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current news:
09.09.14 - "Rachel and Zoe are such positive influences ..." - Interview with ASHLEY LOPEZ
01.09.14 - "If you are together it will always be fantastic" - Interview with KARLOS KHALIL
28.08.14 - "I am Valizan Airlines, come fly with me!" - Interview with VALIZAN
22.08.14 - "I'm expecting wonderful new adventures" - Interview with EDENIA ARCHULETA
20.08.14 - "A new choreography is usually a ..." - Interview with GRAZIA MANETTI
12.08.14 - "It feels good to grow and change" - Interview with AEPRIL SCHAILE
10.08.14 - "I saw the performance of "Unmata" ..." - Interview with POLINA SCHANDARINA
10. August 2014


Interview with Polina Schandarina
by Marcel Bieger

We had this feeling for a long time, in the East not only the sun rises, there is also a flood of dance talent unheard of evolving. Latest example: Polina Shandarina from Moscow, who will perform (and teach) this year at the 5th Black Forest Festival. Some of her videos on You Tube literally blew us and we are more than curious to see her live. Polina was so kind as to grant us a video and those of you, who are able to read between the lines, will get the same feeling als we have that something big is going on in Russia. And if Polina is proud oh the dance community in her home country this makes us hope for more talent.

But check it out for yourselves! ...
more ...

12. August 2014


Interview with
Aepril Schaile
by Marcel Bieger

Meanwhile Aepril Schaile has performed in Germany quite often (for the third time she will be at the Black Forest Tribal Festibal and she was at the Oriental Dance Festival in Stuttgart for the first time this year). Everybody knows her as dancer of the Mystique and the Occult. In our last interview we had the focus on her as a dancer, this time we will read from Aeprl about her way of seing things, of her witchcraft rituals and about the things behind (her) things.

Check it out and be prepared for a journey into the deepest layers of the soul ...
more ...

20. August 2014
Grazia has been in Germany many times, but in the past mostly with the Milan trio „Les Soeurs Tribales“. A few years ago she left this troupe and is working on her solo career since. At “World of Orient” in Hanover this spring she showed the German audience for the first time, why Grazia “alone” is high class and elegance. And now she is coming back to us, to the “Black Forest Festival” in Offenburg and we are more than happy about that. Also we are thankful to Grazia for sharing her thoughts with us. Check it out and see her performing live.

Interview with Grazia Manetti
by Marcel Bieger
Did you start your dance career with "Les Soeurs Tribales" proper or were else did you find your dance knowledge, your personal style and your stage experience?

I started studying classical ballet and artistic gymnastics when I was a child, going on during my whole life. In 2001 I was attracted by Oriental Dance ... after a brief period, I met Tribal Bellydance and it has been a sort of Epiphany for me. I found, what I was looking for since I was young! Perfect costumes, perfect concept of dance sharing, perfect style ... everything was exactly as I had always desired it. "Les Soeurs Tribales" was a great project to bring to Italy, what we had to search all over the world. But everyone of us had her personal style and developed her personal attitudes. During the last years of my presence in the Company, many choreographies were signed by me and I have been the artistic director of some shows. I always worked on my style, on my lines, on my expressions and I think the only secret is that I'm never totally satisfied of myself and for this reason I keep on studying every day of my life.
How would you describe your style, what are its components and how are you working on it?

My style can be defined as "contemporary vision". It's mostly a blend of Tribal Style Bellydance, Tribal Fusion and Classical Ballet. These are the "fixed" components. Then, when I decide to dance on a particular music or to introduce a particular dance style into my performances, I always have dance lessons from professionals,
When choreographing a new piece, what comes first (a certain piece of music, a certain move or a prop), and having found that how do you proceed?

Making a new choreography for me is usually a flash of inspiration. There is not a thing that always comes first or a process that I always follow. Sometimes I can fall in love with a piece of music and then I start to imagine the choreography like a film playing in my mind. Or I can see an accessory or an object and then construct on them a whole choreography ... There are plenty of things that can happen in my mind when making a new piece.
Would you care to introduce to us your Compagnia and tell us, which role they play in your work

My new “Living Tribal Dance Company” follows a concept different from Les Soeurs Tribales. Now, I usually perform alone and I have some of my best students dancing at important events. They are not professionals, but they support my work and help me in spreading it here in Italy.
When coming to the Black Forest, what will you show us on stage?

Coming to Black Forest Tribal Festival, as I will perform during the Solar Show, I will dance a new piece, showing how I interpret the rising of the Sun.
You seem to come around, not only in Europe, but also in South Africa (congratulations on that). What are your future plans?

This year I'm starting in a great way! Germany, United Kingdom and South Africa, I'm so happy and grateful! My agenda for the entire year is almost full and I'm starting new cooperations and projects. My aim is always to share dance and its emotions with everyone in the world, spreading Tribal Bellydance everywhere and bringing my knowledge to the people who want to grow up, as I had the possibility to do.

