Gilded Serpent presents...
The First (and definately
not the last!) Tribal Cafe!
Cafe was organized by Rachel Lazarus Soto and Politti
Ashcraft, with the support and financial backing of the
Inland Empire Chapter of MECDA (Middle Eastern Culture and Dance
Association). It was the first all tribal belly dance event sponsored
by MECDA IE and took place on August 21st, 2004 in Montclair, California.
I had been excited
about this event ever since I heard about it, and was put to the
task of designing the postcard for it way back before Tribal Fest
4. Finally, the weekend was upon us, and my husband Keith and
I packed up the van, picked up Alexis Yael at San
Francisco Airport (just in from Canada, and lucky enough that her
husband’s business trip was scheduled the same time as the
event), and the three of us headed down to Southern California.
To celebrate and bring
the folks that could arrive early together, a pre-party event was organized
at Babylon Restaurant in Riverside, California the evening
prior. The main event was to take place outside on their Mediterranean
style patio, and the turnout was quite favorable! And despite issues
with spacing and service, once the dancing got started, spirits were
high! Performers included: Atash Maya (San Diego, CA), Lotus (Bay
Area, CA), Domba! (Tempe, AZ), Frederique (Bay
Area, CA) and Zanbaka (Seattle,WA). Everyone left geared
up and excited for the next morning!
The day started
off cool and overcast, which was a relief to us Northern California
folks, who were expecting really hot and dry Southern Cal weather.
Although the locals said, just wait until the fog burns off---when
the sun finally did show, it was a beautiful, just-right day—creating
the perfect setting for this boisterous, community event!
A variety of vendors
blossomed up all over the sprawling venue, indoors and outside both
in front and in back—and not just local folks either! Tribal
To the Max was in from Montana, Creatrix Designs and Melodia’s
Pants were up from San Diego, Bali Isle from San Luis
Opispo, Phoenix Rising from Santa Rosa, Lunatic Fringe from
Sunnyvale, and Nomadia to name just a few!
Not only was the wares
available something to behold, but the Inland Empire Chapter had organized
a fantastic assortment of workshops, many of which were sold out prior
to the event. The workshop leaders included Rachel Brice, Frederique, Zanbaka, Lorraine of Subee
Djinn, Meera, Zahreen, and Domba! There
was a wide variety of topics reflecting the diversity of Tribal Dance,
including Yoga for Belly Dance, Indian Dance, African Dance, Urban Styling,
Flamenco Influences, and other technique classes.
also scheduled to run the course of the day, and again, the diversity
and beauty was amazing. Over 25 dancers and troupes took the stage,
and the spectator area was standing room only for most of the day!
After the event,
there was a post-party event back at Babylon, where amazing performers
took the stage once again, including Devadasi with
LIVE music by Solikk (Inland Empire, CA), Shawna of Natya
Hara (Sacramento, CA), Frederique, Kami (Reno,
NV) and Rachel Brice (San Francisco, CA). After
two solid weeks of shows, Keith and I were too worn out to attend,
but the general consensus was it was “the best party EVER.” Well,
it can definitely said and noted that all together, these tribal
folks know how to put on a great event!
Soto passed along to me the following details:
Workshop and performer check-in procedures have been revised to be more stream-lined
next year. We are looking for a new location that will be a bit more comfortable:
larger stage, larger classrooms, etc.
Dates for next year are tentatively October 1 and 2. Two days of workshops,
vending, and performances by your favorite artists!
A little over $3000
was raised for the women's shelters at the Tribal Cafe.
Empire chapter donates annually to local women's shelters and also
roll over the funds to support their annual Student Recital and Festival
Dancing Colors. Coming up is Festival of Dancing Colors, Sept 18, with
an amazing Gala Show.This year’s event will benefit the family
Wellborn of Devadasi, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease
in July. There will be a silent auction of items, all day performances,
workshops and the evening Gala Show, Silk Road Stories. Next year, Festival
of Dancing Colors will be in April and will have an African theme!
comment? Send us a letter!
Check the "Letters to the Editor" for other
Belly Dancer in Iraq by Meena
name is Meena. Until a month ago, I was a professional belly dancer
in Phoenix, Arizona.
Activism & Magic: Krissy Keefer In Her Own Words by
dancers are not expected to think and speak.
Goddess Power Comes to Baltimore by Elaine
ancient art could successfully incorporate modern styles and music
while still getting the same feminine empowering message across.
Dancing in Las Vegas- Part 2 by Neferteri
are those good looking and talented men behind the dancers?
2nd Annual Music and Dance Camp Photos by Carl Miller,
Report by Mark Balahadia
May 2004, Dancers and musicians all over the East Coast (and abroad)
came to participate in the four-day oriental dance and music camp.
Subjective View of Raqia's Cash Cow The AWS Festival 2004,
Part 1 by Andrea
she came out as a snake, then entered wearing
a melaya, next, as a caged lion. Her performance was very