Embrace world music and dance at Migrations Festival —
August 6, 2020

Embrace world music and dance at Migrations Festival

By Lesly Reynaga

Migrations World Music and Dance Festival 2018

When 3rd Coast Tribal Dance Festival announced that 2016 would be its final year, Liora, director of fusion bellydance company Mayura Blue, daydreamed aloud to a group of friends: Wouldn’t it be amazing if Austin picked up where 3rd Coast left off? Before long she had gathered a group of like-minded dancers, and the Austin Tribal Collective was born.

Austin Tribal Collective’s Migrations World Music and Dance Festival 2018 will be held January 12-14. The festival is a three-day series of workshops focusing on dances from around the world that represents a movement of dance and evolution of styles, an idea of travel, growth and change. The concept is inspired by the way dance — bellydance in particular — was passed through families and communities, from culture to culture, sharing and morphing from initial forms into the myriad of fusions, styles, and shapes it takes now.

Migrations’ vision is to bring dance and music from all over the world to Austin, to share everything from the roots of folk dances to the latest dance trends. Its workshops are hosted by teachers with decades of experience with fresh ideas, and the festival features musicians who inspire movement and share their expertise in many different genres.

“We believe that exposure to new ideas and new cultures is necessary to foster understanding and tolerance in a community,” said Kathy Horelica, Migrations’ Treasurer and Venue Coordinator. “We hope that the Migrations World Music and Dance Festival can help make that happen by bringing talented performers from all over the country to Austin as well as giving Austinites a chance to connect with people from other communities.”

This year’s Migrations will take place at three locations: Palazzo Lavaca, Austin Scottish Rite Theater and Hampton Inn & Suites Austin – at The University/Capitol. The festival features dance styles such as Bellydance, Flamenco, Drum, Zills, Bollywood, Chinese Classical Dance, ATS and Classical Indian Dance. Workshop instructors include Agni Dance Company, April Rose, Blair Logan, Daniel Kelch, Devin Alfather, Draconis, Hassan Christopher, Jamie Lynn, Jerikaye, Jun Shen, Kimberly Larkspur, Liora, Natyalaya School of Dance and Silvia Salamanca. Migrations will also include two evening shows on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as three days and nights of shopping.

Migrations draws its name from the migratory patterns of the Mexican freetail bats that spend a good deal of the year and have become symbolic in Austin.

“At first we were simply looking for an emblem that was uniquely Austin, so of course the bat colonies came to mind,” Horelica states. “But the more we thought about it the more our bats seemed to fit.”

Horelica explained that tribal fusion, a genre and philosophy of dance that grew out of Middle Eastern raks sharqui and commonly called bellydance, recognizes and celebrates the fact the modern raks sharqui involves influences from many different countries and cultures. Tribal fusion carries on that tradition by starting with a foundation of raks sharqui and infusing it with elements of other musical and dance forms from all over the world. The Mexican freetail bats represent this idea that different influences have traveled around the world and interacted to create richer, more fascinating music, dance forms and communities.

The Austin Tribal Collective is made up of Lauren “Liora” Murrah, Kathy Horelica, Blair Logan, Soubhi Kiewiet, Sarah Hinman, Cori Turner, Lisa Caraway, George Marmell, Melanie Gregory, Megan Clark and Julie Mathis Flanders.

“We are all women who have discovered this wonderful family of related art forms that allow us to connect and communicate with people from all over the world and all walks of life,” Horelica continued. “Now we want to share that experience with others by bringing in performers, musicians, and instructors from other places to instruct and entertain the people of Central Texas.”

More info at http://migrationsaustin.com/.

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