What The Show Was Like
This concert features folkloric dances from Morocco, Egypt,
Tunisia, Turkey, and the Arabian peninsula, performed by Morocco
and the Casbah Dance Experience with guest star Sergio. Only
two of the dances are Oriental style (i.e., "belly dance")
- everything else is folkloric in nature.
The performances included on this video consist of:
- Fella/Fellaha. Features music by Metkal Kanawi, done
in the folkloric style of the Said (Upper Egypt). Performed by
Tarik abd-el Malik, Djinii, Anisa, Leora, Suzanna, Shashi, Varvara,
and Zanna. Portrays a fickle young man looking for love among
the local women. About 8 minutes.
- Raks al Assaya. The women's cane dance from the Said
is performed by Fatima and Danita. About 3 minutes.
- Folkloric Karsilama. Turkish village dance performed
by Zanna Lanfray, Suzanna, Varvara, and Leora. Portrays four
sisters celebrating the engagement of the youngest. About 6 1/2
- Saidi Women's Dance. Music used is Tfarrak al Helawa
by Metkal Kanawi. Solo dance by Anisa. About 3 minutes.
- Crooked Camel. Playful fusion of 20th-century swing
dance and Oriental. Performed by Djinii, Morocco, and Leora.
About 7 minutes.
- Ottoman Odalisque. Sad, meditative song, quiet mood.
Solo dance by Fatima. About 6 1/2 minutes.
- Saudi Women's Dance. Done to the song Aba'ad. Performed
by four dancers, Djinii, Suzanna, Leora, and Varvara wearing
the Saudi-style embroidered thobes. About 5 1/2 minutes in length.
- Moroccan Tray Dance. Solo performed by Sergio to the
10/8 song Lama Bada Yata Thanna. Around the time he balanced
the tray with lit candles on his foot my attention was glued
to the screen. About 4 minutes.
- Schikhatt. Seven dancers perform this traditional
Moroccan pre-wedding dance. Performers include Leora, Suzanna,
Zanna, Djinii, Anisa, Shashi, and Varvara. About 7 minutes in
- Raks al Chemodan. Morocco performs this traditional
Egyptian wedding dance, wearing a tall candelabrum. About 10
- Hagallah. Seven dancers perform this traditional Egyptian
dance, including Danita, Suzanna, Zanna, Leora, Anisa, Fatima,
- Guedra: Benediction & Betrothal. This was the
only dance on the video that disappointed me, because the lighting
was so dim that I couldn't make out what the people on stage
were doing. This segment consists of two dances: the ancient
trance dance of blessing from the "Blue People" of
Morocco, and the Tissint Betrothal Dance (also Moroccan). Despite
my disappointment in the lighting, I appreciated the opening
narrative comments introducing this segment that described a
bit about the dance. About 12 minutes.
- Raks Sharki, Male Dancer. Sergio performs an Oriental
style ("belly dancing") solo. About 12 1/2 minutes.
He is a skilled dancer, and an excellent role model for other
men who are interested in Oriental dance.
- Tunisian Women's Dance. Performed by Leora, Zanna,
Varvara, Suzanna, Djinii, Shashi, Danita, and Anisa. About 6
- Raks Sharki, Female. Morocco closes the show with
an Oriental style solo. About 21 minutes.
For the curtain call, the dancers re-enter the stage wearing
costumes from earlier scenes in the show, and as each comes forward
to bow, s/he does so using moves in the style of the dance represented
by the costume being worn. This offers an enjoyable brief review
of the overall show.
As the closing credits roll, Morocco performs an additional
Oriental dance in the background behind the credits.
Generally speaking, the production quality is "good enough".
Except for the Guedra/Tissint piece, the lighting is always sufficient
to see the dancing. At times, when the camera either zooms in
or zooms out, the image is blurry for a second or two until the
auto-focus resets itself. I found it refreshing to watch a video
in which the camera does not excessively zoom in for too-tight
close-ups. The camera's level of zoom does vary enough to hold
interest, but the angles always stay back far enough to see the
dance. At times, a slightly tighter zoom might have been welcome
in order to take a closer look at the costume details, but this
was a minor point for me.
You Will Probably Like This Video If
- You don't know much yet about folkloric dances of the Middle
East and North Africa, and you're looking for an informative
video that will offer an enjoyable introduction.
- You have taken some classes in folkloric dances from this
region, and you would appreciate a video that shows them in a
well-produced performance setting.
- You would like to learn something of the ethnic and cultural
context underlying Middle Eastern dances.
- You are specifically interested in finding videos featuring
performances by talented African-American dancers. Several of
the artists on this video would qualify.
- You would like to see an Oriental dance ("belly dance")
performance by a skillful male dancer.
- You're enthusiastic about one of the artists featured on
this video and you would enjoy seeing that individual in a performance.
You Probably Won't Care For This Video If
- What you really want is a "belly dancing"
video featuring performers wearing midriff-baring nightclub costumes.
Only two of the numbers on this video are Oriental dance - everything
else is folkloric.
If you're interested in folkloric dance forms from the Middle
East and North Africa, this video would be an excellent choice.
For people who know very little about folk dances from this region,
the on-screen titles and printed program that comes with the
video offer an educational introduction. For those who already
appreciate dances from this region, the well-produced show presents
them effectively. The choreography adheres closely to the traditional
dances, and the lineup is well structured with varying energy
levels and contrasts from one dance to the next to hold attention.
The music is traditional (some recorded "over there"),
and the costuming ethnically appropriate to each dance.