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  1. #1
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    Default BDSS Babelesque - New Show I saw it.....

    Hi everyone. I am not going to try to review the new show but.....I went to see it on opening night and thought I'd share.
    Being good friends with several of the super stars I thought I would go and support them and check it out. I brought a friend who had never seen them. The theatre was packed! We were actually sitting behind Miles so I uh....tried to make some somewhat loud comments throughout the show hoping and thinking that this might give him a clue as to how surprising it was. Maybe my slightly raised vocal comment swould make him stop this speeding train before it crashes and burns. That said....
    All the dancers were gorgeous!!!!!!!
    Jillina was superb. Her drum solo fantastic. The choreography was tight and the music was very loud. However.....
    The show is EXACTLY the same as previous shows. Do not expect to see something different. Some of the exact same costumes from previous show were worn again!!!! The set was basically a blurry pixelated light show of all the standard egyptian symbols and images. The intro was a circus style male voice over saying things like "for thousands of years... and through the veil of time....and the sands of destiny" you get the picture.
    SAME Sonia drum solo.
    SAME scarry polynesian number.
    SAME double veil number by Petite Jamilla in what looked to be the same costume and the music was similar.
    SAME whirling dervishes in the double veil number.
    LOTS and LOTS of tribal which was done well. No Rachel Brice to be seen.
    Adore did a weird french burlesque-ish number on a chair.
    NO, I repeat NO traditional raks sharki solo of any kind from anybody.
    Hardly any middle eastern music.
    The Saidi number was fabulous! I really enjoyed that. And Jillina's drum solo.
    I really thought I saw this show several times before....and I have!!! I honestly don't understand why they work so hard if they are only going to perform the same thing.
    My non-belly dancer friend was not into it. She kept asking me - where is all the belly dance? Why is it just like a vegas revue?
    I am gonna get in so much trouble for writing this. I don't want it to appear that I am being unsupportive. But I was really suprised! I was so excited to see the new stuff they had come up with. Usually I go see the shows a couple times when they are in town but not this time. But this time around I can just watch one of their old DVDs.
    But hats off to them! They work hard and look amazing. Now if only they'd just belly dance more......

  2. #2
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm
    So is this what's in store for Raks B

    How perceptive of your friend! I always call BDSS Belly Dance meets Las Vegas.
    And before anyone takes me wrong I love the poiish and glamour of it all!There's a lot of well rehearsed hard work by talented ladies

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Bdss

    Dear Lisaj and Eshta,
    The only problem is.... what does practically anything that they present have to do with Middle Eastern dance?? I spent about 4 hours discussing this point with Miles Copeland one night. He eventually said that THAT was not the point. He claims to want to introduce the world to belly dance, but then he does not present any...???? I will say that usually, their costuming is great. I found their show to be repetitive and every nuance of emotion was either faked or not present at all. I am not sure what they are doing, but it sure is not Middle Eastern dance.
    Yes, I AM particularly hard on the BDSS. I find them NOT to be belly dancers in any meaningful way for the most part, and certainly they are not Superstars either. It all seems like false advertising to me, and their show is sssoooo repetitive, even the first time, what with there seeming to be only two basic choreographies, one for American Oriental and one for Tribal fusion..... Am I wrong here?? Same five or six moves in different combinations for both kinds of dance.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    I found their show to be repetitive and every nuance of emotion was either faked or not present at all.
    I've seen them twice and I would agree. Several of the dancers looked bored, as if they'd rather be anywhere else but on that stage, and in the case of one of them, downright sulky. I watched a documentary about Riverdance this week and the lead dancers were saying that it doesn't matter how exhausted you are, how many cities you've been to in the past week, you have to give your best and be fresh for every audience as it really shows in your face. These guys were in absolute agony after every show with shin splints, in a bucket of ice up to their knees every night - did it show in their performances? No.

