Although widely perceived as a dance form which abounds with reflections of erotic manoeuvres performed for an audience which comprehends the dance as an extension of stimulating their inner desire, Belly dance has been a taboo, especially in India. But of late, many bold initiatives have successfully seeped into the country, overriding such perceptions.
One such bold initiative is from a group of organisers who have been bringing belly dance as an art form to Bangalore for the last three years. Packaged with a message that this old suave dance form is one which has abundance of creativity and physical health benefits, their fourth outing in Bangalore takes the theme ‘Hipnosis 2012 - The Shimmy Travelogue’.
Sumendra Singh from Blue Umbrella Events, one of the organisers, explains the idea behind the festival. He says, “Hipnosis is an event that purely showcases the art of Belly Dancing and the versatility of the shimmy, which is one of the most widely used dance moves across various dance forms all over the world. The festival showcases this versatility through various dance forms from countries around the world that includes Samba, Polynesian, Tribal Fusion, Bellywood and their combination with various props like sword, cane, 7 veils, isis wings, finger cymbals, tambourines and veil poi.”
Claimed to be Bangalore’s only and biggest belly dance festival as it showcases belly dance performance & workshops, it is organised with Payals Dance Academy (PDA), which was started by Payal Gupta in the year 2008, with the goal to change the common man’s perception about belly dance. Belly dancers from the academy are trained to perform on stage along with their professional belly dance troupe, Isadora’s Muse.
“We had an amazing response for the event in the last two years. We have a flee market called Shimmy Bazaar, Belly Dance shows, workshops & after party,” says Sumendra.
The festival happens once in a year with workshops and trial classes so that the guests have a chance to learn too. “Belly dancing is open for women of all age groups and it helps them learn the dance form as well as stay in shape,” says Sumendra who is quite upbeat about the response. He says, “There is a lot of excitement for the event. We mostly have a young crowd. They are very enthusiastic to learn belly dance as well, so this year we have included workshops and trial classes. We have a total of 104 Belly Dancers from the academy.” The festival will be held on October 14th.