Delilah & Sirocco, Live & Wild

Belly Dancing Video Review
by Mercedes

Because my 3-year-old son, Charlie, and my 6-year-old daughter, Kate, love dance and music as much as I, we eagerly sat down to view this videotape together. Their reactions were so intense, that I must share them with you before I share my own!

Calmly beginning in front of the TV, with a bowl of popcorn in his lap, Charlie started out tapping his toes, graduated to childish imitations of undulating arms and ended by trying to do backbends and ecstatic hair tosses! He was totally drawn to the music and the dancing! Kate was also drawn to the dancing and also reacted strongly to the music. However, her emotional response caused her to create, for Delilah, a crayon picture of an undulating dancer inside of a heart.

This is not a technical video, in that Delilah does not concentrate on teaching the breakdown of certain steps. This is not even a performance video, as it does not contain neatly packaged groups of polite dances.

This video is a compilation of seven dances, each of which is followed by a brief conversation with Delilah. After the 4th dance, Sirocco band musicians Armando Mafufo and Suliman El Coyote have several humorous comments to offer on dancing to live music. These dances are filmed both indoors and in various natural settings; all with the band Sirocco playing; and all of which are raw, wild and spontaneous! Do NOT watch this video if you are uncomfortable with the blatant expression of emotional abandon! This emotional abandon is partially created by the obvious friendship that exists between Delilah and each member of Sirocco: Armando Mafufo, Suliman El Coyote and Michael Beach. It is vividly expressed on film by Steve Flynn, an accomplished musician and also Delilah's husband.

The first dance, performed indoors, leads the viewer from a coy, tantalizing intro into a full-blown expression of what is music in motion. The floorwork section of this dance is earthy, steamy and very sensual. Her writing arms and undulating body pull me into the dance with her. I am in total agreement with her on what it is like to be so female, so alive!

The 2nd, 4th and 6th dances are done on the beach, into and out of the water. In the 2nd piece, Delilah slowly offers her meditational dance to the teasing waves of the ocean. The playfulness of the waves seems almost choreographed as they swell up next to the curves in her undulating body.

The 4th dance is shared by Delilah, with other dancers Claire, Salyna, Raven and Karilee Halo Shames. Musicians Suliman and Armando playfully wind their hypnotic notes around two dancers on the beach. They then notice the incoming two swimmers, of which Delilah is one. Glittering in full costume, these two "Arabian" mermaids emerge from the ocean depths to lure our musician friends into their watery grasp. After the stark emotions displayed in the first three dances, this one provides a humorous, tension release.

Delilah seems to pay tribute to the earth in the 6th dance, also performed on the beach. Rejoicing in the feel of gritty sand, she emerges from the ocean with feline gestures. As she massages sand onto her rolling torso, I shared with her the joys of wearing the essence of the earth. The emotional impact of this dance is stark, primal and almost savage in its intensity.

The third dance takes on a spiritual quality. Wearing an unadorned skirt and halter-vest, Delilah dances in a circular area, outlined by candles. The dance is filmed from above, affording the viewer an angle not often seen. Whether intentional of not, the filming in this piece takes on a ghostly quality.

Not detracting from the dance, it actually adds to the mysticism, as if we are viewing the aura of Delilah.

Although we have all heard of the rain forest, how many of us have actually seen one? Better yet, have you ever envisioned seeing a group of belly dancers in one? Well, the 5th dance will provide you with a positive answer to all of these questions. Standing in the center of a circle within the rain forest, videographer Steve Flynn and drummer Armando Mafufo do a "dance" themselves, as they turn to capture the different dancers surrounding them. The frenzied dancing of all builds to a crescendo, as Steve pans the video camera up to the forest ceiling for an ending moment of total stillness.
The 7th and final dance is labeled "Trance Dance" and is performed indoors. The interplay between the dancer Delilah and the musicians of Sirocco provide the viewer with the definition of what music in motion can mean. They present a video that visually portrays the wildness that is within all of us. I must agree with my daughter Kate, as she sums up her feelings, "I like your stuff, Delilah and Sirocco!"

Available through Visionary Dance Productions, 4115 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, Washington 98103 / 206-632-2353 or visit our PerformanceVideos page to order

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