The Garage International @ NACC
Presented by the Divine Elements Belly Dance Company, A Belly Dance Collective was aimed at showcasing the depth and breadth of this centuries-old dance form. Originating in the Middle East, it has diversified in modern times to encompass African, Indian, Spanish and American influences.
Seven local artists performed a total of 12 routines in a mix of solo and en troupe, each grounded in different style. In a dramatic opening, the show began with a cabaret dance featuring the spectacular golden capes known as Wings of Isis. The routines that followed encompassed classical Egyptian, American Tribal Style (ATS), Baladi and Fusion.
Audience favourites included a high-energy Saiidi set by Sarafina, an impressive display of strength and balance by Soraya in the Sword dance and a Tribal piece featuring the Zills, or Finger Cymbals. The show was rounded out by two captivating performances; an intense and mesmerising Dark Fusion routine by Rania and a brilliant solo Veil dance by Melanie Skeklios.
In the roomy surrounds of the North Adelaide Community Centre, cabaret seating would have provided a clearer view for all, though this was only really a problem during routines featuring floor work.
From start to finish the audience were treated to an entertaining and educational mix of colour, sound and style. An art form that requires a spectrum of emotion and technique, the skill and experience in this company was hard to miss. The choreography was polished and costuming a visual feast. Moments of improvisation were smooth and synchronised. The audience was left in no doubt as to why the art of Belly dance continues to dazzle and delight.