Dance biography

My dance biography started, as it does for a lot of Russian girls, with ballet classes at young age. Those didn’t last very long substituted by art school. Later I experimented with ballroom and Latin dancing, only to discover Egyptian style bellydance at the age of seventeen.

I was lucky to have a teacher who focused on yoga, improvisation and self-expression rather than the ‘sexy’ side of the dance form. Unlike other dance styles, bellydance never set rigid rules on what moves should be used in a choreography or what my figure should look like. I treated it as natural therapy that also introduced me to the whole world of healthy lifestyle and movement practices.

Later on, I began teaching myself and discovered ATS and Tribal Fusion bellydance (after watching a Rachel Brice video). Tribal Fusion was a relatively new style just beginning to spread from San Francisco. It was strong, dark, almost gothic, and offered limitless possibilities in fusing various dance styles together as well as using almost any music from electronic to heavy rock.

Trying to combine my interest in dance and the college psychology course, I wrote a thesis on dance and movement therapy. While researching Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham, I stumbled on contact improvisation. I did a few workshops with Alexander Girshon in Moscow, and contact improvisation quickly became a form I will always love and recommend to anyone.

After moving to Moscow, I became one of the founders of the Russian Tribal Mafia group (with a motto ‘welcome to the family’) and organisers of the Autumn Tribal Cafe annual festival. Things have changed since, the group split up and gave rise to another beautiful creative project Tribal Jam. I’m happy to see the girls evolving, performing on stages across Europe and taking on students. For me they are still a big source of pride and inspiration.

Since moving to Dublin I’ve studied with Wendy Marlatt, then the Zoryanna troupe and was part of a short-living but creative collaboration with Ailbhe Large called Tryptich. Now I perform from time to time with Junonia Dance Company founded by Jasmin Victoria, Ciara Ni She and the students. We also sometimes work with the musicians from Amoon – a Dublin-based band that creates beautiful tunes influenced by middle eastern modes and percussion.

Lately, my passion for dancing transformed into more interest in contemporary dance and physical theatre performance, leading to studying Stanislavski method acting. It seems like a natural transition because I tend to treat a dance performance as something more theatrical rather than purely entertaining. Plus, studying drama leads to discovering new challenges and depths that are not only limited to movement. That said, I still enjoy performing tribal and writing about it for Fuse – a tribal and tribal fusion dance magazine.



photography Anne McGlynn 2 photography Polly Headson

photography Anne McGlynn 3

by Paul Timon by Paul Timon 3


Hay Amores @ Knockanstockan festival, Ireland

An ATS and flamenco based choreo performed as part of Tryptich group.

One response to “Dance biography”

  1. […] dance pieces are known for is prob­a­bly the oppo­site how my dance style works. Tribal fusion is flavoured with Indian, Fla­menco and Ori­en­tal com­plex­ity; we focus on iso­la­tions […]

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