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Hipnotic Review

As ever, Hipnotic presented a mixed bag of performances.

I'm starting to ask myself, at what point do I stop treating a performer like a Student who gets a free pass when I'm reviewing shows and showcases, and I start treating them like a pro performer, because they'd turn up to the opening of a flippin' envelope, and really should start knowing better. The trouble is that so often the student performers are the victims of TEACHERS who ought to know better. We'll see how I feel as I'm going along!

First off in the first set of performances was a Student duet, Cassie & Suzanne doing a Burlesque number.
Then it was Kathryn Dawes' student troupe, doing a sword dance. Hmmm. I have a particular bugbear about how you treat your pretend dancing sword. I want you to make me think that your sword is sharp and pointy and dangerous, and if you held the blade like it was a stick, it would lop the ends of your fingers off. Also, Tai Chi is not Bellydancing.
Then it was Sphinx, Persia's student troupe (she dances with them). I was appalled. Why did she teach them Pharaonic Styling to Kiss Kiss? How can you not know that Tarkan is Turkish?
Shams (Tracey Jones) did a lovely Bahlam Bik, which soothed my savage breast considerably.
And finally B*dazzled. Burlesque to Whatever Lola Wants. I don't know what sort of troupe this is, so I'm not going to say anything.
All in all, the first set left me more than a little despondent.

The second set started with Persia doing Oriental. She dances all one speed, it's very boring. And her technique is poor, which given she's teaching is a worry. I would also have liked to see a costume change, she was wearing the same costume as the one she had on in the student number earlier, she's done this before, and it shows a lack of professionalism. We are entertainers. We have to entertain.
Bellytricks, another student troupe (Melissa Hoare's) all in teal, were a welcome relief. I liked their piece.
Desert Pearls, one of Rachel Bennet's or possibly Helen Ainslie's student troupes went next. Those two teachers are perfectly fungible. Nicely done, if the choreo was rather boring.
Kassandra went next. I did notice that she was in Charlotte D's Project Lift Off group, last weekend.
Shamooza, Tracey's trio closed the second set. They did a drum solo, and I can never get excited about drum solos.
Overall, the second set was more appealing to me than the first one.

The third set was opened by a heavily pregnant Melissa- unfortunately I missed her piece, on account of still getting myself ready, but it sounded like it was being very warmly received.
Next it was Ahla Banat, another student troupe of Kathryn's, doing All That Jazz. No bellydancing was involved.
Then Desert Diamonds, the other of Rachel's or Helen's student troupes. They did a VERY long number.
I was next, and I did some (hopefully) lush sha'abi to Da Ainu Mini, which is one of my latest dance music crushes. I hope people got a sense of my intent.
Then finally it was Covert Bling doing a Choreography (shock! horror!) based on Jamila Salimpour technique (one of them will hopefully correct me if I've got that wrong). It included some lethal dips- I feel sorry for their collective knees! I enjoyed this very much!

Things I noted:
I have a major problem with the teacher dancing in the student troupe as though she's the big star, and the students are only there to make her look good. I don't mind teachers dancing with the students- sometimes they need the teacher there for confidence. I do it myself. But if you're going to dance with your students, then make sure that you aren't standing out because you are dressed way better than they are. And come to that, I have a problem with teachers who don't give clear direction to students about costuming. It's not enough to say "wear anything you like so long as it's pink", you need more than that to make your students look like a unified troupe. You need to give clear guidelines as to what will meet the troupe aesthetic- yes Persia, I'm looking at you. Also, whoever dressed the Desert Diamonds troupe wants shooting- of their trio, only one was wearing a bra that was vaguely approaching the right size.

I also have a problem with teachers teaching stuff that they don't actually know. Witness the Tarkan/Pharaonic gaffe. Witness the fact that Desert Diamonds have no idea how to hold a stick.

Other things may occur to me in the morning!

I would like to point out, just to make it clear, that I *do* enjoy Hipnotic (and other showcases), I even enjoy the WTFusion, in a perverse way. But sometimes Things Are Wrong.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 1st, 2012 03:41 am (UTC)

wear anything you like so long as it's pink

someone I know went to an event where a troupe wore exactly that. slightly different shades of pink, some more coral, some more rosy, etc, and she emailed to say "I don't know why but suddenly I really wanted some Pepto-Bismol."
Oct. 1st, 2012 08:04 am (UTC)
I can't believe I'm going to come out in support of the desert Diamonds (they're Helen SM's BTW, any Reading based troupe that starts with 'Desert' is one of her's). They were getting changed while I was there and at least Julie knew her bra was totally the wrong size, but they'd apparently had them made to their measurements quite recently and her's had come back totally wrong but there wasn't enough time to do anything about it. I overheard them discussing bra contingency plans for their next performance at the end.
Oct. 1st, 2012 08:46 am (UTC)
if it fitted that badly they should have had a contingency plan for this gig already really...
Oct. 1st, 2012 09:31 am (UTC)
Looking at a photo Helen posted this morning, I think Julie and Lizzie could swap bras and it would have been less uncomfortable.
Oct. 1st, 2012 09:37 am (UTC)
That's my own feeling. And yes, I was there too while they were having that conversation.

Edited at 2012-10-01 10:01 am (UTC)
Oct. 1st, 2012 08:35 am (UTC)
I think that trying on one another's bras might have been a helpful step in the right direction - and surely it's fairly common knowledge that you're a lucky bugger if you give someone some measurements and it comes back fitting perfectly?

And yes it was a Salimpour choreo although it was a Suhaila piece that ellariaal learned from her. I think the knees were the least of our concerns...
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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