I should know better... every time I see a Tribal Fusion, Gothic, or Experimental bellydance DVD with the words "revolutionary" or "evolutionary" somewhere in the blurb, I should run far away. Because these terms don't mean what they're supposed to mean anymore. Now they are code words for "more of the same boring Rachel Brice clone crap done do more of the same depressing robotic industrial clone crap music". Or words to that effect.
It would seem that there is not an original thought in Tribal Fusion, Gothic, or so-called Experimental bellydance anymore. At least, not if you go by what's passing for "original" in this DVD. I honestly could not tell the difference between the performances by Monica Fernandez, Sashi, Katie Kay, Karakas, Frederique, or Tempest after awhile, because they look like they were all done by the same choreographer on the same day. One or two were more hip-hop in flavor, one or two were slightly more Gothically depressing (or was that just painfully slow?) than the others, but otherwise it was more of the same old, same old. Stand in place, look really serious, do your Tribal snake arms, pop and lock in slowmo like a breakdancer doing Tai Chi, roll your belly, and bend over backwards for the big dramatic finish. Lather, rinse, repeat. HELP!!!!
A few performances stood out as not totally, crushingly boring. Ariellah was genuinely creepy, and seemed to get the mood right, and her clear, precise movements gave her performance a bit of oomph. UltraGypsy did sort of a "fun" Tribal group piece, a little ray of sunshine in the dark gloomy fog. Kami Liddle rocked pretty hard, as she always does -- and so did Elisheva of Bellyqueen. Those two had some dynamic performances. But the rest... oy. I ended up watching a number of them in Fast Forward, which improved the entertainment factor quite a bit. Hey look! She's actually moving now!
Nekyia gets the "WTF" prize. That they called naked chicks rolling on a carpet "bellydance" is disturbing. That the chicks were naked and on fire and rolling on a carpet, makes for an interesting circus peepshow act or adult video, but it was not bellydance. PLEASE can we stop continually dragging the artform back to its old seedy reputation? Light yourself on fire and slither all over each other and call it whatever else you want, but please don't call it bellydance. We have enough image problems as it is.
Two stars for good production values and a nifty carpeted backdrop. Otherwise, get the Bellyqueen DVD and see actual bellydance performances done in an actually original variety of ways.