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The Gilded Serpent presents...
Sashi - Kabob!
by Lynette

As a retired nurse who spent way too many years working in the emergency departments and on the streets of Oakland, California, I have a fascination with what others may call the morbid. Many notes had been sent to me about how upset members of our dance community were that Sashiís act was going to be included in this last weekendís Tribal Fest in Sebastopol, California. When my plans to cover other events further out of town fell through, I asked Susie to come with me to see what everyone was so upset about. (More pictures from Susie of other performances at the event are coming soon). I managed to miss the preparation for her show but walked in when Sashi was on stage. She allowed and encouraged me to document her act along with the process of removing the hardware after the show. I asked if this performance had a surrender and vulnerability motive such as is the usual stated motive for Sado-masochism. However, Sashi denied this, saying it made her high or in a trance-like state, but not a grounded high as from drugs or alcohol. She pointed this out as a cause for her responses to questions seeming to be distracted. (I wondered to myself if her high had more to do with physiological shock.)

Her significant other who is also her piercer, has a performance group that includes as part of their act, troupe members hanging themselves above the ground by hooks inserted through the skin on their chests. He showed me a scar on his chest from one such performance. He said that he is a professionally trained piercer. As you can see from the pictures, he was aware of aseptic technique and stayed fairly clean, at least through the removal process.

These are temporary piercings, only for the purpose of this performance. The needles used are 12 gauge, one or two sizes larger than what is commonly used by emergency personal to start large bore fluid lines into a patient's veins during trauma and rescue situations. The punctures appear to go under the skin into the subcutaneous fat layer and not through muscle tissue.

Upon reviewing this text with Sashi, she has pointed out that I had missed a very thoughtful introduction before her show. This intro included explanations and motivations related to traditional tribal and Hindu rituals of Malaysia. The text for this intro is available to read on her her web site listed at the bottom of this page.

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Ready for more?
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...she was a replacement at Rakkasah for a no-show and did a great job! I was so impressed with the crystals on her costume. You could see them sparkle from the back of the auditorium.

5-21-06 The Photos of Susie Poulelis, March 2006, Rakkasah Festival, Richmond, Ca, Shoppers were treated to an improvised drum solo by Shoshanna in the foyer

9-8-05 Belly Dance, Burlesque and Beyond: Confessions of a Post Modern Showgirl by Princess Farhana (Pleasant Gehman)
“BUT WAIT!!!” I can hear you screaming, “ BURLESQUE IS STRIPPING!”

7-29-05 The Untaught Teacher by Reanee Temple
What then, do we do about a teacher who has been misled, apparently, concerning the history of our dance?

10-25-04 The First (and definately not the last!) Tribal Cafe! by Tempest
It was the first all tribal belly dance event sponsored by MECDA IE and took place on August 21st, 2004 in Montclair, California.

2-11-04 My Tribal Fusion Festival in Florida by Maja, the Girl from the Nile
If we have a dream, we should go for it….

7-18-03 The Sacred Surprise of Tribal Fest 3 by Shahana Cartahi
However, I now understand, in retrospect, that I had been really drawn to Tribal Fest 3 for another reason.

6-10-03 Tribal Fest 3 photos by Lynette
Event produced by Ellen Cruz and Kajira, held May 17 and 18, 2003, in Sebastopol, CA








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