Each year I look forward to reviewing Amara's latest production of "An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance." Each year her production is filled with creativity which I totally enjoy and appreciate. I have always enjoyed stepping out of the box myself and even started the first alternative music category in competitions where dancers can use music that isn't Middle Eastern and blend other forms of dance and costuming into their routines. It's my favorite category because it brings out more creativity then you can imagine, and dancers seem to tap into their alter egos, sometimes serious and sometimes hilarious.
This year's show starts off with Amara doing a traditional Egyptian folkloric dance. She starts off doing a traditional and playful stick dance then puts the stick down, goes up to a camera man and takes his camera into the audience as she introduces the show then she gives the camera back and finishes her dance.
The next dance called, 'One Look Back' is a very beautiful and dramatically moving performance done to harp music with mystical lighting.
'Move Along' is a silly and fun dance followed by 'Hide and Seek' a serious expression of coping with the pain of an ended relationship. Memoriam is next and is dedicated to ones who have passed before us and is very beautiful and heart wrenching. 'Thirsty' is a cowgirl and dancing horse who seem to be dying of thirst in the desert. Belly dancers appear here and there offering drinks which turn out to be, not water.
There is partial nudity in this show, but in my opinion it enhances the performances. In 'Shimmering Shedding Sheela,' the dancer is a snake shedding her skin, an excellent example of using nudity to portray the theme. Seeing belly dance movements without the distraction of a costume is truly beautiful, and the lighting adds a mystical quality.
This show is delightfully creative and covers so many aspects of humanity, showing the emotional dramas we all encounter on some level. It's a very dramatic production with just a touch of whimsy. There are several very powerful, and emotional pieces mixed with lighthearted pieces such and 'The Thieving Magpies' where the dancers do a great job of acting bird-like as they steal shiny baubles from audience members. There were several special veil pieces and the ending dance where each dancer worked with over 25 yards of silk.
As usual, Amara entertains us, but also takes us on an emotional and thought provoking journey. I definitely recommend this for your DVD collection.