Below is my festival buddy, Alane, and drummer Ed Lee, who was scheduled to perform later in the day with Saf Mavi, accompanying Katerina and the Kabuki Dolls.
Azure Moon is the lovely 3-lady troupe who kicked off the performances just before noon.
How cool is this jeweled foot cover?
Ah, Azuluna -- I always love to watch these ladies dance. They are the student troupe for Sooz, who teaches ATS in northern OC.
Marla is more often seen as half of the Raks Bahlam duo, but today she performed an exquisite Egyptian solo. Gorgeous!
Roz and the Dancing Sands are always popular. The three young girls also performed a Bollywood-style choreography on their own, which they choreographed themselves. It was fun to watch their enthusiasm--and talent!
Essence of the Orient came up next, and yes, they raq'd it!
Cynthia is such a talented dancer and she just gets better and better every year. And I love her costumes! This one is a show-stopper. I wish my photos did it justice.
JJ and the Habibis -- It is impossible to watch these ladies and not have a good time. They are so much fun to watch!
And JJ (Jeri St. James) performed a terrific cane solo, too.
Next up was Medea and the Desert Mirage Dancers. And not only did they fit 12 dancers on this tiny stage, they performed with zills (and sounded great) and veils, too! Just to give you a flavor of their fun act: They opened with Red Elvises' "I Wanna See You Bellydance"
Gabriella from San Diego was next up, and she really shined in this lovely minimalist belly dance costume. Stunning.
Mariposa, who studies with Sylvia Xica Gitana, danced a Spanish-Arabic flavored tribal fusion piece.
And each dancer wore an amazing crocheted hip scarf. So pretty!
Taji and the Johara dancers came out next, and they were a lot of fun to watch. Great dancers, and they play zills, too!