Get Bent honours the ancient roots of belly dancing and brings it full circle with our modern dance style called Bollywood Bellydancing. This upbeat style combines belly dancing with Indian dance styles like Kathak, Bhangra and Bharatanatyam - performed to hit Bollywood music.
Many styles of belly dancing evolved in the Middle East; however, belly dancing also has roots in North India.* This is well documented in “The Romany Trail” and “Latcho Drom”. Starting in the 5th century, North Indian Gypsies* began migrating to the Middle East and Europe. As they travelled, they shared their music and dance wherever they settled. Spectators tipped them with coins and they sewed coins onto their outfits. This evolved into the modern belly dancing coin-belt. As the Gypsies reached Spain, another Gypsy dance style was born - Flamenco. Get Bent’s Artistic Director, Wendy Goudie created two styles to highlight this history: Get Bent Bollywood Bellydancing & Spanish Fusion.
*Gypsies throughout the world can all trace their DNA and language back to North India. Regional names for the Gypsies are: Ghawazi, Nawar, Dom and Romani.
Belly Dancing and Flamenco can both trace their roots along the Gypsy trail to North India (source). Get Bent Spanish Fusion combines the softness of belly dancing with the power of Flamenco. This creates a beautiful yin-yang flow of energy and movement. This challenging style requires dancers to showcase the emotional interplay between these two opposing styles and energies. Like traditional Flamenco, Get Bent performs our Spanish Fusion style to live Spanish guitar. Currently, we are touring with the talented Spanish guitarist William Leggott.
Get Bent Street Style brings belly dancing back to the streets! This isn’t the belly dancing your mom used to do. Get Bent Street Style is aggressive, hard-hitting, and all about girl power. This style integrates belly dancing with urban dance techniques like popping and locking. We even throw in some Martial Arts. This style is performed to modern electronic remixes that combine Classic Rock with Trap, Dubstep and House. Our costumes are inspired by superheroes and video game characters.
A new street style of belly dancing has also erupted in Egypt called "Street Shabbi & Electro Shabby" (Mahraganat Shaabi). Although our styles share influences, they are distinctly different.
Tribal Fusion is a modern Western style that was created by fusing American Tribal Style, American Cabaret, and elements from hip hop, Flamenco, Kathak, Odissi, and other folkloric and classical dances. This highly technical style requires extreme body isolations and control. Tribal Fusion is a very popular style that continues to evolve.
Tribal Fusion is a branch of American Tribal Style Belly Dance which began in the early 90’s by Carolena Nericcio, the director of “Fat Chance Belly Dance” in San Francisco.
Rachel Brice sparked global interest in Tribal Fusion belly dancing when she toured with the Bellydance Superstars from 2002-2007. Other notable stars include Mardi Love, Zoe Jakes, Sharon Kihara and Bindu Bolar.
Tsifteteli is the Greek name for belly dancing and comes from the Turkish word meaning "double stringed” refering to the violin music practiced with this dance. Many archaeologists believe a form of belly dancing existed in ancient Greece; however, Tsifteteli developed as a modern style over the last 80 years. Today, Tsifteteli is popular throughout the Southeastern Mediterranean. Greeks belly dance everywhere including at restaurants, parties, and weddings. The Get Bent Belly Dancers perform to the latest Greek pop hits and remixes. Tipping the dancers is common in Greece and it's part of the entertainment. Also, Greeks are known for dancing on tables and breaking plates at celebrations. These traditions sound wild but they are in good fun.
Egyptians call belly dance Raqs Sharqi meaning "Oriental Dance". Raqs Sarqi is the style most people think of as classical belly dancing. However, Raqs Sharqi only goes back to the early 1900’s. In the 1920s, Badia Masabni the matron of modern belly dancing fused Egyptian and Gypsy folk dancing with techniques from Ballet, Jazz, and Latin dancing. Her goal was to elevate belly dancing from the streets of Egypt to the international stage. Badhia's "fusion approach” opened a wide range of possibilities that are still being explored today. Two of Bahia's students, Samia Gamal and Tahiya Carioca became huge international stars. Today, belly dancing is as multi-faceted as the world community that shaped it. Millions of people now practice belly dancing and it continues to evolve.