Split Tribal Fest is a quite young Tribal Festival. When we first heard about it in 2010, we didn’t know what to expect, but after we heard the praise from friends and saw the video clip, we regretted not going.

In 2011 we were prepared and made sure that nothing stood in our way to Split. We kept an eye on the festival website and as soon as registration opened we grabbed our spots with April Rose, Samantha Emanuel and The Lady Fred.

Split Tribal Fest is an ideal way to combine vacation with dancing. We arrived a few days earlier and spent our time discovering the wonderful Diocletian Palace, swimming in the sea and eating ice cream everyday while meeting other vacationing dancers.

First workshop we attended was „Making Choreography” with April Rose. Making choreography is always a challenge and with the tools learned in this workshop you can start creating your own process. She walked us through her choreography-making process using her piece „Caged Bird „which she later performed in the show. It was awesome, we recommend!

After a few hours of rest we headed to the „Opening Party“at the Beach Club, which was a perfect kick-off for the event and a great setting to meet old and new friends while enjoying lovely dancing. We especially liked Dajana’s performance and Sundari’s fire fan piece.

Friday was our day with Lady Fred who made us sing, clap, stomp, groan and make all kinds of noises to better understand and illustrate musicality. She assigned us into small „workgroups“ where we had to create our own music. So we found ourselves in a band with Rustiqua, Marta, Vesna & Alexis, our friends from many different countries that we now met all in one place and one workshop! It was the most fun workshop in a while and it made the evening show a very special experience when we recognized different parts of the music on the dancer’s body now with a new perspective.

Friday evening it was our own turn to dance our solos. It was an honor to perform on the most beautiful stage we have yet seen, an ancient place in the heart of Diocletian Palace vibrating with energy of thousand years of people gathering to see beauty, art, performance and speech. Even Doro’s sister and her husband travelled from the neighboring island to see the show.

The streets of Split were scorching hot, and the stone walls wouldn’t let go of the heat even after the sundown. Show preparations had to be adapted and we showered after doing our make-up and hair, and freshly showered put on our costume. Even though we were lucky and our apartment was right around the corner from the stage, after the two minutes it took us to walk to the stage, we were sweating again.
Samantha opened the show with an amazing piece that touched our hearts and gave us goosebumps.

After watching stars like Sam and Manca, it was not easy to get on the same stage. Partly awed and inspired, partly insecure and apprehensive, but the support from the audience was always there and the nervousness left us after the first step …

On Saturday we discovered our pectoral muscles in workshop with Samantha. And we played at gondolas, found our inner lighthouse and sweated during hours of precise technique drills. Water breaks were community time, everyone huddled under the air conditioning. As technique geeks, we loved the workshop!

In the evening we repeated our make-up – shower – hair- shower routine and met everyone backstage which were rooms kindly provided by a restaurant right at the Peristil square. We found practical window seats to watch the show till it was our turn, seated ourselves comfortably …and who did we spot in the audience? Doro’s sister with her husband!.Yesterday’s show must haveimpressed them so much that it was worth travelling again all the way to see today’s show as well!

April Rose opened the show with an amazing energetic Indian Fusion, followed again by many many talented fusion dancers. Our favorites were Amano Project with a contemporary influenced piece for five dancers, Tribal Jam with their James Bond piece and Elisabeth Strong’s Turkish Roman finale.

Our piece was influenced by steampunk aesthetics and partly Sharon Kihara’s choreography. Luckily for you Alexis was so kind to film it – big thanks!

On Sunday the festival came to an early end for us, as we had to leave early to catch our flights. We experienced Croatian airports extensively the whole day while waiting for our planes. There we had enough time to make plans for next year’s festival and quickly decided to stay longer, dance more, talk even more and bring friends! See you in a few weeks at Split Tribal Fest 2012!!

Doro & Michaela

This year’s workshop offering makes us really happy, because we can take workshops with many teachers that we don’t normally have access to, and especially those who bring fusion to a whole new level. There are still last few places left in several workshops, so you still have a chance to book yours!


Big thanks for pics by Urosh Cotman, Martina Crowe, Lenart Ferenc, Dan Fullard, Michaela Hamajova, Polly Headson, Florian Hölbling!

Roma Tribal Meeting 2010Roma Tribal Meeting 2010

We didn’t abandon our blog! We’re just traveling and dancing so much that we didn’t have time to post our adventures, but we have a decent backlog of pictures and notes from all over Europe and you’ll get them now in more-or-less chronological order …. and just in time to bring your attention (and then yourself) to „Roma Tribal Meeting“ , here’s our impressions from the first edition – Meeting is the right name for this event, dancers from all over Europe, Tribal Bellydance and live music from the masters themselves The „Helm“ …

The Roma Tribal Meeting first registered on our radar in summer, and we were immediately interested. Sent our application, hoped and waited, and then the invitation came! Few weeks and one flight later, we were there – in the beautiful old city of Rome, meeting Tribal dancers from Italy, Europe and beyond.

