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  1. #1
    Senior Member Eshta's Avatar
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    Default Where have all the Superstars gone?

    I ended up by a strange quirk of fate going along to watch the BellyDance Superstars 'Babelesque' tonight in London.

    I have seen them twice before - once on their first visit to London (think it was just the good ol' 'BellyDance Superstars' back then) and once at Raqs Britannia I. I have just one question:

    Where have all the Superstars gone?!

    No Jillina, no Rachel B, no Ansuya, no Amar Gamal?

    I have to say, Bozenka really shone for me, the charisma never faded, and I enjoyed her presence every time she was on stage.

    Kami Lidl was also marvelous, I really enjoy tribal but confess it's not where my heart is, but I never thought it could be as sweet as she made it.

    I also enjoyed the cabaret/tribal duet.

    The choreographies were clearly Jillina's, but they appear to have lacked the slick and polish I thought they had the first time I saw them. Or maybe it's just a sign of me growing up as a dancer. And the tribal was no way anywhere near as together as I remember it being. Or maybe the UK tribal gals have just upped their game...?

    the attempt at dancehall-BD fusion didn't work at all for me. Especially with the three stars in elegant lilac costumes doing very 'street' moves.

    Also, the irony of Mr Copeland's article condemning belly dance and burlesque, followed by a tour named 'babelesque' (a pun on the name of which dance form?) combined with the use of feather fans didn't seem consistent.

    But I think what was sad was the absence of any big personality. I know these ladies are working very hard, but I missed the pleasure of knowing the dancers were enjoying what they were doing, that they really felt the music. Bozenka aside, the rest felt a bit a bit practiced. Clearly very skilled, just missing a little something.

    Please don't turn this into a 'I hate the BDSS'/'I love the BDSS', but do you think the BDSS never really had any longevity, do you think they have lost their way, do you think I'm just turning into a cynical old dancer, do you think I'm wrong, do you even care any more?

  2. #2
    Administrator Salome's Avatar
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    I saw them once a few years ago and liked Bozenka the best! No idea where the originals are. I know that Amar has Bellyqueen and Rachel has the Indigo and those groups (I think) are pretty successful on their own, so maybe they are just busy with their own projects?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Samira_dncr's Avatar
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    I haven't seen them recently, but I did see Bozenka at Yaa Halla Y'All...and she was FABULOUS!! And Kami Liddle was just here in Vegas for my own event...and she was fabulous, although I was far to busy to actually attend her class.

    It's hard to comment on this recent tour, but I've always been under the impression that the dancers rotate in and that the show is consistantly changing.

  4. #4
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eshta View Post
    But I think what was sad was the absence of any big personality. I know these ladies are working very hard, but I missed the pleasure of knowing the dancers were enjoying what they were doing, that they really felt the music. Bozenka aside, the rest felt a bit a bit practiced. Clearly very skilled, just missing a little something.

    Please don't turn this into a 'I hate the BDSS'/'I love the BDSS', but do you think the BDSS never really had any longevity, do you think they have lost their way, do you think I'm just turning into a cynical old dancer, do you think I'm wrong, do you even care any more?
    Miles has forgotten the "Superstar" part of the show! He needs to properly compensate his dancers, so that the cream of the crop will want to dance in his show. Then he needs to market them with videos and media coverage, as he did for his first group.

    Show attendees are not even given a program that lists the dancers' names! Anonymous dancers are no way to build a brand. There is no way to tell what dancers will be performing in which shows, so these days savvy dance fans are reserving their money for workshop shows with their favorites, so they can at least be assured of seeing them dance!

    From what I hear, the base payment is not high, there are questions about health and liability insurance, and while on tour the dancers are over-worked and over-scheduled. Word gets around, and I expect many talented and "commercially viable" dancers are choosing to build their names the old-fashioned way, by themselves, rather than audition for the BDSS.

    I'm not hating on the BDSS here - I love Bozenka, Jillina, and Moria - but if M.C. lets the old headliners/stars go, he needs new headliners/stars to replace them.

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    It is just a thought but perhpas those other dancers were not available?

    or perhaps Miles wants to showcase 'new' superstars so the future of the group is not dependant on the names you just mentioned?

    at some point the group will have to evolve and create new stars.

    I dont know, but I very much doubt it will be the end.

    There is certainly another Raqs Britannia planned for Blackpool next year.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    I think it's good to see new dancers and don't forget most of these US dancers are new to us over here. Apart from Jillina , I don't think I had heard of any American dancers beyond Morocco and Fathiem pre BDSS. Over here before BDSS most dancers were totally into Egyptian or Turkish dancers not American dancers. In fact when I started I didn't know a thing about the uS scene or about ATS or Am-Cab.
    Rachel Brice didn't she become a big name thanks to BDSS certainly I think she is the one who has made a big impact over here and we haven't seen her the last few years.I would imagine she is better off doing her own thing.
    I think as long as Miles has one or two constants such as Jillina with her splendid choreographies, a strong tribal element and throws in quality talent such as Bozenka ( who has never disappointed me as a superstar ) he will please an audience. What I would like to see less silly fusion and quirky themes because lets face it, it's belly dancers who go to BDSS not the GP over here anyway!
    We had a situation over here though that many dancers I spoke to enjoyed the European show rather than the BDSS show and Miles could do worse than to take note of popular dancers here in the Uk and elsewhere in Europe and integrate them as guest .
    Whatever else BDSS has it has to retain the pzzazz we expect of an American show. Glitzty and slick and not Egyptian will still please a lot of people even if some of us will still prefer to see a gal or guy straight outa Egypt , we are quite happy to see Las Vegas meets Belly Dance as well

  7. #7
    V.I.P. Mya's Avatar
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    I think it's a combo of all the stuff you guys said - perhaps the good oldies were busy and he's trying to make new stars so that there's longevity and just more stars overall. But he's not marketing them the way he marketed the original group so it just seems like the group is devoid of stars.
    A friend of mine did a workshop with Bozenka and i have never heard a single negative comment about her dancing - she's really getting popular - i'm glad!

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