Why was there such a small crowd there? Surely there are enough bellydancers in the NY area to at least make a decent showing when such a big event comes to town, right? (to their defense, there was a show two days prior in Manhattan, which I did not attend and therefore I don't know how many people were there).
Here's what I think.....
If you've seen the show once, you've seen it enough times to last a lifetime. That is, as long as they keep doing the same old thing. What do I mean by this? I've been to BDSS three times (the only time they came to NY and I didn't go, they were here performing a repeat of Raqs Carnivale) and each time it's the same exact format. Aside from last year's "girls on stilts" fiasco, and other little "tricks" thrown in here and there, the show is always the same. You know when you go to see a BDSS show, you are going to see:
- Sonia and Isaam performing a drum solo;
- Isaam doing his "clap to the beat while I spice it up and try to trick you" schtick (it was cute the first time around, but come on now! He even does it in the Folies Bergere dvd, so even if you haven't seen the show live, you know what I mean);
- Jillina performing a drum solo while Isaam and Rachel Brice drum for her, and the Desert Roses will always come out at the end wearing galabeyas, they will all do some crazy zar movements and Jillina will always end on the floor;
- Petite Jemila performing a double or quadruple veil routine which consists mainly of a lot of spinning (you know you have seen something too many times when spinning that much with four veils no longer impresses you) and (for the past two years) two of the Desert Roses will come out and do a whirling dervish thing behind her;
- A not-quite-Polynesian number with Sonia in the lead (at least now they've taken to calling it "bellynesian".....??);
- A dance that just leaves you going "Huh?" (ie: Adore's gymnastics, Dondi's "Marilyn", a new blonde dancer this year doing ballet, etc);
- The group drum solo when one dancer attempts to "battle" Isaam with her finger cymbals (sorry, but no one can hold a candle to Ansuya and really shouldn't even try) and then she and three other dancers each take turns performing solo;
- for the past two years, a reggaeton choreography, obviously choreographed by Jillina, who obviously knows very few "hip hop" steps because it was basically the same dance two years in a row.
It's just, well....boring. It's not that the dancers aren't great dancers - for the most part, they are. And it's not that I don't appreciate the lack of stilts and other in-your-face gimmicks, because I do. I guess I'm just over it?
Everyone I talk to about the show says their first time seeing the BDSS was their favorite. Whether it was last year, two years ago, or this time around. Maybe that's because after the first time, it's all the same?
What do you all think?