We arrived on Thursday, which left us enough time to explore the city and get to know our hosts. Lorenza and Umberto made us feel like at home and took care of us and made sure we don’t get lost. Lorenza is a dancer with Da’ira Tribe at San Lo Studios, and Umberto is a drummer with the amazing Takadum Orchestra. The first lesson in Italian was the favourite nicknames of Tribal dancers – the older ones are called “Tribalone” and younger ones “Tribaline”!

The main show of the Meeting was on Friday evening, so we dedicated the day to getting friendly with Rome and went to see the sights. Afterwards, dead on our feet and full of impressions, we met everyone at the San Lo Studios to prepare for the Show. Wary looks and shy hellos soon turned into interesting conversations as we got to know dancers from all over Italy and Europe. After we were all pretty and dressed, we duck-marched through the streets of Rome to Locanda Atlantide, the show location not far from the studios. From outside it was hardly recognisable, only a metal door covered in posters, but inside was a real rock club with dark stage, huge wine kegs by the walls and a bar in the side room. The main organiser, Isabel de Lorenzo, welcomed us while the rehearsals were already running on the stage, and we met the rest of the performers. It was there that we experienced the first culture differences, like the fact that time is not so important in Italy and everyone is laid back and in no hurry. Audience area had free seating in the literal sense of taking a chair and setting it down somewhere in the room. All this added to a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The audience enthusiastically supported every performer, and the whole evening had a cool underground feel, thanks to the rock club location and also many gothic and contemporary fusions on the stage.


San Lo Studios is a FCBD Sister Studio and home of Carovana Tribal. Open, friendly and offering a wide selection of dance classes in three studios. Now it was buzzing with excitement as the dancers prepared …

It was hard to decide which workshops to take, because the topics were all interesting and we wanted to take all of them! First, we landed in “Improvisational Fusion” with Geneva Bybee. Her style uses a lot of hiphop and we learned short combinations which we used in ITS – Style improvisation with other workshop participants.

Next on our list were two parallel workshops – Ling Shien of Helm taught choreography to Helm’s music, accompanied by zills. “Tribal Dark Fusion” with Silviah focused on the dramatic dark side of bellydance.

Kimberly Mackoy showed us the basic movements of bellydance in a new light. Her “Anatomy and Elemental Movement” workshop focused on finding and using the right muscles, helped by visual examples and simple exercises. We highly recommend!

Sunday morning it was our turn to teach. Doro made everyone get in touch with the floor. We worked on fast and surprising or slow and graceful ways to get down to the floor and back up again.

Francesca Pedretti let us experience her “Emotional Tribal Bellydance” She created choreography on the spot, using the present dancers and space, encouraging us to dance and act out different moods. The goal was to send energy out towards the audience instead of keeping it inside the group as often happens in ITS. “Share the joy of your dance with your audience.”

Round Table Discussion was the best part of the event, and we would happily keep talking much longer. We met sitting in a circle and shared our thoughts and opinions about our dance styles and Tribal in general. The instructors and performers introduced themselves and shared their perceptions of Tribal. It was great to hear about everyone’s beginnings and various developments. Especially Ling Shien and Marc Bell of Helm who gave us a rare insight into the time when tribal was born.
One thought resonated through the whole discussion: Know and respect where your dance comes from.

Email Interview with Isabel:

How was your feeling after the event?
A very warm feeling: a comunity is born and will grow and keep working together . I am very happy and grateful to all artists and students and friends who were there and who accepted the idea of comunity proposed by the Roma Tribal Meeting.

Was everything like you imagined?
It was better than I imagined, because we couldn’t expect the beautiful atmosphere of happiness and friendship that grew during the event. It was in my mind, in my projects, in the way I created the format, but…you never know if people will catch it…and it worked!

Were there any surprises or unexpected situations? How did you deal with them?
The only unexpected thing that I didn’t like was that during the Open Stage the places filled soon and some people couldn’t get in. All the other surprises were artistic and positive.

How many people were part of the ‚Roma Tribal Meeting‘?
We had more than 35 artists and 80 students. It was perfect for the spaces involved : the San Lo‘ studio was always full but clean and comfortable; the Locanda Atlantide club fit the audience perfectly (150 people) and was cozy. These numbers seem perfect for an event that is not „commercial“ but at the same time needs to be „visible“ in the comunity. All the expenses have been paid and the studio can invest in something new for next year. It seem a good result.

Do you have plans for a next event?
I’m asking myself and my partners if the next Tribal Meeting will happen in Rome again or if it will travel… there are many possibilities in front of us.

Please tell us more about the Tribal Scene in Italy. What are the tendencies and influences?
Is contemporary dance a current influence in Tribal or a boom in the whole Italian dance scene?

