A Belly Dance Collective

belly dance small

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.

Nicole Russo