Monday, August 24, 2009

'An Evening at the Cleopatra Club' Recap

Boy, Aziza Sa'id and her dancers really know how to throw a party! I had so much fun at their "Evening at the Cleopatra Club" on Saturday night in Riverside. I arrived knowing only my OCC/RWA chapter mate Shauna Roberts (pictured with me in front of the lovely table they decorated for me to sign books. You can't see it, but the table is swathed in gorgeous burgundy fabrics with Moroccan lanterns -- tres chic!) But by the end of the night, I felt like I'd known these ladies for years. They are such a warm and friendly group, and I can't thank them enough for making me feel welcome.

And it's no wonder they attract such a large group to their haflas! There was plenty of food and drinks, music (some of it live!) and lots of dancing. Yes, they even made me dance during the open dancing, too -- no one had any sympathy for my post-pregnancy whining about weight, stiffness, aches, pains, etc. -- and I'm glad they didn't... 'cause it was fun out there!

Here are some of photos I took of the dancers from my gorgeous little book-signing spot

Etoile performing with Isis wings

Zaheen Sa'id performing with silk fans (an astonishing piece that she insists she'd only worked on for a few days. Must be a testament to her talent becuase it was the best fan performance I've ever seen!)

Siri performing a fun cane dance

SeylenaTroi dancing with zills, and boy, can this lady play! When the taped music stopped, she created a very entertaining exchange with the audience with just her zills and dancing. A true pro :-)

This troupe piece was mesmerizing to watch. It was sort of the same idea as a circle dance, with one dancer passing the spotlight to another, but instead of going in and out of the circle, the dancers passed the spotlight simply by touching a neighbor.

This was the beginning class's troupe performance. (You can see Shauna in the center -- go, Shauna!)

And of course Aziza! What a pleasure it was to watch her dance. So much great energy and warmth -- and you can see it all in her smile!

I wish I had a photo of troupe Diatribe from Victorville -- an awesome trio whose performance I really enjoyed. Unfortunately my little camera just didn't do them justice. But take my word for it, these ladies rocked (or raq'd?).

For information on future "Evening at the Cleopatra Club" events and other special events at Anahata Movement Arts (3742 Tibbetts St., Suite 202, Riverside), visit

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