Tribal scene is relatively recent in Italy. The pioneers of italian tribal are me and Carovana Tribale in Rome and Francesca Pedretti (and her former troupe Les Soeurs Tribales) in Milan – and we began in 2003. In the last three years the scene grew a lot, but, unfortunately, a big part of the dancers are just copying something else, and the audience just wants to see what is already known… On the other hand, luckily, there are dancers creating really new things in Tribal and in my opinion this happens when a dancer is „educated“, when she is connected to all forms of Art. And here the Contemporary is important! (as you could see in Francesca’s work, and as I do in some of my experimental works that I didn’t present in the Roma Meeting). At the same time, there are people doing Burlesque, Gothic, etc… Gypsy influences are very present, maybe because of Mediterranean influences, and Steampunk is mostly unknown but of course it will arrive soon.

What are other Tribal Events in Italy? (We only know about Gothla.it)
There’s no other big event focused on Tribal, just big bellydance festivals where they invite one or two Tribal stars… (Venice Convention, Riccione International Congress, Torino Bellydance Stars, Rome Marhaba Festival)

How is Tribal seen by the dance public and by the general public in Italy?
As a recent movement, Tribal is not very popular (you don’t see it in tv for example). But in the festivals it is very appreciated by the audience and I’m sure that in the future it will even change (I hope so) the bad fame of bellydance in general.

A big THANK YOU goes to Isabel and the organization team for the wonderful Meeting, and to Lorenza and Umberto for welcoming us at their home and their city!

Doro & Michaela

Tribal Prague Festival – Prague, Czech Republic 20-21.3.2010

Divadlo Na Prádle – GALA SHOW

The very first Tribal Festival in Prague and we couldn’t miss it! We were invited by Martina to dance at the evening Gala Show alongside such dancers as Elizabeth Strong and Bri Hurley.
The theater buzzed with activity as more than eighty dancers prepared for their performance at the Open Stage or later Gala Show.

We met some good friends we knew from other events and between doing our make-up and hair, caught up with them, exchanged news and exciting ideas. It was a high quality show with many different styles, all flowing in a steady stream of solid performances. The audience applauded, screamed and zaghareeted for every dancer and group, and of course we were watching our fellow dancers too and supporting them loudly!

Elizabeth Strong

Bri Hurley



El Raks Sá-el


El Ra Sahara

The organisators: Martina Vieweghova and Katerina Galeb Havelkova

After the show, all excitement slowly ebbing away, we met for kofola at the theatre bar and had a profund discussion about false eyelashes and babysitting jobs…

…..we always have a lot of fun!

Nakari Tribal Bellydance Session with Indian Flavour , Vienna 20.2.2010

Inspired by the Rustiqua sessions in Bratislava, we set out to find a place in Vienna where we could hold our Vienna sessions. We came upon an Indian Shop / Restaurant with great decoration and sutiable atmosphere – Govinda. The owner of the place, Ilse Vossough, was exicted about the idea and we had a planning meeting right away !

We agreed on a date, spread the news. The day came and the place was filled with our friends, family, students, and customers of the shop.

    We talked, danced, ate and drank, laughed and had a wonderful evening. Ilse prepared delicious Indian food, drinks and sweets, and by the end of the evening it was all gone!

See you all at the next one!!

Big thanks goes to our friend Marianna M who came all the way from Bratislava and made these photos for us!

Oriental Jam Session Rustiqua feat. Nakari – Bratislava, Slovakia 23.1.2010

December 2009, we finally managed to go to Bratislava and watch the Rustiqua monthly Session in the teahouse. We enjoyed the combination of live music and good dancing and at one point even contibuted by playing sagat and of course screaming and clapping ;D. The girls invited us to come next time and dance with them….

so we came and danced….

surprise though there was only one Rustiqua!

but we still had a lot of fun

because dancing to live music is soooo great

so if there is anyone reading this who is a musician or can make any danceable noise please contact us!

BOLLYWOOD Night @ chill out Lounge – Vienna, 26.11.2009

Sandeep Kumar, regisseur of austrians first bollywood film and executive producer Yasemin Cetinkaya presented first pictures of their film „Love without borders“ in the overcrowded chill out lounge.

Lots of bollywood fans were of course exited by the bollywood dance of the main actress Neha Kapdi….

….and „bellydance“ ( think there was a lot of mixing in there) by me

The atmosphere was very good, people couldn’t get enough of dancing with us ;D

Tribal Weekend in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia

Talking about Tribal and how it came to be …
History Talk

Dancing at the evening Tribaloriental Hafla…

See, Tribal Style Improvisation really works! After 4 hours of workshop we were dancing ATS with the students at the Hafla!!
Tribal Improv

Teaching fusion choreography …

Spin those skirts!

Welcome & wilkommen!

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