In addition to the various styles of Arabic dance or Middle Eastern dance (or what by many is called belly dance), there are also fusions of bellydance with different dance forms. One of these is the fusion of belly dance with flamenco, also called Zambra Mora or Danza Mora.
Zambra Mora is a form of flamenco music with Middle Eastern melodies and rhythm, which is sung or played on guitar. Master guitarist Sabicas (1912-1990) is the one who gave its name to this form of flamenco music (from ancient Moors celebration) and made it popular and developed it.
The fusion of belly dance and flamenco that we know today is called Zambra Mora, after the flamenco music developed by Sabicas. Zambra Mora has the same proud posture of flamenco, floreos (isolated wrists rotations), heavy travel steps and some characteristic turns. From Arabic dance, Zambra Mora borrows undulations, shimmies and hip and chest circles.
The costume used for Zambra Mora includes an ample skirt with frills around the edges, which can be manipulated as a cape; a blouse tied under the bust baring the midriff and a hip scarf with or without coins. Also, the dancer can play zills (finger cymbals) whilst performing Zambra Mora.
A belly dancer who has developed this style is Amaya, who has created 2 DVDs, called Gypsy Fire, with part one containing a documentary on this art form and part two containing dance technique and routines.
A good music for flamenco fusion belly dance, could be “Flamenco Arabe by Hossam Ramzy”
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Zambra Mora, as a new form of fusion belly dance, is not to be confused with Zambra, which are ancient Moorish celebrations in Spain. If you would like to find out more about the ancient dance forms and culture of Andalusia, a good source of information is ‘Vibrant Andalusia: The spice of life in Southern Spain’ by Ana Ruiz, which can be found on Amazon.
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