See you in Germany again, hugs and kisses,
Homepage Grazia:
to be sure that I'm doing it right! As I said before I always work on myself and on my style, that is in a sort of a "neverending upgrade" ...
22. August 2014

Something new from California is coming to us, Edenia with “popping” and “fusion bellydance”, and we are looking forward to it. Edenia is one of the surprises of Black Forest Tribal Fest No. 5 and she seems to present something, we haven’t seen before.

 Interview with
Edenia Archuleta
by Marcel Bieger

Please tell us something about your life, how did dance find you, are you working as a professional dancer or do you have a day job as well?
Dance always came natural to me, since I was little. I can't help it, if I hear music. Dance moves me, it makes me feel alive. I became very interested in dance, once I’ve seen “Popping” and “Breaking” in Middle School. Then in 2006 I saw my first Rachel Brice video and I was hooked. I began taking Tribal Fusion classes with Zahreen. Very shortly after that I started performing and took many workshops. As I grew in dance, I started working on my own fusion.
I had the chance to teach at The Oasis Dance studio, which was owned by Politti Ashcraft. I also fell in love with teaching. The smiles of my students make it all worth it. I recently did get a part time job as a waitress. But dance will always be my full time! 
What do "Popping" and Tribal Fusion have in common, what separates them from each other? And why should a tribal fusion dancer better know a thing or two about "Popping"?
I like to consider what I do as Fusion bellydance mixed with popping. I am now learning a bit of ATS but won't call myself Tribal just yet. Popping and Fusion bellydance work very well together but are very different from each other. I've always encouraged that dancers should take different styles of dance I feel that it will help to keep growing. As dancers we should continue learning. For me Popping and Fusion Bellydance are my favorite styles. I can't get enough of popping because of the muscle control the illusion of it, the funk. To put them together, though is just awesome!
If we aren't wrong, this will be your first time in Germany (besides of the Ukraine in 2011 in the past you didn't come to Europe very often, didn't you?). What do you expect?
I have been to the Kiev, Ukraine and Minsk, Belarus both amazing experiences, I will never forget. This will be my first time in Germany and I am truly grateful and look forward to it. I am expecting a wonderful new adventure and getting to meet new friends!
What will you show us on stage?
On stage is one of my favorite places to be, I do my best to show you, who I am. I like to have fun on stage and smile. Connecting with the audience and hoping to inspire others. I will be performing unique pieces of both Popping and Fusion Bellydance. A futuristic piece and ... wont say to much. You will just have to come to the show.
Could you specify on your workshops at Black Forest Festival, please?
As for my workshops that I will be teaching: I start with drills, to warm up the muscles. It will be intense and focused on basic popping. I will go into some advance movements and I will teach how to mix the styles together in a smooth way. We will have a lot of fun learning!
Edenias Workshops on 13. & 14. September in Offenburg, Infos here ...

What are your future plans?
My future plans are to continue learning, evolving in my craft. I want to continue teaching and travelling and hopefully someday open my own studio. I have many projects that I hope I get to do. I am just grateful to be able to do, what I love. All these opportunities make me want to keep working harder. The fans keep me going andtheir support means a lot to me. I would like to thank Black Forest Tribal Fest for having me. See you all soon!

28. August 2014

Interview with
by Marcel Bieger

Tribal, Tribal Fusion or Belly Dance in general is only for women? Wrong, in classical belly dance at least there are quite a few male dancers, some of them true masters on their field. And in tribal we have Valizan … the token “Brother Studio”? Wrong again, till today there are at least three of them. Valizan from Canada was “only” the first of them and below he tells us, what thrills him about tribal and belly dance, how his way was a path of trial and tribulation, at least some times, and how he experienced ...
read the whole exiting interview here ... more ...

01. September 2014

The island of Puerto Rico lies shortly before the US and somehow the island belongs to the US of A, but not exactly. From there we already know the wonderful classical dancer, Mia Sha’uri, and now the tribal fusion artist Karlos Khalil will come to show us his mixture of Acting, Storytelling, Modern, and Contemporary with Tribal. We are very exited about it. Since Karlos speaks mainly Spanish we asked the dancer Latifah Abdel to do the interview. She did this excellently, but check it out for yourself.

