By Karen Ocampo
Elsanne Barrows came here seven years ago, and one year later opened a studio to explore the body through tribal belly dance. Her technique is the result of a syncretism of folkloric and contemporary dances of the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and Southeast Asia. The technique applied at Libélula explores these and even more styles of music.
Barrows was the first to bring this technique to Mexico, so gradually her name has become recognized in different dance groups from all states of Mexico. She offers training and workshops throughout the country.
This month is Libélula’s sixth anniversary. And for Barrows, it has represented six years of empowering women. Belly dance, despite what a lot of people think, is not a technique to seduce; on the contrary, it contains feminist overtones.
Thinking of the concept of belly dancing from the feminist point of view involves a number of reflections. But mostly, it symbolizes an encounter between a theoretical critique and a specific artistic expression. And although Barrows doesn’t express her own work in those words, she makes her position very clear. Libélula means to take a critical stance against the idea that belly dance is a dance intended to give men joy This dance studio is an opportunity for women to take ownership of their bodies and to enjoy the dance by themselves.
You can visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/LibelulaDanza to find more information or check their website www.elsannebarrows.com.