Nrityakosh to present the history of Belly dancing


Conceived and choreographed by Debapriya Das, the event will feature 40 veteran belly dancers from across the city

Conceived and choreographed by Debapriya Das, the event will feature 40 veteran belly dancers from across the city

Belly dance has so captured our fancy that the form has made inroads into Bollywood and is also a part of contemporary vocabulary movement here. What is interesting is to know when this form started and how it has evolved over the years, sweeping dancers and audiences across the globe, off their feet with its sensual moves.

That is exactly what Nrityakosh aims to do. Nrityakosh, a belly dance school and production house based in Bengaluru, and founded by belly dancer Debapriya Das, will stage Safar-E-Raqs on July 2. “It is a theatrical belly dance production that travels from the late 1790s to the present day, unraveling how the dance was adapted to different cultures and audiences. The dance is a collaborative effort between Nrityakosh Dance Company and several veteran belly dancers in Bengaluru,” says Debabpriya, who explains that the evening will take the audience through Middle-Eastern folk dances, classical and modern oriental styles, and Indian and tribal fusion belly dance repertoire.

Around 40 dancers, trained by Debapriya, will perform in this 80-minute production. “The history of belly dance was sketchy for a very long time as there were no formal documentation. But, off late, academic research has boomed in this field and now we find constant updates that give us a glimpse into the history and origin of this dance form, which inspired this production,” explains Debapriya, who has worked on Safar-E-Raqs for the past two years.

She then reveals that the evening will be divided into three parts — traditional forms of belly dancing from the Middle East and the influence of the Western world in the 1900s, the second part is about the development of the modern style of belly dance like the classical oriental style, folk dance influence and the influence of American cabaret. “The third part focuses on fusion belly dance, which became a genre in itself, which is mostly happening in the US. We then end the evening with an Indian fusion belly dance performance”.

Safar-E-Raqs is scheduled for July 2 at the Bangalore International Centre, Domlur, at 5 pm and 7.30 pm. Tickets, priced at ₹ 450, available on

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