Sunday, March 8, 2009
THE DARK SIDE
Last night I performed at GOTHLA, in Pomona, California, an all-Gothic belly dance event put on by Tempest (The "Goth Muthuh") and Sashi of Ascend Tribal. Not only are these two chicks sooo much fun to hang with, they always do a bang-up job of putting on a splendid weekend of Gothic belly dance, from workshops and vendors to the gala show. Raqs Gothique, for those not in the know, is a hybrid of belly dance (either fusion, cabaret or tribal) with a Gothic, Rock'n'Roll sensibility and feel.
I've now had the honor of performing at Gothla UK and the two yearly events here in California, and every time, the amount of creativity, talent and detail in the cast's performance was absolutely stunning, but last night took the cake! The diversity of styles under the "dark rainbow" was just stunning.The show was held in a gorgeous theater at cal Poly Pomona University, and it was crazy to see the mix of spooky beauties and regular "civillian" students wandering the grounds of the campus.
The show was nothing short of spectacular. Hilarious and gorgeous Raine of Atash Maya was the emcee and she had the audience in stitches with her ultra-risque patter. Atash Maya( Raine, Sabrina Fox and Steven Eggers) is one of my very favorite troupes. They are a stunning trio: all physically beautiful, insanely talented, amazingly costumed and so much fun backstage! Asharah, from Washington DC has become one of my favorite dancers to watch- I've seen her many times at Tribal Fest, and last night she was incredible. That gal can MOVE! It's crazy to imagine such power and presence coming from such a tiny chick, and her range of movement is incredible...she can go from slow 'n' slithery with attenuated stretches right into crazy robotic stuff in the blink of an eye. Lee Ali, another one of my faves ( both on and off stage) did a Moroccan trance dance. She always wows me with her power as well, and a presence which is both elegant and abandoned. then there was Marjhani, Callisto from Sweden, Anaar, and many more...
I did a reprise of my Opium Odalisque dance called "Pipe Dreams And Poppies", which was originally created for Leela's "Arabia Exotica" show. The performance is all about Shanghai in the 1920's, and an opium addict who has a vision (that'd be me) while she's in a drug-induced trance. Last night, my "addict" was played by my friend Devilla, an LA-based dancer and make-up artist extraordinaire who is a member of the troupe, The Saharan Sirens". Devilla was fully believable as a debauched Chinois empress lounging in an opium den, partaking of the pipe!
It was truly inspiring to be part of this creative, unusual evening...but I gotta say, the REAL show was, as usual, in the dressing room!
If you are interested in finding out more on this genre, please visit www.gothicbellydance.com