  5. #5
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    Smile

    I totally agree. But the style of choreography is extremely difficult and certainly pushed my abilities as I tried to follow Jillina around the studio doing all kinds of moves! So I am personally in awe at the their professionalism, athleticism and polish.
    I understand why the show is the way it is even if I don't agree with it (the lack of belly dancing). My main point in posting this perspective was just to give a heads up to the community before they go spending $$$$ on tickets since I think a lot of dancers will be disappointed in its content.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    but if they don't appeal to the BD community, is there really that big an audience out there? I have dvd of Paris show, and I already did not want to go see show based on that and if it is all even the same stuff I have on my dvd, there is no way I would go even if paid. Surely the majority of the GP doesn't kow what to expect and would be at least as happy if there was some BD. then we could all be happy. Also anyone BDer or not is going to feel ripped off at seeing the same stuff over again.

  7. #7
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Dance etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by jenc View Post
    but if they don't appeal to the BD community, is there really that big an audience out there? I have dvd of Paris show, and I already did not want to go see show based on that and if it is all even the same stuff I have on my dvd, there is no way I would go even if paid. Surely the majority of the GP doesn't kow what to expect and would be at least as happy if there was some BD. then we could all be happy. Also anyone BDer or not is going to feel ripped off at seeing the same stuff over again.





    Dear Jen,
    Belly dance is very much a niche market, in spite of its current "popularity". In the 1970s, the movement was also big, even with much less publicity, and it seems to go in phases. Judging from the size of my current classes, we are probably on a bit of a down swing right now.

    I hate to say this, but many dancers often like what they are told they are supposed to like, not what demonstrates the best in the dance forms. This is true in all forms of fusion, folkloric dance, authentic ethnic belly dance, etc. It is really strange, because it seems like when you go to the show, people are just acting like its the greatest thing ever if we judge by applause, but in talking to dancers afterward, many do not seem pleased....so what in heck was all the screaming and clapping about?? I don't get that part of the belly dance scene at all. It's like "politically correct" taken to a whole new level.

    Regards,
    A'isha

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    It is really strange, because it seems like when you go to the show, people are just acting like its the greatest thing ever if we judge by applause, but in talking to dancers afterward, many do not seem pleased....so what in heck was all the screaming and clapping about?? I don't get that part of the belly dance scene at all. It's like "politically correct" taken to a whole new level.
    Yep. If I don't like something, I don't clap, whether it be dance, music, comedy or whatever. Ooh, what a bitch, eh? I've seen a recording of what must be the worst performance ever in belly dance history and the audience are going crazy, whooping and clapping like it's the best thing ever - I don't get it at all. I think that sometimes people feel sorry for the performer(s) and try to make a fuss - thus making bad performers believe they've done a good job. I've heard people say oh, you must be *nice*, you must be *kind* - no, there's being nice and kind and there's acknowledging that there are self-styled professionals who are no good at their job. A lot of it seems to be because most performers are female - we're supposed to be a "sisterhood" and any criticism of bad teaching/performing isn't allowed. The conspiracy of silence, or, indeed, false praise, just serves to buoy up bad standards. Bit of a rant there!

  9. #9
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    Default babelesque soundtrack

    Hello, I've just seen "Babelesque". Since I was intrigued by the music of the bellynesian act I bought the Babelesque soundtrack. However the track on the cd (a traditional polynesian music) is completely different from the one in the show (fast pacing drum music). Does anybody know where I can find the real music of the bellynesian act?

    Thanks
    Ingrid

  10. #10
    Senior Member Marya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suheir View Post
    Yep. If I don't like something, I don't clap, whether it be dance, music, comedy or whatever. Ooh, what a bitch, eh? I've seen a recording of what must be the worst performance ever in belly dance history and the audience are going crazy, whooping and clapping like it's the best thing ever - I don't get it at all. I think that sometimes people feel sorry for the performer(s) and try to make a fuss - thus making bad performers believe they've done a good job. I've heard people say oh, you must be *nice*, you must be *kind* - no, there's being nice and kind and there's acknowledging that there are self-styled professionals who are no good at their job. A lot of it seems to be because most performers are female - we're supposed to be a "sisterhood" and any criticism of bad teaching/performing isn't allowed. The conspiracy of silence, or, indeed, false praise, just serves to buoy up bad standards. Bit of a rant there!
    This happens so often that if the audience makes a lot of noise when I perform I start to fear I am not dancing very well.

    I have also noticed that when a really good dancer is performing, frequently the audience has a very respectful, awe-struck silence until the end. Sometimes people weep when there has been a really, really, really good performance.

    Marya

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