Morleigh who continues to choreograph the Oriental Dans images and lighting that accompanies each live performance of that song to this day. What of Christina, the original dancer who inspired the concept in the first place? Here she is in one of the American leg performances of "Mysterious Ways" in a rare video originally aired on TV at that time.

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