Daughters of the Nile performed this Saturday, June 18th at Imperial Fez for Father’s Day weekend. A small host of the Atlanta Raqs community came out to show their support of this troupe who often give adult students the opportunity to perform in their events. This review is a highlight of the performances that stood out during the show.
Chandani Amaya, group co-founder and Atlanta dancer started the show with a lively cabaret piece with Isis wings. We were informed before hand that the show would be held in one of the smaller dinning chambers instead of the large dinning area, so there was some skepticism about how a troupe of at least 5 people would be able to maneuver in such a small space. Leave it to Chandani to not only be able to master the use of such a prop as large as Isis Wings in confined quarters, but to look absolutely stunning while doing it. She pranced out in yellow gold and red that had more than a few dancers in the audience coveting her gorgeous costume dress. She looked beautiful, elegant and regal; a perfect way to begin the show.
The next performance was a Saidi piece performed by Tamar in an eye-catching fiery orange and red bedlah. She really enjoying herself during the entire performance, and elicited appreciative clapping and calls from the audience. She was forced to moderate the use of the cane in the small space for Saidi can be quite athletic, but proved once again that a dancer can give an enthusiastic and professional performance despite limited space.
The third performance was a group tribal piece.The finely timed choreography that is expected of Daughters of the Nile was often out of sync during this performance, perhaps due to the limited space. A dancer was often dodging widely flung arms and turns of another who seemed to be in her own world or watching her feet. It was also difficult to connect with some performers due to their downcast eyes for most if not all of the performance. It looked as if one of the dancers were chewing gum while performing? These little lapses in performance can be excused since performance faux pas can be avoided or expected with time and experience, but really there is no easy way to perform a group piece in a tight space unless it was rehearsed that way from the beginning. Having seen The Daughters perform perfectly with many more people, this was out of the ordinary.
Despite the disappointment with the service of Imperial Fez on this occasion, the audience welcomed Act II of the show. Most if not all The Daughters, split into the smaller dining chambers, dressed beautifully in Andalusion and performed a beautifully choreographed and theatrical fanveil piece. Maitay-beaming as always-and Saskia were featured in the larger of the two chambers, skillfully twirling colorful fans and skirts in perfect timing to the delight of the audience.
The sword piece performed by The Daughters is always a pleasure to watch. However, due to safety, it was performed in the large dinning area where most of the patrons -who specifically came to see The Daughers-would have had to turn their backs or stand to see the performance from the far side of the restaurant. Sadly, most discovered the performance was going on well after it had started, so they then chose to focus on dining instead of the performers.
The solo acts were heartfelt and the dancers seemed to have enjoyed themselves which in turn made the audience appreciative no matter what the performance level. Gina performed a lively veil piece in a stunning red and gold costume dress and Jane’s solo was passionate and soulful in a green two piece velvet bedlah which contrasted beautifully with her skin.
It was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon especially with many storms raging outside. Founders Chandani and Andrea create interesting shows that not only showcase a variety of colorful acts and styles, but support and educate the community by allowing students to gain experience and confidence. It is a pleasure to watch the student and professional performers of Daughters of the Nile evolve, and Atlanta Raqs community will continue to appreciate and support their events for years to come.