Yasemin and Paul Petresco of Tribal Bazaaar dancing at Café Aman, Los Angeles.
Yasemin is one of those people whose depth surpasses her titles and associations. Yes she is a beautiful costumer, a talented cabaret and folk dancer and artist but she has an essence and mystique that cannot be pinned down with language.
That being said, let me try to pin her down with language:
Yasemin dances both bellydance and folk dance. She grew up with international folk music and ‘wanted to learn the dances that went with it’. Like her mother, Yasemin Yildiz loves traditional music but elected to use her whole body as an instrument to dance while her mother (and daughter) create the music with voice. She finds that with folk dancing you can dance longer, you gain a sense of community and learn about the culture of the people behind the dances.
At Ojai Bellydance Festival 2013, she performed with her 9 foot long, 35 pound Boa Constrictor. We talked about the challenge and beauty of dancing with a live animal. She says it’s important to remember that ‘you’re dancing with an animal. It’s not a prop that you just take out of the basket, throw around your neck and spin around. You have to think in advance….If I want to do lower body things, I have to hold her up…’ Yasemin has had snakes since she was a kid, so she knows that they can’t hear the music. But because her snake is curious, she has to use ‘sheer muscle strength to make it look graceful.’
Yasemin went to school for Fine Art and enjoys printmaking, painting, textile arts, spinning, and weaving which spun her interest in costuming. She began making bellydance costumes in the 1990s for Renaissance Faire dancers who didn’t want the cabaret look. As she already had a contact for Afghani jewelry it was a great fit to buy Tribal Bazaar to sell her costumes along with accessories, jewelry and Do It Yourself costume pieces. See www.TribalBazaar.com
I’ve reached the end of this article and no, I couldn’t pin her down. But neither could the Boa.
Yasemin Yildiz at Ojai Bellydance Festival 2013
Yasemin folk dancing at Café Aman in Los Angeles