I went to a belly dancing show on Friday. Not my regular weekend entertainment (which usually involves such heady activities as toilet bowl scrubbing and laundry), but it was surprisingly enjoyable. Surprising, because choreographed dancing has always occupied a similar category in my mind as weightlifting and fly-fishing: impressive, but pretty damned dull.
And speaking of dull, they really should have fired the emcee who introduced the thing. Her monotonously soporific monologue about the “history” of belly dancing saw many in the audience slump down in their seats and start to nod off. Since I didn’t have a spouse or girlfriend to jab me irritably in the ribs every so often, it was a real struggle for me to stay alert before the show began in earnest.
By contrast, the dancing had much to recommend it. Picture, if you will, a stage filled with sparkly, gauze-bedecked jackhammer wannabes – all shimmying to music that has a similar beat and rhythm to Marilyn Manson’s ‘The New Shit’ – and you’ll have some idea. The only people in the audience who didn’t sit up and take notice were the ones that had already died of boredom during the intro.
Another highly appealing aspect was how strongly the individuality of each dancer came through, particularly in one specific item… Although the two women were performing exactly the same moves, their styles were completely different. The one was as sinuous and graceful as a cobra, while the other looked more like a video clip of a detonating Christmas trifle set on continuous loop.
Can’t wait for the next one.