I think this little article my roomie's best friend wrote is pretty funny, although some of the other members of Raks didn't. If I can laugh about it...and the last part is about me, then they should be able to laugh, right? haha. Yes, my top almost came off on stage...
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were the performance dates for Raks Odalisque's fourth annual spring dance show. Princeton's only Middle
Eastern dance troupe, which began as a weekly belly dancing class at Dillon Gym, was founded in 2000. One of its early performances occurred in
2000 at the Near Eastern Studies Arabic banquet, in a small room on the second floor of Jones Hall, where the three dancers who performed were
energetically pursued by an enthusiastic Syrian graduate student.
Raks Odalisque has come a long way in four years, and now boasts a membership of twenty-odd dancers. It also has some hangers-on, namely
other dance groups trying to capitalize on the exposure bought by . . . well, midriff exposure. At the Raks Odalisque performance on Friday night, two
guest groups performed — Naacho, a South Asian group, whose members danced to an intentionally cheesy number inspired by India's Bollywood
movies, and Flamenco Puro, a Spanish dance troupe, in their full heel-stomping, shawl-twitching glory.
A Raks Odalisque performance is equal parts dance recital and fashion show. The dancers appeared in new costumes for each number, bringing
to mind Elizabeth Taylor's sartorial switcharoo in Cleopatra. The typical Raks Odalisque outfit consisted of a low-slung skirt or harem pants, paired
with a sparkly, sequined bra top.
"I wish my girlfriend would buy one of those," a voice behind me said.
"What girlfriend?" Another voice replied.
Raks Odalisque applied some contemporary touches to a traditional medium, transforming Justin Timberlake's song "What You Got" into a rousing
belly dancing number. In a move that would have been fitting given the recent misbehavior of the artist — Mr. Timberlake was Janet Jackson's
accomplice in the Super Bowl breast fiasco — one of the dancers' sequined tops almost popped off during the Saturday performance.
"It was hanging on by a string. If it had come off, it would have been disastrous." she later said about the incident.
"I think everyone would have loved it," her roommate said.
"I wouldn't have loved it," the dancer's boyfriend grumbled.