in the local scene, from baltimore, in mid-september, we have coverage from the jhu newsletter, with this rough headline, JHU dance showcase fails to inspire.
The Egyptian Sun bellydance troupe followed with a group performance and four solos. Although the members of Egyptian Sun are known for shaking what their mommas gave them to anything from pop songs to beats from the hard-core punk outfit Fascist Fascist, this time their act had a surprising lack of, well, shaking. Great bellydancing is all about “layering” — the synchronizing of abdominal movement and upper-body shimmying — and the Suns’ choreography seemed to reduce this bodacious mix to just belly rolls and shiny props.
Former Hopkins graduate student Brenda Peterson’s cane routine, for instance, featured enough sashaying and cane-twirling to bring a smile to anyone’s face, but resembled a jazz improvisation more than bellydance. Even Egyptian Sun co-founder Dori Witt’s finale, in which she waved around a beautiful set of metallic “wings of Isis” to the beat of a rockabilly tune, seemed short on the lower-body virtuosity for which bellydance is famed. Only the traditional tribal solo really seemed to show off the dancer’s skills.
perhaps baltimore’s bellydancers took the “ass shaking” comment from the city paper (here) a little too seriously…