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November 13, 2009

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Belly dance: All the writhe moves

BELLY dance divas will stage an awesome and sensual demonstration of undulating abs, core strength and pelvic flexibility. Nie Xin shimmies up.

Thirteen belly dance superstars will writhe, ripple, shimmy and jingle their jewelry for five days in December at the Shanghai Theater Academy.

It promises to be an awesome and sensual demonstration of abdominal and core muscle strength and flexibility. Watch the undulations and those pelvic girdle and thoracic spine moves.

Dancers from the professional American belly dance troupe Bellydance Superstars (BDSS) will stage 12 shows in different styles of belly dance.

The troupe has released Bellydance Superstars I, II and III, compilations of three music DVDs and a feature documentary film "American Bellydancers."

The troupe has more than 100 dancers from around the world.

They combine other dance elements, including American tribal, jazz, ballet and Latin, to create a new style of dance. It adds even more colorful costumes and new musical instruments.

The troupe tours North America and Europe extensively.

The lead dancers are Sonia Ochoa and Moria Chappell, both Americans.

Ochoa has been with BDSS since its founding in 2002. She is a versatile performer trained in classical, modern, jazz, Mexican, Latin, flamenco and Persian dance. She is featured in the documentary "American Bellydancers."

"We have performed around the world with hot belly dance shows and we are looking forward to our debut shows in Shanghai," says Ochoa.

Chappell, a tribal belly dance superstar, says tribal can be therapeutic because it doesn't involve hard impact.

"BDSS has brought the tribal style, an offshoot of American tribal style belly dance, to the mainstream," says Chappell.

In ballet and other classical dance arts, the performer's hips, knees and ankles absorb impact and over the years it can cause skeletal pain, she says.

Belly dance emphasizes muscular isolation over "skeletal virtuosity" and can be safely practiced at any age, she says.

Date: December 15-19, 7:30pm

Address: 670 Huashan Rd

Tickets: 120-580 yuan


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