ad 4 MaryEllen

Tarzan & Jane in the Jungle
Oriental Fantasy in Germany
Review by Roswitha Mohl
Courtesy of: TanzOriental Publication,
August, 2000

Two hours of "World of Dance-Dances of the World", with two high-class dancers in harmony with rhythm, two professionals in a dreamland: it is great that we can rely on Beata & Horacio Cifuentes & their Oriental Fantasy!

An enthusiastic audience saw the official opening night of the 10th Annual Oriental Fantasy Show at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt" (House of World Culture) in Berlin. Five days later, I visited them on tour in Weilheim near Munich. The artists and the organizer, Burgi Ziegerhofer, was happy about two sold out evenings at the Municipal Theater.

This year the show is called, "Dances of the World, A World of Dance". Beata & Horacio Cifuentes fill it brilliantly with life. They present 14 solos and duets altogether, from Egypt to Cuba, from Raks Sharqi to Mambo.

The pace of the show is almost unbelievable; the dances follow one another without a break. The two artists often have to change costumes within two minutes!

One cannot get enough of the wide variety of impressions. Each dance has its own character, a special form and feeling. The variety of moods leads the spectator from one highlight to the next.

Beata & Horacio present themselves as we know them; they are multifaceted. They offer a lot of new ideas while still remaining in a conventional form. In a white suit with a white & red cape, Horacio dances a Spanish/Arabic dance. Simply costumed, in jeans with a red polo shirt, he dances a cheerful pop song by Hakim with a beaming smile. His perfectly technical interpretation of a cane dance, dressed only in green Lurex pants and his double veil will make a lot of dancers wonder; it works again the old image of the veil being a female attribute. He does not use the veils to wrap his body. Horacio's veils are simply props that fill the air with abstract paintings through his precise turns and windings.

Beata looks again beautiful in her solos, but also very spicy in her black Capri pants with Melaya Lef, "Oh girl, you drive me crazy!" (This is another pop song by Hakim.) Reminiscent of Hollywood is her Temple Dance with Beata in white bell-bottoms and carrying two opulent feather fans. Here, Beata celebrates floor work, an element we have been missing in the dance lately!

Expressive and full of feeling is her interpretation of Um Kalthoum's, "Inta Omri" and the longing, "Enta We Bass", by the legendary Faiza Ahmed, in a wonderful strapless rose dress with asymmetrical train.
The couple ends the first act with a potpourri of Latin rhythms that were popular in the 1940s with Egyptian composer and dancers: Rumba, Bolero, Salsa, and Mambo. Egypt meets Cuba! One might not say that they would win a Latin dance championship with this dance, but it was surprising how well they studied this field of dance with the choreographic support of Jose Ortiz.

"Tango al Cambio"
A small, thin man wearing a taraboush and a black suit descends in to the audience. Did he pop out of an old Egyptian kitsch film? He is looking for a woman to dance with him, but the women seated in the first row refuse him.

Luckily, a very tall woman in a red dress and dangerously high heels walks onto the stage... her shoulders a bit too broad and her legs too hairy! It does not matter; somehow, it will work. The Tango Furioso, choreographed by Glenn Wright, can begin.

Its wonderful that Oriental fantasy offers us something to laugh about.

In another surprise, two drummers begin to warm up the audience with exciting Egyptian rhythms and following Beata's Raks Sharqi they accompany her in a dynamic drum solo. Then the African at the end of the show brings us right to the jungle. It is titled "Mama Africa" and features a Djembe and other drums. Beata & Horacio, in loin cloths, join the drummers. We miss Tarzan's famous cry, but the couple undoubtedly surpass the cinema heroes. Oriental Fantasy shifts to African Fantasy and Tarzan/Horacio's incredible gluteus shimmy in side splits surpass his double contractions of biceps at the beginning of the show.

The exciting evening ends with a powerful finale. All drummers, along with Beata and Horacio, bring the show to a climactic, stormy applause and many curtain calls. TanzOriental Publication can strongly recommend Oriental Fantasy to you.

Ready for more?
Alice is Alive and Well in Oakland, California!
by Bobbie Giarratana
During the auditions, there was an ongoing dialogue among the panelists concerning guidelines for
festival performances; cultural accuracy vs. artistic expression became an issue.

Learning from the Goddess, Book Review of Dina's #2 by Ignatia
No matter what your body type, there is a style in there for you. This is the first reference guide I have ever found of this sort.


 Gilded Serpent
 Cover page, Contents, Calendar Comics Bazaar About Us Letters to the Editor Ad Guidelines Submission Guidelines