Interview with Karlos Khalil
- by Latifah Abdel (also translation from the Spanish)
Tell us a bit about yourself, like what you do and how you ended up bellydancing.
For the time being I work as a dance teacher for oriental dances in Puerto Rico and overseas. Moreover, I am a masseur offering my patients a holistic therapy, which keeps you healthy psychologically, spiritually and physically.
Ten years ago I used to work as a waiter at an Arabian restaurant in Puerto Rico. At that time I already had experience dancing ballet and contemporary, but not bellydance. A couple of months later I started taking belly dance courses and a year after I became the oriental dancer of that Arabian restaurant I was waiting in. As time went by, I took up studying different dance fields and acting so that I could show my present artistic result on the stage: tribal fusion bellydance.
You are considered a specialist on mixing tribal fusion with modern dance and contemporary, which sounds really interesting. What can we expect from your dance mixture?
As a dancer I always show pieces that are way more than “just bellydance”. I usually add acting, lots of emotion and storytelling so that I can deliver a clear and positive message to the audience. Every performance has its own story and, basing on this, I create my shows.
In Europe we just know the classical belly dancer from Puerto, Mia Sha’uri, whom we already interviewed. How is the situation of Tribal in your country? Are you US-oriented or do you have your own Puerto Rican community?
In Puerto Rico there are excellent bellydance artists and there is a very big bellydance community. But Tribal Fusion is not very much practiced yet. Maybe it is so because Puerto Rico is a small island and there are not many possibilities for fusion dancers. This is the reason why I have been working on becoming well known in other countries and so far I have always been treated very well and, to be honest, I see myself as an ambassador from Puerto Rico in the fusion scene.
What are you going to present in your workshops in Offenburg? What is “Soul Expressing Bellydance” exactly? And, what are you going to perform?
My workshop is going to be based on the use of the own passions and feelings in order to create an emotional piece. For that I am going to be teaching a mixture of tribal combinations together with some contemporary techniques. And on the stage I am going to be performing my piece, „Vida“ (life), which is a mixture of dance and acting, where I am going to use tribal fusion bellydance to convey the message that we all can save the world if we love and respect each other.
You are coming to Germany for the first time. What do you expect from this visit?
Going to Black Forest Tribal in Offenburg is going to be my first visit to Germany and I am sure it is going to be an unforgettable experience. No matter where you are, if you are together with people sharing the passion of dancing, it is always fantastic. I am very happy about learning from my dance colleagues in Germany and I hope that the German scene can also profit from my knowledge.
I am totally grateful to Black Forest Tribal Festival for inviting me to Germany and for trusting my work.
See you very soon,
Yours Karlos Khalil

09. September 2014

Last year we already had the chance to talk to Ashley Lopez, then on behalf of her European Tour. This year she will be visiting Germany, at last, at the 5th Black Forest Tribal Festival, to be exact. Ashley is still on the very top of the international Tribal Fusion art and we are lucky to have talked to her again, about how life has been to her in the last 12 months. Ashley is working with Rachel Brice at her Datura and there she is responsible for the Datura Online.

Interview with Ashley Lopez
- by Marcel Bieger
How is Datura evolving? You have students from all over the world, also from Germany, we wonder? Will you do promotion for Datura in Germany, maybe for Datura online?
Datura is a vibrant little hub of belly dance activity here in Portland.  I’m honored to be part of this incredible community of dancers around the studio. It truly feels like home.
With Datura Online (, it’s wonderful to have an international platform where I can share my love of belly dance with the rest of the world.  I love watching videos of students, who have learned our choreographies, and reading comments and emails from Datura Online fans! I am currently working on a series that we will be shooting in late September, which I’m really excited about.

I have indeed had some students from Germany comment that they have been training with me online, which is very exciting! I look forward to meeting some of them in person.

How has life been to you in the last twelve months?
The last year has been a blur of activity, but it has been all very good stuff!  I’ve really enjoyed teaching internationally, and I’ve been so grateful to work with my teachers as well. Rachel and Zoe are such positive influences in my life and I am honored to be part of their projects: Datura, Beats Antique and House of Tarot.  I try to maintain a sense of balance between travelling gigs, by giving myself ample time at home to work out/train, costume, create new dances, and study in between tours.
How did you like Europe - after the Ukraine, Romania, Italy- and France-tour?
I loved visiting each country. I had never been to any of those cities before, so it was exciting and very fun to be able to see new places where I was teaching. My hosts were all incredible. I saw Dracula’s Castle in Romania, I had the most wonderful home-cooked food (and great wine!) in Italy and France, and I was taken to see some beautiful architecture in Kiev. The communities of dancers in each country, I have visited, have been very welcoming and supportive. Each stop had its own unique blend of culture, history, amazing dancers, and great food!
We loved your duet with Makeda Perryman (saw it on video from the Romanian show), will there be more in this department?
I am VERY excited to report that I will be performing with Makeda in Offenburg again!

What else will you show us on stage in Germany?
I’m excited to perform another duet with Makeda, and I am also currently developing new costumes and solo pieces for this fall that I look forward to presenting in Germany.

Can you please specify on your workshops in Germany?
In Offenburg this September, I’ll be teaching three workshops:
two technique classes and a combos class. The first technique class is called Fast and Furious, Silky Snake. This class is suitable for all levels and is a great way to cover both isolations and sequences of shapes. The second class focuses on layering and travelling and is great for dancers, who have a basic foundation and are looking to challenge themselves with various movement combinations. My third workshop focuses on dance combinations and I just might be previewing some future Datura Online material in there …
I am thrilled to be teaching these in Germany!