Bellydance Superstars returned to The Egg on Friday night. But this time round, the hip-thumping, belly-busting, shoulder-shimmying troupe spiked their exotic dancing with a touch more mystery — that of classical Indian dancing.
In “Bombay Bellywood,” the company of 14 stayed true to its original concept, transforming cabaret and tribal belly dancing into a pop extravaganza.
The heavy infusion of temple Indian dance — with its bells and baubles — was an ideal addition. So too was the electrified Bollywood songs.
Once again, producer and director Miles A. Copeland has created a spectacle that belly-dancing devotees will gush over. So too will those who admire the serpentine curves of a performer who can command every muscle in her torso.
At the Egg, audiences were enthusiastic and whooped over the big and little numbers. The night started out with an eye-popper. “Welcome to Bellywood” brought out all the glamorous female dancers who were decked out in bras and long, sheer skirts that sparkled with sequins.
Though they only took tiny steps with their feet, their whole bodies were engaged. Their hips, belted in more glitter, churned to the Eastern song. Their stomachs undulated, their backs arched while their arms floated above their heads like butterfly wings.
For this particular show, Copeland brought on a man, Samir (often these performers go by one-word names), and a tiny classical trained Indian dancer, Meera. They performed a ritualistic mating dance that showed off how well these two forms can merge. With her head going one way, her eyes looking another, and her fingers hitting the intricate marks of its form, she swirled her center in a jaw-dropping display.
While Meera was lovely, Samir, who is androgynous so it was difficult to tell if he were man or woman, is a circus performer.
He’s more contortionist than Indian dancer. While not attractive to look at, he held his own next to Meera.
The star of the superstars, however, is Petite Jamilla. She was given the first solo with doumbek drummer Issam Houshan. With every beat, her hips landed a punch.
And she did it with grace and ease.
Petite Jamilla is best known for her dancing with veils. On this night, she swirled nonstop, like a dervish. Then she grabbed her silks, two of which were tossed to her, that she held in a way that they would circle around her.
Other highlights included “Tribal Fusion” with four who looked more Goth than glitz.
As they grind slower than the cabaret-style dancers, they demonstrate a control that is Zen-like. Kami Liddle was enchanting as she falls to the floor in a backbend. So too was Sabrina who exemplified the earthy seductress.
Much of the show felt redundant, so to fully enjoy the Bellydance Superstars, one should be a fan. Fan or not, though, one cannot dispute the beauty of the female cast that Copeland assembled. They are supreme enchantresses.
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: Entertainment, Life and Arts