Tamalyn Dallal travels the world in search of the meaning and special qualities of dance and movement. Much of her inspiration comes from living among people in different cultures, from Asia to Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. She has dedicated the past 35 years of her life to dance, as a performer, teacher, writer, film maker and producer. Ms. Dallal currently teaches workshops and residencies around the world. She is an author of three books on dance and culture, and has produced the first of a series of dance ethnology films entitled "Zanzibar Dance, Trance, and Devotion". She began filming the second film "Ethiopia Dances for Joy." in Spring, 2012.
Take a look at the "Schedule" page for 2013
Take a look at Tamalyn's "Zamani Culture House" Dance studio with classes in Middle Eastern dance, Flamenco, and percussion, as well as film showings and cultural events.
Tamalyn has adopted the name "Interpretive Middle Eastern Dance" as her art form. She has traveled the world, including much of the Middle East and North Africa, researching dance and music, as well as living among the people and learning about culture first hand. Ms. Dallal's training is as eclectic as her traveling life. She has studied many styles of dance, ranging from Indian Classical to Flamenco, Modern, Ballet, West African, Persian, to her all time favorite- "bellydancing".
"Bellydancing" is a misnomer that has stuck as an umbrella, encompassing a variety of dances from many regions that involve moving the hips. In 1893, an American promoter of the North African village at the Chicago World's Fair coined this racy name for an assortment of female dance forms available at his pavillion. The name sold tickets to curiosity seekers. The dances they did were and still are powerful and liberating. The word "Bellydancing" puts them in a box that conjures up many images...few of them portray the years of training and dedication that it takes to become a "bellydancer". "Bellydancing" is an excellent way to get in shape, thus, Tamalyn has opted to keep the word "bellydancing" if she is doing a fun, fitness related event that everyone can try. Once the dance goes beyond fun and fitness and into the realm of art and culture, other names must be explored.
"Beledi" means of the people. Long ago, the dance women did among one another had no name. It was just the way they danced. The simple vocabulary of basic movements takes weeks to learn, and years to pefect and understand. Now, this organic homestyle Arabic dance is called "Beledi."
"Raqs Sharqi" means "Oriental Dance" in Arabic. This is a stylized version of "beledi" taken from the homes of women and brought to the stage. Made popular via Egyptian films from the 1930's to the 1960's, "Oriental Dance" is an important part of weddings and other celebrations among Middle Eastern peoples.With elaborate costumes and the addition of steps borrowed from Ballet and other dance forms, this dance is what people most often asscociate with the term "bellydancing". In actuality, "bellydancing" is just a catch all term for "Raqs Sharqi, "Beledi" and several other sub categories of Middle Eastern women's dance that have gained popularity among many cultures around the globe.
"Interpretive Middle Eastern Dance" is what happens when the boxes that names create no longer fit. Tamalyn's dance is steeped in traditional "beledi," as experienced during her time spent in Egyptian oases. She danced with women on islands along East Africa's Swahili Coast, and experienced Turkish Roman (Gypsy) festivities. Tamalyn's signature style has a Flamenco flavor, which comes naturally, combined with some postures and hand movements from time spent in Asia. This fusion comes from deep within, as organic movement and personal style. She sees dance as a healing art. It heals the body, mind, soul, and can heal entire societies if we let it.
How does one interpret this eclectic array of information and give it a definition? The base is Middle Eastern. It is an interpretation through many of life's experiences... "Interpretive Middle Eastern Dance."