Friday, December 11, 2009

All the Pretty Snakes & Belly Dancers 2010 Calendar

Have you seen the “All the Pretty Snakes & Belly Dancers” 2010 Calendar yet?

It’s awesome – but if you’re at all familiar with Lee Corkett’s excellent photography or Tribal Bazaar’s awesome garments (or any of the gorgeous model/dancers), that will not come as a surprise to you.

And something that looks this good, doesn’t just happen overnight. Lee Corkett, who most of you know operates Weathervane Arts with his wife, Gigi, says work began back in September, when he and Gigi sat down with Paul and Yasemin of Tribal Bazaar to create the twelve scenes. He spent the next three months building the sets.

Meanwhile, Yasemin was working with the models to design the costumes and some of the props. She and Paul also supplied the snakes that appear in the photographs, and contributed the expertise in that area.

“We worked with several different snakes and species, including pythons, anacondas and several kinds of boa constrictors, and coaxed them into the roles they may have played in the portrayed figures’ lives,” Lee says.

There are scenes that represent Medusa, the Garden of Eden, Cleopatra, a market bazaar, a snake charmer, a South American serpent goddess, a Victorian explorer in the South American jungle, and others.

Though many of the scenes look like they were photographed on location, each was built on a set, says Lee, who shot all the photography for the project as well. “None of the scenes are as they look in real life,” he says.

The jungles and gardens were created from a variety of plants and cuttings. The interiors of tents and rooms are sets Lee designed and built. “The bazaar wall, for instance, is an 8-by-16-foot plywood set in my backyard,” he says. “And the ‘statues’ in the Medusa scene are hand-painted, human models with specially hardened and painted clothes on!”

Each shoot took between two and six hours to complete, and the sets took anywhere from four hours to several days to build.

And a great aspect of this calendar is that it promotes the dancers who participated. The calendar includes a bio and contact information for each dancer. Some of the dancers who served as models include Sherri, Khani Zulu, Georgina, Yasemin, Ayse Cerami, Marguerite, Paul Petrescu, Jessica, Olu and Paulina.

Each dancer also will be featured at the Release Hafla set for January 16. “We’re hoping they will channel their calendar character into their performance,” Lee says.

The calendars will be making their debut this weekend at Tribal Fusion Faire in San Luis Obispo. They’ll also make an appearance at a Renaissance Faire next weekend, then at a party in Hollywood sponsored by Khani Zulu of Zulu Tattoo, and the Reptile Supershow on January 9-10.

The calendars, which are $22, also are currently available at these online locations: (including a small slideshow)

And there's even more information here:

The Facebook Fan Page
The Official Blog (where Gigi is posting videos and all kinds of things, keeping the project up to date)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pics from Sunday's World March for Peace and Non-violence at Merry's

Sarah al Nour organized United We Shimmy, a great belly dance showcase and fundraiser to support the World March for Peace and Non-violence cause, on Sunday at Merry's in Long Beach. I love going to the events at Merry's (very stroller friendly!) and they just get better and better.

In addition to the silent auction and raffle, there was an amazing lineup of dancers and musicians who donated their time and energy to the cause.

Here's a peek at some of them:

Merry welcomes the crowd

Sarah al Nour says hello

The awesome musicians, from left: Craig, Austin Cameron,
Donavon Lerman, Ed Lee, Marc Cornelius

Camille started off the dancing

Mandala Dance Works' first tribal fusion number

Mandala Dance Works' second tribal fusion number
IrinaXara performed an exciting gypsy number
Sooz (who was an excellent mistress of ceremonies
throughout the event) performed with her amazing
ATS troupe, Azuluna

Edenia proved once again she is the pop and lock queen

The awesome Katerina dancing to live music

The Om Sisters join Katerina (or Katerina joins the Om Sisters)
for some tribal improv

JJ and the Habibis raq it out

Rene performed a beautiful Egyptian number

The Om Sisters did themselves up hippy style to close the event
with a tribal fusion piece set to a 1960s medley.
Yes, they are just that awesome.
There were more wonderful dancers, but I didn't get a chance to snap their picture cuz I was starting my Christmas shopping early, buying raffle tickets, getting a henna tattoo (see below) and just generally socializing while trying to keep a sleepy baby quiet.
For more (and better!) pics, though, you should check out what Richard Lowe has over here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My henna tattoo

At the World Peace March event at Merry's on Sunday, I treated myself to a henna tattoo. Isn't it awesomely amazing? Thank you, I thought so, too :-)

It was done by magnificent mehndi artist Monica. She's crazy good, so you should check out her Web site:

I'll post my pics of some of the dancers and musicians who performed at the fundraising event (and, yes, there were many wonderful performers!) a little later in the week.

I know, it's taking me forever to get anything on this blog lately. I'm still getting about five hours of sleep a night -- and those are not even consecutive hours. It's so much fun being a new mom...

More later -- I promise...