Bellydance classes

Bellydance mixes with contemporary classical music!

28 January 2011
Two new compositions for contemporary music ensemble and bellydancers will be given their world premieres in London on Sunday 20 February, in a concert incorporating what must be one of the most unusual pairings in the the arts!

The concert, by Sounds Positive, will feature new compositions by Avril Anderson and David Sutton Anderson for professional bellydancers Charlotte Desorgher and Itziar Ortiz de Landazuri

Avril and David had discovered that, in Egyptian style bellydance, the dancer tries to show the audience what happens in the music through her body. The various instruments are described with different parts of the body and musical ideas are highlighted and brought to the audience’s attention much as a conductor might do with a Western orchestra.

The composers, who work extensively with dancers and choreographers at The Royal Ballet and London Contemporary Dance School were fascinated with the concept and suggested a collaboration with bellydancer Charlotte Desorgher, whose brother is the flautist for Sounds Positive.

The first challenge was to create a musical language they could all relate to: the dancers were used to dancing to Middle Eastern music and needed a familiar point of reference, but of course neither party wanted to try to create ersatz Arabic music. David decided to use Egyptian rhythms as his meeting point; Avril chose Middle Eastern musical modes.

David says: Rhythmic structure is integral to Middle Eastern music. Mood is created by different rhythms, each of which has a name and it was a fascinating discipline for me to work within a strict rhythmic framework, especially since there is no harmony in Arabic music either.

Avril was interested in the similarities between the two musical languages: Like much contemporary music, Arabic music uses a lot of quarter tones, and there are complex modal structures called maqams which are seriously challenging. But I’ve also been struck by what a beautiful art form bellydance is, quite different from its reputation as something rather sleazy, performed in restaurants.

For the dancers, the concerts are an exciting first. Charlotte says: I’m absolutely thrilled with the music Avril and David have created for us. It feels absolutely right in our bodies and I can’t wait to show a contemporary music audience how a dancer can bring an added dimension and depth to their experience of music.

The concerts have caught the eye of Hibrow TV a ground breaking new internet-based arts platform due to be launched in May. Hibrow will be filming the concerts and rehearsals for worldwide broadcast.

The collaboration is part of the Sounds Positive concert series, Into the Mix, at the Warehouse, Theed Street, London SE1 8ST. The first concert, featuring these two pieces for bellydancers, is on Sunday 20 February at 7pm. The dance items will be repeated in a further concert on Sunday 29 May. There is a third concert on Sunday 3 April without dancers.

For more information and complimentary press tickets, please email or telephone her on 07802 499728.

Sounds Positive website: