An Interview with Tribal Mind

11:45 AM

 Tribal Mind

 Recently I was introduced to this amazing blog by dancer April Rose while we were hanging out in Split, for the Split tribal Fest. I hadn't seen this blog, and was immediately drawn into the, Tribal Mind. I was curious about the writer of the blog, for a couple of reasons. One, I was interested in what tribal was like in South America, and two, who was this gal behind the Tribal Mind? The Tribal Mind is written by the lovely Ana Harff, and she agreed to do an interview for my blog!! Enjoy!

Ana, tell us about yourself; where you live and your dance?

That’s a long history… Right now I’m leaving in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but I’m actually Brazilian, from Rio de Janeiro. I’m here for 2 years already, left the journalism college there and came for study Arts at the University of Buenos Aires so I’ll have a few more years until get my degree. I was near of finishing Journalism College, but there are some times in your life that you just need a big change and for that, of course, you need big choices. So I decided that was the time to change everything in my life and just went to another place, another routine and culture and try to live by in what I wanted for so long, arts! Isn’t that wasn’t possible to do that in Brazil, but things happened so fast that in few months I basically landed in Buenos Aires for a new start. I miss my friends and family very much, but I’m happy with the choices that I made for myself. For all of this, in the past two years practice tribal dance got in a second plan while I was trying to adapt into this new life. I’m now just taking classes but not doing presentations, but my plans for the next year is get up my ass of the chair, recover the rhythm and sweat a lot!

When and why did you start dancing Tribal?

I was doing bellydance classes in 2008 when I accidentally discover tribal fusion. I was looking for some videos at YouTube and then I see this video of Zoe Jakes with Yard Dogs Road Show dancing with only a guitar and drums playing in the background: I was overwhelmed!!! I got addicted to watch her dance and thought for some time that it was only her personal style of dancing, not a dance style and I was pretty sure that once I got older, if I was able to dance just a little like her, I’ll be the happiest person alive! Some days later I discover through her what Tribal Fusion was and just fall in love! So I and two other girls of my bellydance class, Priscila Miranda and Cris Dantas decided to study tribal fusion and we make the Panambi Tribal troupe (Panambi in the Indian Brazilian language means “butterfly”) , which lasted only a few months. Later I met the girls of Shaman Tribal Co. that where dancing tribal since 2006 and in the end of 2008 I had my first presentation as a member of Shaman Tribal Co. That day was a day that I’ll remember forever. One year later I moved to Argentina, and right in the same time Priscila and Cris join Shaman Tribal… That was very ironic! And I’m sooo happy for them and for the Shaman troupe that is growing each day more and more, they are such an amazing girls and human beings! I’m forever proud of being part of their lives!

Can you tell us about your dance community where you live?

I think I’m not the best person to talk about tribal in Argentina due to the short time living here. Anyway, I feel more connected with Brazilian tribal style even being away from my girls. I have followed the growth of tribal dance in Brazil and is amazing to see the amount of talented girls that are coming from all corners of the country with so many varied styles of dance! I can safely say that not only the number of adepts of tribal has grown over 100% in the last two years, but also their skills and qualities. There you’ll find everything: from ATS, ITS, Gothic, Tribal Fusion Tribal and the wonderful Tribal Brazil, a style that mixes tribal fusion dance with dozens of traditional dances that we possess. The most incredible project of Tribal Brazil that currently exists is called Caravana Tribal Nordeste (which means Tribal Northeast Caravan), where four groups of different cities of northeastern meet regularly in a host city and do workshops; not only of tribal style, but also of Brazilian folkloric dances, showing where this rich cultural mix we have came from. And they not only give dance lessons, but also filmings, interviews, workshops for making costumes with typical Brazilian cultural materials, and finishing with shows to the public ... Anything better than this? My only regret is being away from it all.

You have a great blog regarding the topics of Tribal Bellydance, can you tell us about how you got into blogging and what is the current goal and inspiration behind your blog, Tribal Mind?

I decided to create Tribal Mind just after some months in Argentina. As I said tribal dance was in a second plan in my life not just because of the studies, I had just left my dance company in Brazil and I also got in a very bad accident in the first month leaving in Buenos Aires: I broke two bones of my left ankle and had a surgery to put pins on it. After one month in a wheelchair, physical therapy and crutches, I started to walk again, but still wasn’t able to dance, I had to wait 6 more months, and then I had this huge need to feel connected again with the tribal community in any way possible. I thought: “So if I can’t dance, what better way than creating a blog? Writing about what I love.” The next day Tribal Mind born! And the explanation of the name is quite cliché: I wasn’t dancing, I cannot do it, but at the same time I couldn’t take the dance out of my mind… so that’s why is “Tribal Mind”. Sound very silly that story today! My main inspirations are pretty much everything that I found beautiful and valid to create any kind of inspired thought that one can have! I believe that a person that is a true artist has to go through several experiences in the area of arts and never, never stop in just one thought/passion. Is not a matter of “evolving” (I don’t like this word so much, sounds like the things that came before wasn’t good enough), is a matter of being curious and passionate about life, each second of it!

At the moment it looks like your working hard to have your blog translated into 3 languages, why do you feel it’s necessary to be doing this?
Is not that I feel its necessary, I just have this idea of trying to reach as many people as possible that have an interest in tribal(fusion) dance. There are so many girls dancing in Latin America, and a lot of them don’t speak English and most of the important articles about tribal are in this language. My first idea was only to translate those articles to Portuguese and post at the blog, but then Tribal Mind started to grow, and visitors from other countries started to visit it. I was doing the posts in 3 languages: English, Portuguese and Spanish, but that is a LOT of work, and I didn’t have time to write 3 times the same thing, it’s exhausting! English is a language that most of people have access, and Portuguese is my language of birth, so I decide to have a bilingual blog in those two languages. Sometimes I still publish things in Spanish too.

I have noticed you have your own Atelier, what are your inspirations for creating your own work that is available to the public? 

I have two projects going on: the first is a partnership with Shaman Tribal Atelier, which the clothes are made by an artisan in Brazil, Regina Braz, that is the responsible hand of most of the costume creations in Shaman Tribal Co. She sends me the costumes and I sell them to the girls here. The second project is brand new and I’m kind of anxious and hoping that works! Is my line of tiaras! I was always fascinated by stories of ancient civilizations and other times in history. I spend hours looking at pictures and reading books on the subject. I'm pretty nostalgic and romantic about it! And never had much talent for sewing, but I have for the fitting of parts. In this last birthday I bought a book about the life and art of Alfons Mucha, who is undoubtedly one of the artists who inspire me most. Thumbing through the pages I had the push I needed. I went shopping and bought some jewelry and chains, went back home and started putting everything out to see if I was able to create something. And it worked! So far I have done few, but I’ll not stop here, I have many ideas boiling in my head, and want to give life as much as I can!

Finally, can you let us know what your current and future goals as a dancer and artist??

This is a tricky question ... At the moment I'm very happy to see how my plans are moving along well, some better than planned! Obvious that as humans we always think we could have done more and better, but now I am aware of my limitations, some physical, some financial to achieve some projects. I don’t have any great ambitions; for now, after my accident, I have plan things little by little. As a dancer, the only hope for the upcoming months is to have the strength to move forward and dancing, something I didn’t lose by a whisker. I always think that everything happens for a reason! I’m very grateful for all the people who passed through my life and all experiences, good and bad, that I had. And as an artist, what I hope is to always be studying, practicing and of course, sharing knowledge with as many people as possible, and hoping to continue falling in love more and more for this amazing art that is the tribal dance!

 Ana Harff
Tribal Mind

thats the link!! check it out!!


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