When belly dancing becomes a way of life

Group travels to learn new moves

Bengaluru- based Tarantismo Creative Dance Company began its journey in 2004. A little more than a decade later, the team says that they have indeed given belly dancing a whole new form, character and identity. They have proved, through their work, that there’s much more to this form of dance than meets the eye. This team will open the grand finale of the Deccan Herald Metrolife Fashion Show on September 8 at Dayananda Sagar Institutions in Kumaraswamy Layout. In an interview with Metrolife, Anusha Hegde, business development and senior choreographer of the team, talks about their journey so far.

What has changed for you all as a team?

Over the years, we have mainly focussed on two dance forms -- contemporary and belly dancing. However, our main forte remains belly dancing fusion and we have internationally gained recognition for it. We were the first to bring belly dancing to Bengaluru and over the years many others have come up, some of them even branched out from us. We have also participated in several reality shows like ‘Dance Dance’ and ‘India’s Got Talent’.

How do you keep reinventing your choreography and ensure that it doesn’t get monotonous?

We keep travelling and trying to learn new things. A troupe of four had recently visited Egypt for a belly dance festival. We not only taught there but also learnt from there. The root of this dance form is in Egypt, so it is important that we revisit it. Since we are into fusion it is important that our dancers are also trained in other dance forms like kathak, bharathanatyam among others.

How do you all ensure that you stay fit? 

It is important for us to remain healthy and as a professional team, we are expected to maintain our body. So during our morning rehearsals, we spend an hour on a fitness regime. But belly dancing helps tone the body and many opt for it as it is a fun way to staying fit. People need not necessarily have to have a certain set physique to take up belly dancing.

How has belly dancing as a dance form evolved over time?

The dance form started in Egypt as a form of exercise for pregnant women before and after delivery. It was a folk style considered a gift that a mother gave to her daughter. It was then picked up by the Arabs who found it to be a good form of stage performance and later other dance forms also branched out of it like cabaret. In the recent times, it has become more acceptable in India than what it was when we started. It has been shown in movies and people of all age groups are taking to it. Social media has contributed to the growth because we put up videos on platforms and when people see that it is a graceful and classy form they too want to explore it. 

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