Film presents the Bellydance Superstars live as they perform their much acclaimed show at the famous Parisian music hall, The Folies Bergere. The music features the most respected names in Arab music including live percus... more »sion with Wassan Pharoom and master drummer Issam Houshan« less
Paris Huang | Washington, DC United States | 11/08/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I LOVE Bellydance Superstars, thus I pre-ordered this DVD. But I am very disappointed to find the color of the picture is very annoying. Don't know it is becaue of the stage design, or the problem of the camera, the light is very very wrong. And all colors mixed together. A lot of times all we can see are "colors", usually red, but not the wonderful dance.
Althought it does allow me to remember the choreography, but it has too many limites. A lot of delicate moves of the dancers can not be shown in front of the camera, especially not in a whole-stage view. And of course not when the colors are all mixed up!!
For example, Rachel Brice's choreography should be tender but powerful. But it TOTALLY lost its magic in this DVD. A lot of times you wonder what she is doing althought she is doing the same thing when you saw her on live performance.
Don't get me wrong, I love those dancers and their work , it is the DVD that disappoints me so much that I regret to spent money on it (and think I even pre-order it!!) "
Losing their edge
Rom Deussen | St. George, UT | 02/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dondi, on www.gildedserpent.com, wrote a review of the Carnivale show that BDSS is now doing, and I must admit it also corresponds to the Folies show.
I am a Middle Eastern Dancer, but a classical Indian dancer as well, and while I like Jillina's work on the whole, I was disappointed in the choreography of the Bollywood pieces. A huge part of Bollywood are gentle smiles and the eyes, both of which are lacking here, along with the arm precision. I liked the introduction at the dancers at the end, but ATS dancers are just as feminine--yet walked down alone like Amazon warriors. I really wasn't sure if this was a planned portrayal or Miles' idea, but it just seemed like they were saying ATS dancers are not as graceful as the ladies in the glitter. And while I am a fan of Rachel's, her falling down the steps was, as another reviewer put it, clownish and forced.
I liked the addition of Adore and Petite Jamilla, but do feel this is a leaning trend of BDSS becoming more showy and less technique oriented.
The cinematography is only somewhat decent-the film is very red in parts, and pale in others, and doesn't seem to capture their presence very well. Also, several times the dancer's names don't match up to the actual dancer.
The dancing, Bollywood piece aside, is stellar, even for performers I will honestly admit I don't care for. I am not an Adore fan, but do appreciate her strength and agility, and feel she is a strong dancer. I am not a BellyQueen advocate but they work so well as a team and I love how they show two completely different body types working together beautifully. Every performance had merit, the Desert Roses, while their smiles fade at times, are well rehearsed, and Issam is always a fun addition.
I do also like the spartan stage for it does not detract from the dancers, much like the original BDSS video does with its computer-added background.
Do I own this? Yes. Was it worth the price? Yes. Could it have been better? Yes. But for those who have never been exposed to the world of Middle Eastern dance, it's a solid round exposure. For us "old timers," it shows interesting choreography and a wide range of performances not available elsewhere. I simply wish more had been put into production and pizazz."
Finally the show!
Shadowdancer | 08/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally a DVD where you get to enjoy the entire cast dancing together! The first BDSS DVD was mostly solos, American Bellydancer was mostly Miles. This is exactly what I was waiting for! There are large group numbers as well as solos. The camera angles are wretched for the first song, but they seemed to figure it out after that. Much better than the solo DVD..no 'artistic' shots with candle holders in the way, you can actually SEE the dancers!
This DVD is a must have for any fan of Rachel Brice and the Indigo. Her solo is wonderful and their group performances are good as well. There are a few fusion pieces.. one hula influenced which was a little slow but interesting. I'd never seen Belly Queen before and I have to say their flamenco tinted duet was the best part of this DVD.
I was a bit sad to see all of the nontraditional elements added to this show. I understand that it's a huge traveling act that has to grab the audience and it's a -show-. I do feel however that there is enough variety in belly dancing to do away with gymnastic routines and Hawaiian dancing. It would have been nice to see some traditional folkloric belly dancing, though they do a very nice Egyptian number.
This DVD has group numbers, solos (to both recorded music and live drumming by Issam and Rachel Brice), duets, and comedy. I'm not a fan of Dondi's Marilyn Monroe impersonation, but other people say they laugh so I guess it appeals to some. The costumes are lovely and the production is of high quality. This DVD has something for every belly dance lover, I highly recommend it."
Belly Dance All Stars
Deborah Kananghinis | Melbourne, Australia | 03/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I think it's good to see Belly Dance placed in a "proper" performance arena, ie: on stage, however, it was a little jarring to see a psudo Bollywood and Hula number thrown in. I think the "Belly Dance All Stars" (BD Superstars) would be better off concentrating on presenting a couple of really authentic folkloric dance pieces to off-set their cabaret numbers and feed into the Tribal performances. Overall the show is excellent, seamless and high energy, with total professionalism, with a hint of the comedy/cheeky with a priceless Marilyn Monroe drum solo. The other thing that sets this production apart from the other Belly Dance Superstar products, is of course, the live audience, which lifts all the performances, and you can see the dancers giving their dance, as opposed to the often beautiful, but lifeless offerings from a studio set. It just goes to show that Belly Dancers are like Butterflies, you have to see them live to truely appreciate their beauty, which you can't appreciate in a glass box of a Butterfly collection. Though if you are going to have a collection, make this DVD part of it, as you will enjoy watching this gem over and over again."
Parthena Black | Oklahoma | 02/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I like this DVD much, much better than the original "Bellydance Superstars." I think that the difference in opinion depends on whether you are a dancer or just a fan. I agree that there is a bit too much pink and neon color and that the camera frequently moves away from the move you really want to see, but this is a musical arts performance and not an instructional. Bellydancers are understandably going to be annoyed with the camera work. Perhaps camera technicians filming bellydance performances should be bellydancers so that they might understand what the dancers in the audience are interested in! The camera tech's habit of cutting to the dancer's face isn't all bad, though, because a few nice moments of interaction among the dancers was caught.
The dancing is beautiful, the dancers are energetic and the group drum solos with Issam are a lot of fun. I can't find criticism for a single one of the dancers or the choreography. From the amazing Ansuya to the spinning Petite Jamila to the tribal dancers to Dondi's hilarious "Marilyn," the dancing is energetic and flawless. Sonia and Issam do a wonderful job as usual, and two group drum solos are included. In the first, Ansuya gets to show off her solo skills and even Sharon Kihara joins in with full tribal costume. We're also treated to the seductive style of Dondi at her best. In the second one we are treated to Jillina's classic hair tosses when she expands on her performance from the original. That woman is going to have some neck problems.......
A great variety of dances is presented, including the beautiful "Bombay Bellywood," which starts on a dark, serious note and ends with a fun Hindi dance. I enjoyed every single performance and will watch this one over and over again.
I do wish that the DVD had a menu where you could choose specific performances like the original does. My version doesn't have one and while I can forward the DVD player, I'm not sure which order the performances are in so it's a little inconvenient.
If you fail to play the DVD to the very end, you'll miss a unique presentation of the credits with a little twist at the end that will make you smile. Highly recommended."