Who We Are:
Bennington Beledi Tribal Bellydance currently encompasses the locally acclaimed Sahidi Sisters, who perform at a professional level, and Sisters of the Shawl, a troupe comprised of aspiring students as well as full sister dancers. Both troupes fuse traditional tribal, alternative, cabaret and gypsy movement, dancing to a mix of traditional and alternative music.
Tribal bellydancers everywhere owe a debt to Carolena Nericcio of FatChanceBellyDance in San Francisco, the originator of American Tribal Style
(ATS) bellydance. Bennington Beledi’s goal is to bring ATS bellydance to Bennington and the surrounding area through classes, workshops, outreach programs and performances. ATS is an improvisational style of dance that brings together steps, music and costuming elements reminiscent of tribal, nomadic and gypsy cultures of India, North Africa and the Middle East. Dancers learn a “language” of cues and movements and choreograph dances on the spot, interpreting music individually. Costuming often features turbans, tassels and ethnic jewelry. While our primary dance format is American Tribal Style bellydance, we are constantly experimenting and evolving, incorporating new music and costuming.
Sisters of the Shawl was created in 1999 by Joslyn Jordan and has evolved into a teaching and performing organization. As both Sisters of the Shawl and Sahidi Sisters, the troupe has performed widely, including at Brattleboro Gallery Walk, the Keene, NH. Middle Eastern Gala, Belly Bliss Temple Night in Rutland, VT, Salem Art Works in Salem, NY, Bennington Center For the Arts, Aurora Dance Party, Walloomsac Farmer’s Market, the North Bennington Art Park, The Bennington Museum and The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.
We are “Tribal by Name, Tribal by Nature!” Each member of the tribe brings her own special talents to the tribal mix: dance experience and knowledge, an ear for music, superlative sewing skills, an artistic eye, marketing knowledge and organizational ability. Together we have created a troupe that respects and appreciates the individual strengths of each dancer while fostering a collaborative atmosphere and supporting its members in being fully engaged with their families and other interests.
We believe ATS is an evocative dance form that can be practiced and enjoyed by every woman—no matter her size, age or ability.
(Photo by Steven Trubitt)