Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to have a conversation about my upcoming Fringe Festival show with a remarkably intelligent and analytical woman. She is from Turkey, but has been living in the US for quite some time. As such, she is both familiar with bellydance in her home culture and has seen it in the US as well. We started talking about styles. I said that I do tribal fusion bellydance, though I prefer the term transnational fusion dance. The dance form blends movement vocabulary from all over the world, with the bulk originating in various Middle Eastern and North African cultures. I don’t use the phrase often because not many people are familiar with it, but I like it because I feel it is the most accurate.
She asked what kind of music I dance to. I said that I will dance to almost anything, but I really prefer some fusion artists from the region. We started talking about some of these bands. It occurs to me that many of these bands could also be labeled “transnational fusion”. I thought I would list some of my favorites below. I find that this type of music is frequently the perfect setting for blending a shimmy with sous-sus in the same phrase. Band names link to their websites.
By the way, this woman offered to share a few Turkish bands that she thought might fit the category. I am eagerly awaiting her email.