In the Groove #273
In the Groove with Vince Lovegrove
Because of the pro-active enthusiasm of the Village Journal’s new editor, I am extremely chuffed to answer her call, and proceed to write a piece in each month’s edition of my local magazine.
I have been involved in the arts & entertainment industry most of my life, and look forward to delving into new, exciting, and diverse events in arts and entertainment for this area of the culturally rich Northern Rivers.
I hope we can take you to places you may not have thought about going, something new, something stimulating; like this debut piece, for instance, as we delve into the exotic world of belly dancing, an ancient art form that has taken on new contemporary shapes, and is taking the region by storm.
A few weeks ago I had to be dragged by two very special friends to an evening of modern belly dancing, held in Ocean Shores. They won’t need to drag me there next time.
The evening’s event was a concert of sorts, each individual dancer taking us on a rhythmic, flamboyant journey of transitional belly dancing, but with an unconventional twist.
There was the industrial-cum-punk version, with the tattooed exponent of the form sharp-shooting her staccato moves in time with the jagged contemporary music of the day, taking us to the edge of sensuality, the tats bending and moving as she jingle-jangled her hips with structured abandon. This was belly dancing with an edge.
And there was the heavily pregnant comedienne, who did things with her belly that defied logic…and description. Her physical contortions must’ve given the baby-to-be a roller coaster ride that could only enhance his/her slide into the real world, surely only a few weeks away. She had the audience in stitches as she teased a couple of males whom she had dragged from the audience for her props.
Speaking of males, there were very few in the audience - mostly women were watching the belly dancers, and from my male perspective, that made the evening even more visually enhancing, not to mention exhilarating.
The belly dancers were from across the region, some from Byron Bay and other surrounds, but the flash of the night for this little belly button watcher was the troupe from Lismore, The Barefoot Gypsies.
This group of earthy belly dancers was the bomb as the femme troupe swished and swayed in time with the drumming-led rhythms of Flamenco-tinged, upbeat Indian music - not at all from an old world, totally contemporary in feel and look.
Bellies sank inwards, then pushed outwards and magically sideways as these beautiful women stretched their midriffs, arms reaching for the sky, seemingly led by hands outstretched and gently swaying as if being blown by a gentle breeze.
Colourful Gypsy-styled clothing adorned with gentle sounding bells added to the decidedly passion-filled atmosphere.
The dance style of the Northern Rivers’ very own Barefoot Gypsies is American Tribal Style - earthy and feminine.
The Northern Rivers’ Barefoot Gypsies have been around for two years, and are arousing interest from many women keen to keep fit and have fun with a touch of exotica thrown in for either good measure or healthy stimulation.
See for yourself why this is becoming all the rage, at the troupe’s next show, the Wild Honey Dance Festival at the Channon Markets on March 11, from noon, as part of the anti-nuclear action on the anniversary of Fukushima’s nuclear disaster.
Next month I’m going to take you on a wild, wild ride of the new female roller derby craze currently causing a ruckus across the Northern Rivers.
If you have any suggestions of events you’d like us to explore, discover or take part in, contact me here -