Monday, June 9, 2008

MECDA Carnival...the day after

Despite the heat, despite the higher admission price, despite the drive, it was a great festival. I especially loved the new layout for the stages. The Gypsy Camp stage was larger and nicer than it's been in the past, and the inside stage was oriented so the pillars didn't block as many views. So a big thank you to whoever figured out those logistics :-)

It was great to see so many vendors, too. There seemed to be fewer than past years, but there were definitely more than attended Raqs L.A. One vendor we talked with who attended both events said that between the two, he did better business this weekend, but that neither came close to the business he did last year at Cairo Carnival. So it's hard to say whether the drop was caused by competition or high gas prices. It'll be interesting to see whether the rumors about Raqs L.A. moving to Memorial weekend next year come true. Miles has said they'll be announcing the dates soon...

As usual, I didn't see nearly as many performances as I'd hoped. But who can complain when there are so many dance friends to catch up with and shopping to do? I saw at least most of the performers I was hoping to see, and every one of them put on a terrific show. Here are some of the highlights in the order they appeared:

Ya Harissa Bellydance Theater
(I'd never seen this troupe before. Don't they look great?)

Om Sisters
(I've seen the Om Sisters a few times, and I enjoy them every time. They did a cool change of costume between songs. They have very sassy Melodia pants under those silky skirts. That should give you some idea...)

(A featured duo this year, and these photos really don't them justice. I'd heard lots of good things about them, and they completely lived up to the hype. They blew away my theory that slow taxims are much more fun to do than to watch.)

(A terrific dancer, and one of my favorite people.)

Princess Farhana with Donovan drumming
(This was the first time I've seen her perform. She's definitely as good as every says!)

Angelika Nemeth Dance Ensemble, followed by a solo by Angelika
(Easily the best show I saw all day. Totally professional, perfectly executed, and a pleasure to watch. I felt bad for the performer scheduled to appear after them. I think I would've been a no show, too)

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