Two major components of my review of Dancing to Ancient Rhythms were that it featured mostly white female dancers performing cultural tourism, and that it looked like a dance recital for a dance class. Karen McLane, the head of the Ancient Rhythms dancce company, responded to my criticism in the comments, but seeing as she also pointed out two errors, I think that her remarks deserve their own post.
McLane writes: “The ladies performing were Indian, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese rather than mostly Caucasian, and the company is most certainly not comprised of my students. Rather, they are performers with extensive professional performance background coming from ballet, modern, and Georgian dance companies, and we perform regularly for corporate, embassy, and special events. I am loath to categorize these women as students performing in a recital (ouch). Finally, the majority of the choreography is a far cry from belly dance, but rather a fuller fusion of many dance forms.”
I stand by my initial assessment that it looked like a recital (though not a bad one: In my review I wrote, “the costumes are exquisite, the performers are elegant and seductive, and the dancing is very, very good.”) I also stand by my criticism that it lacked a compelling narrative or sense of plot, to which McLane also responded in her comment.