Up close & Personal with Hilton Lijun 歷珺, the Emo Prince of Tribal Fusion
You can feel the emotions from Hilton performance. It grabs your heart and you may want to fight your tears and be enraptured till the end. Every bellydance performer has a treasure chest of life experiences that they draw to make their artistry and dance unique. Hilton Lijun has generously shared his story with you and how he had got involve in tribal belly dance fusion. So find out his magic ingredient.
Do Gooder: What attracted you to Bellydancing and Tribal fusion?
Hilton: I started belly dancing when I was 15 years old. I have been facing the same problem, obesity, since I was very young age. Before 15 years old, I tried lots of exercise to reduce my weight like jogging and aerobics. It worked at first, but my weight stayed plateau because I didn’t increase the intensity of the activities I had been doing. Then, I gave up on my weight-reducing effort. When my age hit 15, I went to a shopping complex and I saw a Bellydance Instructional VCD. At that moment I was not aware of what bellydance was all about, but I saw no harm trying it out. I instantly fell in love with it once I tried it. It was so different from other sports. It gave a direct impact on my body as belly-dancing is associated a lot with my own body. Learning belly dance posed so much challenge for me. So that was the beginning of my learning.
I stopped practicing it for a while in year 2006 when i was 16 because I was addicted to online games. I resumed watching instructional VCDs at 17. So there was this one day while I was searching for videos on Youtube when I found the video of Rachel Brice performing with Bellydance Superstars. I was amazed by her techniques and skills and I set a goal to pursue my learning in Tribal Fusion Belly Dance. At that time, Tribal Fusion Belly Dance was not popular in Malaysia and there was barely any instructor teaching Tribal Fusion Style. So, I learnt through the internet and DVD that I ordered from overseas.
Do Gooder: What’s it like to be a male bellydancer?
Hilton: Bellydance and man. Hahahaha! Art should not have any boundaries including gender. So, I am just ok with it.
Do Gooder: How did your family and friends react when learning about your interest?
Hilton: I grown up in a single mother family, my mother worries about my interest at first. But after she saw me growing in the belly dance scene in Malaysia and I was awarded in 2 competitions I took part, my mother said she felt very proud of me. My sisters are totally fine with my interest and encourage me a lot and gives me positive energy when I was frustrated when learning new moves. My mother always tells me, “No matter what decision you have made, bear with the consequences”. Because of my huge size especially in my secondary school, I don’t have many friends. I am quite low self-esteem so I always alone and do my own thing. Well, a few of my good friends laugh at me and tease me because I am learning a woman’s dance. I just continue with what I am doing and now my good friends apologise and feel proud of me.
Do Gooder: Which technique is your favourite?
Hilton: I love flutter the most!!!!
Do Gooder: What make your tribal fusion choreography different?
Hilton: My style of Tribal Fusion consist a lot of emotional factor. Dramatic, expressive to express my feeling and mostly improvisation. My performance is usually projecting my psychology status on the recent event that happened to me.
Do Gooder: How do you come up with your unique tribal choreography?
Hilton: I am grown up in single mother family and there were some unpleasant event that I can’t forget. So, I express my emotions through dancing because dancing for me is a channel to express my non-verbal feeling. When I was 14 years old, this is the time where my family facing the most serious financial problems and we need donation from the public to survive. My mother passed away half year ago, so there are many feeling that I just can express it through dancing. That’s make my Tribal Fusion different.
Do Gooder: If someone comes up to you and wants to be a bellydancer, what is your one advice for them? For a man? For a woman?
Hilton: Always remember 3P’s. Passion, Patience, Professionalism.
Do Gooder: Was there a time, you wanted to give up? What kept you going?
Hilton: I feel like give up every time when there is no inspiration. I always take a 2 weeks rest without dancing. Then inspiration will come naturally.
Do Gooder: What will the Singapore participants look forward to from your workshops?
Hilton: This time I will focus more on the root if all Tribal Style, American Tribal Style. It is the only dance in the world that is based on cues and transition to create a improvisation choreography. Participant will need to understand the movement instead of memorizing a choreography. It is a very fun to learn dance and it is catered to all ages.
Do Gooder: What are your dreams and aspiration?
Hilton: Hakuna Matata!!!!!!!!
Do Gooder: Finally, do you have a love interest?
Hilton: Dancing, dancing and dancing!
Hilton’s Workshop Details: http://www.bellydance.com.sg/index.php/2012/05/hilton2012/