This one’s a sure-shot scorcher. A three-day belly-dancing festival in the city, Jashn-e-Banjara, aims to open your eyes (and mind) to the dance form with its many styles and adaptations, including belly-meets-folk and believe it or not, Tom & Jerry performing the belly dance!
This is the first residential belly-dancing festival in the city with more than 45 performances, workshops by international belly dancers, stalls selling belly accessories like scarves and dresses and live fusion. The festival aims to show different facets of belly-dancing: from the classic and purist, to the popular versions done by Shakira, the lesser known Sha’abi and even fusion with other forms like odissi, kathak, hip-hop, flamenco and kalbelia —Rajasthani folk dance. “When we started seven years ago, belly-dancing was a much misunderstood term in India. People almost equated it to harem dancing. But with increasing exposure, the dance form is finally being respected and is creating quite a commotion in the market,” says Meher Malik, from Banjara school of Dance that is organising the festival.
While the contemporary piece on seven sins of life might make you think deeply, the Comedy Khichdi is designed to make you laugh hard, as cartoon characters through the years — from Tom and Jerry to Pokeman come alive in their belly-dancing avatars on stage.
“Since this dance style has no written history, it is a very fluid form that merges easily with other forms. In fact, some theories suggest that it travelled from India to the middle-east through the gypsies of Rajasthan,” says Malik, who will be performing a contemporary belly duet, titled Unhappy Feet. American dancer Collen Shakti, on the other hand, brings the devotional love of Radha and Krishna alive on stage.