Egyptian belly dancing is called Raqs Sharqi meaning "Oriental Dance". Raqs Sarqi is the style most people think of as Classical Belly Dancing. However, Raqs Sharqi is a modern style that was created in the 1900’s by Badia Masabni. Prior to Badia, dancers danced on the spot, improvised, and had limited arm movements. Badia’s goal was to create a new theatrical-style that could be performed on stage by large groups and appeal to Western audiences. Inspired by European Cabarets, Badia hired European choreographers to help her fuse elements from Ballet, Ballroom and Jazz into Gypsy and Egyptian folk dancing. Badia’s new fusion style incorporated group choreography, turns, travelling steps, snake arms, shimmies, undulations (camals), and veil work. Her fusion approach created a world of possibilities that are still being explored today. Belly dancing continues to evolve and it is as multi-faceted as the world community that helped shape it. Badia achieved her goal and millions of people now practice belly dancing. Two of Badia's students became international stars: Samia Gamal and Tahiya Carioca.
Sources: Belly-Dance.org | DaturaOnline | GildedSerpent
Although belly dancing is associated with the Middle East, it also has roots in North India. This history is well documented in “The Romany Trail” and “Latcho Drom”. Get Bent brings this history full circle with our modern dance style called Bollywood Bellydancing. This uplifting style combines belly dancing with East Indian dance techniques from Kathak, Bhangra and Bharatanatyam performed to hit Bollywood music.
Starting in the 5th century, people from North India migrated to the Middle East and Europe. As they travelled, they danced in the streets to make money. Spectators tipped them with coins and they sewed the coins onto their outfits. This evolved into the modern belly dancing coin-belt. People called these nomads “Gypsies” - short for Egyptian - because people thought they were from Egypt. However, 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. As the Gypsies reached Spain, another dance style was born called Flamenco. Artistic Director, Wendy Goudie created two unique styles at Get Bent to highlight this history: Bollywood Bellydancing and Spanish Fusion.
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. The Get Bent Dancers perform Spanish Fusion to live Spanish guitar as is done with Flamenco. Currently, we are touring with the talented Spanish guitarist William Leggott.
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, Greeks belly dance everywhere including at restaurants, parties, and weddings. 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 their celebrations. These traditions sound wild but they are in good fun. The Get Bent Bellydancers perform Greek Belly Dancing throughout the year at events including Jimmy’s Greek Night in Creston: PLAY VIDEO
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 hip-hop dance techniques like popping and locking. We even throw in some Martial Arts.
This style is performed to modern electronic remixes that combine Rock with Trap, Dubstep and House. Our costumes are inspired by superheroes and video game characters. A new style of street 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.