History and CultureJas' Middle Eastern Rhythms Page
This site is extremely informative and an excellent resource for anyone who would like to learn about traditional Middle Eastern rhythms. It's presented in a Q and A format. You may want to read all of the questions from the beginning, but if you want to get right into the rhythms section, scroll down to the "So I want to learn some rhythms, where do we start?" question. The most helpful thing about this site is that for those of us who can't read ME drumming notation (which is not the same as sheet music), audio files are provided so that you can hear all of the different rhythms. Many of the rhythms include both simple and complex variations for you to listen to. (so cool!!) For anyone interested in pursuing bellydance, rhythm knowledge is an invaluable skill, and the earlier you start listening to the different rhythms the better!Troupes and PerformersRachel Brice and the Indigo
The Indigo, directed by Rachel Brice, is a tribal fusion troupe which tours the US as part of the Bellydance Superstars, which is currently the most successful professional bellydance company in the world. While the bellydance community has mixed feelings regarding the Superstars-- some people feel it's too commercial, or not an accurate representation of the dance form-- no one can deny that Rachel and her troupe are all excellent dancers, and their performance style is a huge influence on the tribal dance scene as a whole. I have met Rachel in person, and in addition to being an amazing performer, she is unbelievably sweet and a great source of positive energy. Devyani Dance Company
Devyani is a pure American Tribal Style troupe based in Birmingham, Alabama. Their director, Megha Gavin, is a protege of Carolena Nericchio, the 'mother' of American Tribal Style. I absolutely love watching Devyani perform because they really exemplify the beauty and power of this dance form. Their site features videos of their recent performances with examples of both group improv and tribal style choreography.