Saturday, June 24, 2006

Dancerpades VIII - Local Gone Loco

Finally the day’s segments were all over and it was just a matter of waiting for the results. It had been a long day and while we were waiting, the other dancers were already making calls to find out the results and to hear our reports.

I did not bother to consult my scorecards as it was obvious to me that Bellydance Discovery had won the title with the Sundance Troupe a close second. Third place was rather moot but I thought Nerferteri were the most likely.

It was obvious that there was a great divide between the top two troupes and the rest. To those not familiar with the community, they might have assumed that the standard in Singapore is very low with a small handful of competent dancers.

The thought was too painful to contemplate so I reviewed the total scores perfunctorily.

Again, the results were a surprise. This time around, apparently the organiser was not allowed into the small room to tabulate the scorecards so her expression when the winner was announced was telling. The discovery that the top prize had been denied them was a palpable shock apparent in every bemused pore of her face.

The winners were –

1st – Sundance Troupe
2nd – Bellydance Discovery
3rd – Les Belles du Mirage

Again, I was baffled by the decision. Sure, there was a hard fight between Bellydance Discovery and Sundance but I thought the former’s superior middle eastern dance skills would have trumped the superior lyrical jazz dance foundation of the latter. Obviously the judges thought otherwise.

But the biggest shock was the inclusion of Les Belles du Mirage in third place. Not a single person I spoke to even thought they should have placed anywhere near the top three. I was puzzled as to why Nerferteri had not placed and 3A had a theory that it may have been because they were not “Chinese” enough since the judges were all Chinese. I really do not know but again, I thought that the decision was questionable.

Speaking to one of the judges, Mey Jen, later, I asked about the decision between Bellydance Discovery and Sundance Troupe. She very diplomatically replied that some judges might have found the American Tribal Fusion vibe of the African-inspired number too discordant with their vision of middle eastern dance. Before watching the International segment the next day, I would have been puzzled by her comment. However, the personality and dance style preference of the judges, i.e. the Chinese and the Taiwanese judges, became apparent and helped a little to explain how this could have happened.

By now it was late, we were just disillusioned and tired and we still had to go meet some of the other dancers to fill them in on the day’s events and results. I was hoping that the next day would be more exciting and uplifting.


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