Pedralta World Fusion®


Fusing Arabic dance, Flamenco and Indian styles, Lichfield-based trio Pedralta Dance joined Rashani World Fusion Dance Company and renowned musician Phil Thornton for a one-night spectacular in Birmingham on 10 November 2007.

The show TARAB reflected the origins of the dance in the theme - dance and digital imagery inspired by the ancient silk and spice routes. Together, this internationally acclaimed cast created a sparkling and evocative evening of dance and music, with film and digital imagery created by Phil Thornton and Richard Gardner.

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Pedralta Dance perform to 'At The Gates of the Citadel' (ATS with veil and Saaidi choreography)
with kind permission of Hossam Ramzy and Phil Thornton

A Review of the Show

With kind permission of Maureen Pemberton

This was a lovely Saturday evening show, danced by Rashani international (led by Wendy Marlatt, Dublin, Eire, formerly of San Francisco) Pedralta dance (Donna Gardner/Lezley Hogg, Lichfield, Staffordshire) with solo music from Phil Thornton.

It was a show based on ATS dance with Tribal fusions and variations of Flamenco Fusion, Saidi Fusion, Turkish/ATS, West African, Bollywood.... And the backdrop was excellent, using computer generated images and videos, which set the ambience and complemented music and dance.

There were Tribal dances with dramatic sword and floor work, fusion with gliding footwork, serpentine arms, brooding dark undertones, an effervescent, catchy and earthy, joyful West African dance by Deirdre, who always looks at home on stage! Wendy was also a joy to watch with her confident Tribal Fusion solo and her crisp and precise isolations, undulations, not to mention her very cheeky, flirty solo number in black and red.

Ventlador Voice from the Moon Mystery Whirl-y-reel Sultan's dance

There were some tight, proud and powerful Flamenco fusions with expressive, swirling combinations, lifted projected torsos, brilliant smiles, and vivid sensuous colours and shawls. The Saidi fusion duo too was uplifting, with swooping sticks, interchange of leads, almost "masculine energy", and gorgeous streamlined costumes.

Not forgetting the very well done Bollywood fusion. Well-researched, it showed a commitment towards reaching authenticity and capturing that particular style's essence. There were new comers, such as Amanda (Pedralta) who looked as if she was having a great time, supported and showcased by Lez and Donna. Bright-eyed, she projected well and danced so well. Other newcomers were skilful too, exuding confidence and presence with sunny smiles.

Karshilama isn't often done in many shows and haflas across the UK, so it was a treat to see Katherine perform an ATS/Karshilama/Rom number. As a fan (and student) of Turkish/Turkish Rom dance, it was a pleasure to recognise some of the moves. On one of Fatchance's/Helms CDs, there is a Karshilama drum solo - a feisty and dramatic introduction to the music of the Turkish Roma on the Romany Trail.

There were variations on Chorus lines shapes and formations, a fascinating change of competent and articulate leads, and lovely details in the shimmies, arms, choo-choo moves, spins, seamless cueing and so on.

Phil's music was sensitive and often haunting, understated in that it added to the dancers, not overpowering them, and they in return gave him equal space and recognition, artistically. It worked.

The cast

American Tribal Style (ATS): Developed by Carolena Nericcio of FatChance BellyDance in San Francisco, this improvised group dance fuses Arabic, Flamenco and Indian dance. Dancers learn a vocabulary of moves that they use to create dynamic, improvised choreography, responding to the music and each other.

Rashani World Fusion Dance Company incorporates ATS but goes further, adding other flavours from Southern Africa, Hip Hop, Egyptian folk and Romany amongst others. Dancers specialise in their area of interest and then bring ideas and influences to the mix.

Wendy Donna Lez Amanda Deirdre
Wendy, Donna, Lez, Amanda, Deirdre

Nel Tati Phil Hadley Kathleen
Nel, Tati, Phil, Hadley, Kathleen

The cast USAUK Australia Brazil

The music

Tibet & Indian Sub-continent

  • Chai Chi - Phil Thornton
  • Prana - Karma Sutra
  • Jogi - Punjabi MC
  • Raga - Shabaz

Central Asia

  • Two Gypsies - Solace
  • Mystery - Gypsy
  • Caravan Unknown piece

Africa & Arabia

  • Yamma Jatta - Xam Xam
  • Sultan′s Dance - Solace
  • Stick Dance - Aisha Ali
  • El Harba Wine - Khaled
  • Falaahi - Hossam Ramzy

Modern Western Fusion

  • Cantegueras & Ventilaor R 80 - Xiradella / Ojos de Brujo
  • Voice from the Moon - Galactic Caravan
  • At the Gates of the Citadel - Hossam Ramzy / Phil Thornton
  • Derwood Green - Hossam Ramzy / Phil Thornton
  • Discovered - Beats Antique
  • Rock El Casbah - Rashid Taha
  • Whirl-y-Reel - Afro Celt

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