Samantha Hasthorpe, the only British member of the Bellydance Superstars touring troupe, tells Creative Choices how she fell in love with tribal style bellydancing

True to the original spirit of American Tribal Style , her improvised Tribal Fusion routines combine skills gleaned from her studies with the creators of the genre in the USA with a twist: Her own signature style. Elegant and classic, strong in carriage, always shifting, breathing, alive and fluid like that of liquid mercury.

Seeking inspiration from many fields; the tainted side of beautiful, the macabre, the twisted carnival side show, antique photographs from the Victorian era , The World’s Fairs of the 1800s, Pre – Raphaelite paintings,  Jazz Age beauties and modern comic book characters … Being inspired to move and create by everything from an ethereal sea creature shifting through dark waters to the ivories of an old grand piano. Influences include the works of Alphonse Mucha, Kay Nielson, Giger, Alan Lee, The Brothers Grimm, Terry Gilliam, Marina Bychkova, Ruth St Denis, Carolena Nericcio, The Indigo Belly Dance Company, Loie Fuller and many many more.

Fusing Victorian costume aesthetics with olde world dance movement strangeness as well as a respectful modern take on Middle Eastern folkloric dances and professional versatility: her performance background is that of largely self taught, having only started her Tribal Fusion Belly Dance journey in 2005 with no dance dance training what so ever. Her ballet instructor saw to that by telling her she would never be a dancer (at aged eight).

A free-spirited nomad by temperament – with Eco-activist tendencies – she traveled through Europe for several years in vintage caravans and converted buses with her husband Oscar and faithful hound Spindle.   Along the way she became an expert Fire Dancer, performing at many festivals.   This developed into an interest in Martial Arts weaponry (Kung Fu)    This in turn led to belly dancing, where in 2003 she was awe inspired by American Tribal Style, in seeing a Fat Chance Belly Dance video and later a live performance in the UK. In 2005 after personal encouragement from Rachel Brice Samantha gave up her job laboring on a construction site and moved to North America for 3 years to train with master instructors in the field of Belly Dance. In Feb 2007 Samantha became the only British member of Hollywood dance troupe The Bellydance Superstars and continues to tour the world both solo and with the company performing and instructing intensive workshops. Samantha is a committed teacher as well as performer.   Her accessible teaching style reflects the fact that she still considers herself to be a beginner student, always hungry for more training and new ideas, always refining basic techniques and fusing new inspirations from mentors both in and out of the belly dance scene.

Not only does she possess a natural agility, coordination, grace, and a sense of rhythm. with a deep feeling for music and a creative ability to express herself through movement but her skills as a self taught costumier (learned on tours through trial and error)ensure a range of detailed and unique costumes. Samantha is influenced by the genius works of Mardi Love, pioneer of many of the most popular elements in Tribal Fusion costuming. As an obsessive collector Samantha is always on the game, hunting down second hand vintage antique glass beads and textiles. In using Tribal costume remnants and old leather work, all with a story, given a second life, she creates a magical , elaborate wardrobe for the stages she shares with friends and mentors all over the world.
Samantha is happily based in Devon with Oscar and Spindle.

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Отредактировано Mina Fo (22-11-2009 00:15:04)