BENGALURU: Vaishnavi TN first started bellydancing when she was eight years old, after watching a TV programme. She went on to train in various dance styles and specialised in this Egyptian style, even completing her advanced studies and training under various masters.
As head instructor of Dance7-The Art Factory, she is now organising the city’s first belly-dancing fest ‘Wahda’, which will start today and close on January 27. During this fest, ten teachers will train interested in various styles of this dance form -- Egyptian, folk, fusion and so on.
On January 28, at a public event, Bengalureans will be invited to watch reputed bellydancers of city perform along with their students on the theme ‘Around the World Bellydance’. This show will also include a presentation of the dance’s history.
Vaishnavi hopes that the festival will introduce more people to the beauty of this form and encourage budding artistes. “This dance is not restricted to any particular style. It is an ancient form, which originated in the 9th Century, but most people are not aware of its rich history,” says Vaishnavi, who travels across the south and teaches in cities such as Chennai, Puducherry, Thiruvananthapuram, Coimbatore and Hyderabad.
She hopes to make this festival an annual event, and says it will get bigger “with different styles and more teachers” with every year.
It wasn’t difficult organising it. “We are a community and we all know each other. I am thankful to all of them because they agreed to be a part of it, trusting my work,” she says.
The challenge, she says, was promoting the event among people who are new to bellydance. “It was tough to make them realise the value of this festival,” says Vaishnavi, who has done a solo dance in a Malayalam movie ‘Sathya’ and has been part of a Tamil reality show ‘Yes or No’.