Hips Don’t Lie: CU Bellydance Showcase
Written by Bwog Staff
Last night, CU Bellydance put on HIPnotic, its first troupe showcase in four years. Megan McGregor, Bwog’s Favorite HIPster, was there to report.
After HIPnotic, one can be certain that its fantastic women dancers could surely “shake forever and never care.” Those in the audience that nearly filled Lerner’s black box theatre waited in great anticipation of the show’s commencement, some unsure of exactly what they were about to witness, but the audience was visibly captivated from the opening number. The dancers were precise, fluid and extremely impressive overall.
The two acts of the showcase comprised several group numbers, solos, duets, and trios. One of the most riveting performances of the evening came from Joanie Atkinson. Joanie’s intense solo showed a somber and sensual side to bellydance of which some less seasoned bellydance spectators may have been unaware. Her performance was engrossing as she seemed to slice through space with her controlled and emotive movements. She wore a fluid multi-layered skirt and danced with a veil; despite these distractions, it was apparent that every part of her body was placed and controlled down to her very fingertips.
The second act opened with a true crowd-pleaser–the Raks Asayya, or Egyptian Cane Dance. The bellydancers, clad in crimson dresses that sparkled with golden trimmings, spun gold canes around with such speed and precision that one wondered what would happen if a cane were accidentally released. One cane did indeed go rogue during the middle of the number, but luckily it only attacked the wall of the theater and not an innocent audience member or fellow dancer.
Three numbers featured the exciting and traditional act of dancers balancing items on their heads while gyrating their hips. Such items included a sword, candles, and, perhaps most impressively, a large liquor bottle. Despite Jen Shearer’s surreally sharp isolations of her hips and ribs, the bottle on her head barely shook as she danced.
The pieces varied in cultural origin, ranging from Polynesian to Indian to Egyptian and even Russian dances. In addition to this ethnic multiplicity, the costumes were equally dazzling for both the eyes and ears. Sporting vibrantly colored skirts and clanking coin belts, the dancers offered their audience a cultural experience that left many observers with an intense desire to join the troupe in Lerner next Friday for bellydance class in hopes of learning the ways of their fluid sex appeal.