Gilded Serpent presents...
Horacio & Beata Cifuentes
2- The Saturday Night Show
by Dondi Simone Dahlin
1 available here
are belly dance shows and then there are Oriental Dance Productions.
Horacio and Beata successfully
present an Oriental Dance Production. After Beata & Horacio
met and married, they joined their private and professional lives
and created Oriental-Fantasy-Shows. They were two of the first
dancers to take oriental dance from the night club to a theatrical
level with backdrops, specially commissioned music from Egypt,
splendid luxurious costumes and tours all over the world.
“Oriental Fantasy” they dance, speak, and act for over two hours
while telling stories with their movements and emanating music
with their bodies.
Fantasy~ Enchanted Gardens” is a pastiche of colors and moods
in a garden full of plants and animals that live together peacefully.
It is an expressive, living painting that reflects Beata and Horacio’s
love of nature and Mother Earth where creativity can roam freely.
“Enchanted Gardens” is a magical show. If you haven’t seen Beata
and Horacio perform, you must order one of their DVD’s and then
commit to seeing them “live.” They live and dance through style,
technique, passion and the most dynamic, powerful stage presence.
“Oriental Fantasy” combines Classic Egyptian, Baladi, Saidi, Melaya,
Persian, Drum Solo, Tray with candles, ribbon dancing, Spanish/Arabic
fusion, 1940’s Ginger Rogers flavor, pop, humor, wit and wisdom.
The only thing I missed in the show was a cast of supporting dancers
which would have been amazing to see on the large stage.
Maybe I am
now biased because of my experience touring with “Belly Dance
Superstars.” Is it impossible for me to watch soloists on a large
used to argue Miles
Copeland on this issue. But, maybe he finally convinced me,
because now I feel like there must be back-ground dancers to “fill
up the space.” I definitely felt that way with “Oriental Fantasy.”
But it would have been impractical to bring that from Germany
where Horacio and Beata run the largest Middle Eastern Dance school
in the country. There was only one dancer besides Horacio and
Beata. She was quite diminutive but filled the theatre with her
sweet smile and stage presence: Mimi Cifuentes!
After years of training at the Horacio and Beata’s school in Berlin
she entered the stage regally and promptly jumped through a hoop
at her mother’s command. Needless to say, everyone fell in love
with Mimi, the toy Pomeranian. Mimi even came to class during
The costumes in the show were most inspiring with crystal hand
embroidery by Horacio in several of the numbers. Two of the costumes
he created were drenched in 5,000 and 10,000 crystals, respectively.
In the piece, “Msafa Wahdah” by Mohammed Abdel Wahab,
Beata wore a purple two piece with a tulle train.
As they say,
it was a costume “to die for.” With her hair in a sophisticated
French twist, Beata was simply dreamy and the personification
single costume was exciting, gorgeous, breath taking or fun… not
one of them was mediocre. After 15 numbers of amazing colors,
fabrics, gems and stones, Horacio and Beata end the show in embroidered
jeans and dance to a “shabby” song. It was a joyous and refreshing
finale to a program full of glamour.
year, Oriental Fantasy becomes an entire new production. The
incredible music is created, composed and recorded in Cairo
as are the costumes all handmade and embroidered in oriental
It is a show
that should be a “must see” in the world of Belly Dance.
The most disappointing aspect of the show was the scattered attendance
at the nearby college where this show was held. Even though there
were 225 audience members, the theatre was large and could have
held twice that many, maybe even more. Additionally, there should
be twice that many people coming to see a show of this caliber.
As Kaharaman told me, “The place should have
had standing room only” and she was right. According to her, she
did everything she could to “get the public out.” However, there
were problems with the college auditorium box office accidentally
turning people away, and the news media, as well as the college
newspaper, let Kaharaman down by not publicizing the show even
though she hand delivered packets of information, called and did
mailings. To remedy this situation with all of her future workshops,
she is paying for substantial ads with photos and is making stronger
press publicity attempts with additional newspapers and radio
stations. Additionally she is pursuing new venues for shows.
What is one belly dancers favorite workshop or show, is another
belly dancers worst. We all have our reasons for liking or disliking
a workshop or show. For me, if I am still thinking about it and
what I gained from it as a dancer, months or years after I took
it, then that is a “golden” workshop. Making it “golden” takes
the effort of a lot of people involved.
the success or failure lands on the shoulders of the host.
was a great host for the weekend beginning with the Friday night
show, which featured regional talent. This was the show that my
sister and I danced at. The audience was full, and the lighting
was decent. The performers were of different skill levels but
there were some definite favorites in the crowd like Amani
Jabril of Georgia and Alexandria of
West Virginia. The space Kaharaman chose for the classes was large,
air-conditioned and well lit. She hired a good variety of vendors
including, The Belly Dance Shop and Babylon Breeze.
As part of our package we enjoyed high quality lunches with attentive
sit down service. Kaharaman was always around for us to ask questions
or get any needs met.
Specialists in the field of the sub-conscious claim that when
you think thoughts, you create your reality. They also believe
that those who are around you will influence you, not only in
your level of happiness but in your level of skill and success
in life. This is definitely the case with Kaharaman and the Cifuentes’s.
As they say, they are “good people.” Hopefully, all of you will
have the chance to experience one of their workshops or shows…
they teach a “week long” workshop in Germany. You can find out
about it and their exquisite shows at their website: www.oriental-fantasy.com
Until we meet again, thank you Horacio, Beata and Kaharaman!
a comment? Send us a
Check the "Letters to the Editor"
for other possible viewpoints!
A Weekend with Horacio & Beata Cifuentes, Part 1, by Dondi
is it about certain workshops in which the profundity and joy
of the workshop stays with you long after it is over?
The Divine & Fusion Categories
of The Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition, report by
February 19-20, 2005 in Long Beach, California, photos by GS staff
with Mahmoud Reda Part 3: Film & Future by Morocco
you know about photography, then it will help performing for the
movies or for television because usually the choreographer stands
beside the director of the movie.
How MECDA Began by Feiruz Aram
(Middle Eastern Culture and Dance Association) is a nationwide
organization which began in 1977 for the purpose of organizing
working dancers, sharing information between teachers...
About my teacher Magana Baptiste
by Horacio Cifuentes
the time when her husband placed second in the Mr. America body
building contest, and mind you, these were the days when body
builders took no steroids and were true examples of healthy humans,
Magana placed first runner up in the Miss USA beauty competition
held in Los Angeles in 1951.
TARZAN & JANE IN THE
JUNGLE, Oriental Fantasy in Germany Review By Roswitha Mohl
The pace of
the show is almost unbelievable!