Back in the day, young dancers didn’t have as many resources for learning and inspiration in tribal bellydance. There were only a few videos out, and they were from two very specific groups/styles. You didn’t much get to see what else was happening in the world of group improvisation–very few had websites, and even fewer had actual video footage you would watch online.
Well this video was one of the early ones. Heavy Hips was under the direction of Palika Benton; they had a beautiful website (with some awesome articles and wares for sale, too!), and some video footage of their work, which was definitely in the vein of tribal group improv but had its own flavor which seemed steeped in the Jamila tradition of dance (so think Bal Anat). This was a video I watched a lot, and I had printed out photos of their troupe for my inspiration wall, so they were an long-distance influence on who I imagined I wanted to be as a dancer. I hope you enjoy this video from 1994!