Friday, October 17, 2008

O.C. Bellydance Festival -- Oct. 12, 2008

If you haven't already heard, the first-ever O.C. Bellydance Festival, which took place at the Fountain Valley Recreation Center on Oct. 12, was an amazing success. The ladies from Troupe Incognito did a terrific job organizing, and they had everything so under control, you'd never know this was their first event of this size. (Right: Incognito gals Nikki and Renee.)

Although the event started at noon, I rolled in around 8:30 a.m., along with the other volunteers, to help them set up. We checked people in, posted signs, offered help to the vendors who were setting up inside the main hall, where the performances took place, and to those that were set up on the patio just beyond the workshop room.

I had to cut my volunteering short, though, so that I could get ready because this festival also marked the first time Marlena Shaw, Enala and I performed together. Despite being able to practice together only a few times, our troupe Al-Sukkar managed to pull off a choreography. A lot of credit goes to Marlena, who filled up a good chunk of our allotted time with her drum solo :-) (And thanks and credit go to Richard Lowe for this photograph of us dancing.)

After our 12:30-ish performance, we changed back into our street clothes and got busy shopping, visiting the vendors both inside the hall and out. There were lots of familiar faces -- Tribal Bazaar, Melodia Designs, Geisha Moth, Enchanted Designs, and so many more. There was also a definite slant toward tribal style, both in the vending and in the performances.

For anyone who might've had doubts, I don't think there's any question that tribal style is alive and well in O.C.

And my favorite part of the day? Watching all the great performances on the stage.

Here's just a sample:

Almase Arabesque

Kashmir, dancing to live drumming by Gorkem and Vernon


(In addition to be a terrific dancer, she's one of the great coordinators for the weekly Shimmy Showcase at Coffee Haven in Long Beach.)

Troupe Masala

Sooz & Azuluna

(I love that they incorporate Carolena's dance prayer into their performance!)

Om Sisters

(Doesn't she have the most amazing hair?)

(This is the first time I've seen her dance. Wow, can she pop and lock!)

MC Laura Sutherland (who, BTW, was nonstop funny all day long) introducing Tribe Roman Morga -- who are always a favorite. Drumming in the back is one of my favorite people in the world, Katerina.

And the final performance of the day, our hostesses, Troupe Incognito.
Thank you for a great day, ladies!

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