The Gilded Serpent
Miyah and Aziza Sa'id draw names for the
the Desert Sponsor
to Des Moines, Iowa
On April 2, 2005, the Rainbows of the
Desert in Des Moines, Iowa
brought Aziza Sa'id to town for a workshop and
show. Here is a photo gallery featuring the day's events.
The organizers estimated that about 80 people signed up for the
workshop, and for the evening show the 300+ seats in the auditorium
were nearly full.
workshop break, there was a drawing for door prizes. In
this picture, Miyah offers Aziza Sa'id the box
of name tickets to draw one. The door prizes were gift baskets
of toiletries. I was lucky enough to win one! My basket
contained Sea Breeze bath oil, a pocket mirror with sparkly decorations
around the back and rim, three scented candles, a loofah, a bar
of Green Apple scented soap, a sparkly pillbox, juniper breeze
body splash, and hydrating freshener from Mary Kay. The others
that I had a chance to see up close contained similar items.
was clear from the overall setup that the Rainbows are very experienced
at sponsoring large workshops.
occurred at a middle school. The gymnasium was large enough
to hold all the attendees without being too crowded, and an adjacent
room provided space for the vendors to show their wares. A raised
platform had been set up for Aziza Sa'id to stand on so even people
in the back could see her, and a microphone ensured that everyone
in the room would be able to hear what she had to say. The school's
auditorium was well suited for the evening show, and the use of
several classrooms as changing rooms ensured that everyone would
have plenty of space to get ready for her performance.
of the Show
evening show opened with a performance by the troupe, the Rainbows
of the Desert directed by Arien, who sponsored
the day's events. Unfortunately, I was back stage getting
ready at the time they danced so I didn't have an opportunity
to see them.
of Ceremonies for the evening was Miyah, one of the members of
Rainbows of the Desert.
introduced each performer and kept the show flowing as smoothly
as it could, considering that Murphy's Law struck!
soloist of the evening was Juni. She swept onto the stage with
her fluttering veil and began to dance.
a minute into her performance, her music abruptly stopped.
audience immediately began to clap for her at the same tempo as
her song, and for a few seconds she bravely kept trying to dance.
Finally, she gave up and graciously exited the stage.
As luck would
have it, the next dancer in the line-up, Leyla from Kansas
City, had brought her own live drummer
to play for her and therefore didn't need the sound system.
Leyla's dance, Miyah came on stage to announce that she periodically
tells the students she teaches at school that when she gets tired
of teaching she'll begin a career as a stand-up comic. And, with
the sound system problems, the time had come for her to practice
for her second career! She kept the audience entertained
with a couple of school children jokes while the final work was
done on the sound system.
good news is that it didn't take long for the backstage crew
to announce that they were ready to restart the dancing. The
bad news is that Miyah didn't get much time to practice her
Al Raqs Ma'al Miqass ("Dances with Scissors") from Cedar
Rapids, Iowa performed
to the song "I Wanna See You Belly Dance" by the Red Elvises.
I had previously "met" one of the members, Sidrah, through dance.net
and it was fun to meet her and the others in person when we shared
a dressing room.
the Sun/Moon Belly Dancers troupe
from Ames, Iowa
(the one in this photo who is wearing the black body stocking)
invited her sister Barbara and her two
nieces to share the stage with her. It was the very first
performance that Barbara and the two girls had ever done.
was welcomed back to the stage with thunderous applause.
Rainbows felt that, after the problems with the sound system
in Juni's first attempt to perform, it was only fair to
bring her back to do her full-length performance. She did
a lovely job.
danced to the song Chickie by Oojami
Sa'id closed the first half of the show
with the first of her two performances.
team of Vashti and Amira
performed a duet.
Half of the Show
The Rainbows of the Desert opened the second half of the
show with a tambourine piece.
came all the way from Springfield,
Missouri (about a 7-hour
drive) for the event. I had enjoyed getting to know
her when we were both part of Morocco's tour group in Egypt
in 2004, and it was fun to catch up with her over the course
of the day and evening.
was great to see the Athenian Dancers from Lincoln,
Nebraska perform. I had
met them over dinner in my Omaha,
Nebraska stopover in early
August 2004 when I was in the process of relocating from California
to Iowa. During
the workshop's lunch break earlier in the day, we had a chance
to get reacquainted.
was the next performer in the show. I chose to do a double veil
piece to the song Bir Demet Yasemen.
troupe In Your Dreams performed after me.
and Vella performed a playful duet.
troupe Diva Soma from Omaha,
Nebraska filled the stage with
their high energy,
dancing to the song Chickie by Oojami.
from Omaha, Nebraska
performed with her silk veil to Pachebel's Canon. She too
had been part of Morocco's
tour group to Egypt
last summer, so I really enjoyed spending time with her
as well, both at lunch and also in the evening. She
had been a wonderful hostess to me when I stopped in Omaha
during my move.
Sa'id closed the show with a second performance.
She began it by doing the choreography she had taught
in the workshop during the day, showing everyone how it
could look in full costume.
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