Esmeralda Colabone is taking the Oriental dance world by storm. Esmeralda - Brazilian Oriental Soloist, Master Teacher, Choreographer, Producer and Vlogger - began her dance journey at the tender age of 4 years old. She studied ballet, jazz, contemporary dance until she began a career as a professional ballerina at a very young age. By her 16th birthday she had become infatuated with belly dancing, she explains “I saw it as representing freedom — it gave me the freedom to express what I wanted, and the way to express it, technically and emotionally.”
In 2002 Esmeralda was signed with prestigious artist agencies La Maison De L'Artiste and Bellydance Brazil. Under her contract, she travelled and performed all over the Middle East - United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Ras Al Khaimah); Oman (Muscat); Qatar (Doha); Syria (Damascus); Tunisia (Tunes); Algeria (Argiels); Morocco (Casablanca). For the next 12 years she performed in some of the top 5 start hotels such as Rotana, Le Meridien, JW Marriot, Crowne Plaza, Fairmount, Dubai Marine Resort, Burj Al Arab, Royal Ascot and Hilton; Esmeralda became one of the most successful Brazilian dancers across the Arab world, South America and the Maghreb. She is also popularly known as the ‘Tunisian Treasure’ for her spectacular performances of traditional Tunisian dance.
When Esmeralda dances, it’s as though she invites the viewer to dance with her – to experience the joy of dance. She moves with grace and purpose and every part of her body relays the feeling of the music. For Esmeralda, her hands play a strong role in dance movement. In a recent interview with Esmeralda, Omar Said writes, “Her hand movements don’t just fill the space between the beats — they are a major part, sometimes the main part, of the dance. Movements travel between her waist, chest and hands, to create the same rhythms but with different feelings”. Esmeralda explains the importance of gesture in dance:
“When it comes to dancing, the hands are a very important tool […] They are essential for their inherent energy inherent and their ability to direct it through the whole body. The hands can convey complex emotions and difficult feelings to people. In short, the hands are connected directly to the heart, so they can never be forgotten in any dance — they determine the perspective from which you look, and how you master the idea that your heart is the main source of what you want to express.”
Esmeralda’s fans believe she is bringing belly dance back to its original artistry. When Esmeralda produced her dance video to Oum Kalthoum’s song Enta Omri(You Are My Life) her popularity sky rocketed. In the black and white video performance Esmeralda perfectly expresses the emotional connection between the music and the dance; the ecstasy of Tarab. Esmeralda’s performances are infused with the classical traditions of Egyptian dance but exude a sassy individualism and spirited exuberance that she executes with effortless flair.
Esmeralda will be teaching and performing at Wollongong Belly Dance Festival in 2017, it will be her first trip to Australia. Esmeralda runs a successful dance school Dancesmeralda in São Paulo. www.dancesmeralda.com
References: Said, Omar. (Interview, February 9, 2017) Brazil’s Esmeralda: Belly dance as an idea, a hand wave. Trans. Ahmed Bakr.