Charming East

Minsk hosted an Open Cup in eastern dances
The interest to belly dancing appeared because of female desire to be charming and graceful. Our country is not an exception — school after school, giving dancing lessons, is opened here, different festivals take place, Belarusian dancers regularly win prizes at international tournaments.

Right before the Belarusian Cup, Elena Grinchik returned from Moscow with a prize. And was invited to judge the Cup right away. Besides her, the Cup was carefully judged by Lilia Mironenko, the “Lilia” dancing school director, Alyona Korvel, chair of the eastern dance committee and the head of the “Farangiz” dancing school, as well as the guests from Russia — Nelly Batyrova, a famous dancer from Moscow and Vyacheslav Tuzhilkin, the President of the Mordovia Dancing Federation.

This Cup is the fourth one; however, its main peculiarity is that juveniles and juniors could take part in it. Belly dancing is suitable for all ages: the youngest competitor is just 8 years old, the oldest competitor is in her thirties. Nominations were determined not only by age, but also by skill level and by the variety of dance. The dancers were offered to demonstrate their skills in classics, show, and folk varieties of belly dance. Both amateurs and professionals had a chance to participate in the contest.

Juveniles and juniors opened the tournament. It is relatively hard to appreciate children’s belly dancing, because eastern dances are often associated with mature female beauty. However, the charm and efforts of young participants dominated over stereotypes. The audience gave their applause and encores to dancers. It is interesting, how these girls came to start doing belly dancing. This is what Alexandra Dorosh, the winner among juveniles, told us, “I was watching a movie, where people were dancing very beautifully. I started to repeat the movements, got very into it and asked my mother to take me to the eastern dancing school.” When she was asked about her unusual costume, Alexandra answered that it is an original tailor design, and they themselves decorated it with beads and tinsels.

“Classics” nomination is the most important because besides artistry and originality of the dance (which are very important for show and folk varieties), here the technique is decisive factor. The first was the preliminary tour, in which the dancers had to dance an improvisation. The last year’s innovation — the drumbeat was substituted for the classical music — was in power this year as well. This made the task much harder for the participants, but easier fro the judges — it is easier to see the skill during the unprepared and unrehearsed performance to “tricky” music. After that there have been semi-final and final. What can be said? Very spectacular performance: skilful movements, radiant make-ups, silky waves of hair and inexplicably bright costumes! This year, Anastasia Krachunova from Brest was the best. In the next tournament she will compete with professionals.

The most spectacular part of the dancing contest were the performances in the nomination “show belly dance.” This nomination offers the widest range of possibilities to be artistic: the contestants performed with tambourines, canes, scimitars, to gypsy and rock music.

The Cup acted as a qualifying competition for the World Cup, that will take place in Moscow. Five best contestants in every nomination received their invitations. The best ten amateur contestants were invited as well.

Olga Korney
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