Sister Paintings: A Look into the Argentinian and the Russian/Ukrainian Belly Dancer
I'm so excited for my next set of paintings! They are darker than what I will usually do, but their chiaroscuro affects do them justice to the ideas behind them. Lately I've been keeping an eye on two types of dancers, each on the other sides of the earth. The Argentinian and the Russian/Ukrainian belly dancers are emerging with some strong styles that impress me very much. In a well-rounded presentation, costuming, music, and expression are delivered fiercely in the subject of Oriental Dance. It seems, and I don't have actual facts, just opinions, but it seems that most of them come from a strict ballet influence, particularly the Eastern Europeans. The Argentinian's have both ballet and tango backgrounds. Both cultures, like I say, deliver, bringing clean and lengthened movements, lots of hair tosses, beautifully intricate footwork, repetition and a sweet combination of simplicity and intricacy. Just as these two dance cultures are beautiful, they are also incomparable to other sister belly dance cultures around the globe, and vice-versa. That's the beauty of this dance culture as a whole anyway, the Americans have their spice, the Latino's, Brazilians, Spaniards, Italians, Asian and Arabs, they all have their own specialties and particulars that make them essential in this growing Oriental/Belly Dance culture.
So going back to my current studies, I'm focusing a little closer on the Russians/Ukrainians and the Argentinian's. I've had the fortune to have studied with Yamil Annum and Saida when they've visited Miami, two amazing dancers from Argentina. I've seen and experienced their styles and growth, Amir Thaleb's lineage. The Russians/Ukrainians are next! Haha! (Side note: I write Russians and Ukrainians together, though they have their differences, only because I'm just getting acquainted and for me they are very similar in their dance cultures.) These two are pure "Oriental" meaning they are not folkloric, they bring a mixture of their culture into the dance and as a result create a modern style. The music is also "Oriental" in the sense that it ranges from orchestral to ballads to pop. Yes, they'll add elements from folklore here and there, but because it's made for theater it's doesn't have the raw sense of folk. That's ok! There's no need or rule for that, they are perfect how they are!
The first painting was inspired by when I went to the Miami Belly Dance Convention this past August and saw the beautiful Julia Yakovyuk - wow! What extension! And what gorgeous long hair! Her dance was beautiful and she took her sweet time to the ballad. I loved her workshop too! On instagram I follow a couple of others that inspire me - Anna Borisova, Alla Vatc, Julia Mitsai, and Anastasia Biserova among a few. Then one day as I was going through instagram - that I super love! - and a page called "Orientalisimo" posted this GORGEOUS photo of a dancer named Yasmin Hiasche. I had to ask her if I could use her photo, it was as if out of a Baroque painting! The photographer did a really nice job capturing that elongated back bend and that fabric glistening around her. And with their permission and my sincere gratitude… here we are! Two paintings coming from my experiences. The first one is inspired by the Russians (on the right with the moon), and the second by Yasmin, a beautiful dancer from Argentina!
I love it, I can go on for hours about these topics - I'm extending conversation to you! What are your views of these two dance cultures…?! Comment, I'd love to hear from your points of views! This dance spreads so wide, we need each other's experiences and conversations. :)