Home Chennai Meet the tribal ballerina

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    With hypnotic hips and unusual collaborations, Bindu Bolar promises to make you a fusion belly dance pro in six days 

    Belly dancers around the world have honoured her with the title Tribal Ballerina, or ‘Tribalina’, and she has more than 11 years of professional dancing to her name. But Mangalore-native and founder of Lights Camera Dance studio, Bindu Bolar won’t be taking your run-of-the-mill hip-shaking workshop in Chennai this weekend — she’ll be teaching Tribal Fusion Belly Dance. It’s described as the marriage between Classical Oriental belly dance, with significant Egyptian roots, and tribal influences, which takes inspiration from rural Rajasthani, American-Indian, Algerian and Balkan communities. And though Bolar only started traditional belly dancing in 2008, she delved into this style a year later. “I find the fusion of styles exciting. Sensual swings of the hips are complemented by powerful, animal-like movements, and urban touches of popping and locking also come through,” she says.

    Being different
    According to fitness instructor Ruby Hussain, who stopped her belly dancing classes roughly seven years ago due to the lack of interest, “belly dancing is perfect for the Indian woman’s body type.” And Bolar’s six-hour workshop, brought to the city by Aparnaa Nagesh of High Kicks, in Chennai aims to rekindle that interest. She will teach students to move different parts of their bodies separately, to learn techniques, which will then be choreographed and pieced together to form short routines. “I hope these workshops will inspire people to continue learning an art form this unique and beautiful, because you won’t find this style anywhere else in the city,” assures Bolar.

    Work-life balance
    Though dancing since the age of three, and trained in salsa, hip-hop, jive and the Lucknowi gharana of Kathak, Bolar insists that it’s the combination and influence of these styles in Classical Oriental belly dance that make Tribal Fusion Belly Dance so unique. “Everyone’s body structure is different, so the presentation of dance will also be different. That’s why Tribal Fusion Belly dance is so interesting, because the artiste is free to mix her own signature moves to recreate and reinterpret traditional belly dancing,” explains Bolar, who has represented India in multiple American belly dancing festivals, including the prestigious Tribal Fest. Crowned as The Most HipNotic Belly Dancer at Hip-Nosis’13 and appeared as a judge on Channel V’s India Fest, Bolar’s aim is to continue learning and teaching in the US and in India.
    At the Danzza Institute of Modern Dance on June 27-28. Workshop fee: `3,000 per person. Details: 9840317186

    — Sakshi Kaushik

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