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Gilded Serpent presents...
A Night at Wahib's
Roxxanne Shelaby's "Pure Sharqi"
photos by Lynette

On January 19, Gilded Serpent was in Los Angeles for Pure Sharqi, a special evening of live music and dance, hosted by Roxxanne Shelaby (Hypzotica Productions), at Wahib’s in Alhambra. The evening featured the house band, led by Mouhamad Salem, along with invited dancers Aubre, Alexandra, the Lumina Dance Company, Debbie Smith, Sahra Saida, and Roxxanne herself, in addition to the regular house dance company the Sahlala Dancers.

Wahib’s was full to capacity with a diverse and receptive crowd, with members of the dance community, the local Arab-American community, and friends and family. With the support of Wahib’s owners and staff, Roxxanne will produce this event on a monthly basis. When asked about the genesis of this performance series Roxxanne cited three things: the legacy and example of her father Lou Shelaby, legendary owner of Southern California Arabic nightclubs The Fez and The Cascades, her desire to offer dancers the opportunity to perform to live Arabic music, and the importance of, in her words, “an authentic, high quality cultural experience, with excellent food, in a comfortable, down-home atmosphere of hospitality.”

Gilded Serpent is expanding into new formats of reporting with its first-ever podcast or video report, a way for movement and sound to add dimension to text and image-based articles about Middle Eastern music and dance.

Debbie Smith reports

2-20-08 7:39 pm PST
This is the new hopefully improved version of this video. It is being processed by youtube now and should be available soon. Thanks!

Aubre's troupe the Lumina Dance Company starts the night

Alexandra of Riverside

Heather leads Jillina's troupe the Sahlala Dancers

Mouhamad Salem's band
Mouhamad on keyboard, Vartan, Nazo, and Amir Sofi on tabla

Debbie dances and Samir the maitre d' enjoys his work

The band watches Debbie closely

Roxxanne in the spotlight

Sahra Saeeda

The Lumina Dance Company

Donovan, Angelika and Paul's table

Tracy Farmer, Oshun, Parveneh, La Shondra and Cynthia

Suzy Evans, Francesca, Saeeda & husband Dave, Peri, Carolynn, Kira, Celeste

Roxxanne with her family-
Roxxanne, sister in law Linda, nephew Jordan, mom Edna, sis in law Aisa and brother Chris

Roxxanne with friends- Francesca, Sahra, Marcie, Kira and Roxxanne

Wahib's kitchen staff hard at work!

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Check the "Letters to the Editor" for other possible viewpoints!

Ready for more?
2-18-07 Its Not Your Grandmamma's Zar By Roxxanne Shelaby
Luckily at some point we hear the distinct rhythm for a Zar and follow the drumming right to the front door of an apartment house.

1-16-08 Backstage with the Reda Troupe by Debbie Smith
Seeing the company in performance six times was truly a wonderful experience, because each time I saw some new detail or subtlety in the movements, the costuming, the structure of the dances, and in individual performer’s presences on stage.

2-16-08 An Invitation to Haiku the Bellydance by Najia Marlyz
Haiku often does not take itself or its subjects too seriously and is simply word images and sensory feelings conveyed by means of three lines only.

2-14-08 Photos from Carnival of Stars 2007- A-Z Page 2- L through Z photos by Carl Sermon, Duane Stevens, John Kalb, Murat Bayhan, Christopher Erickson, Lynette Harris
Novemenber 10 & 11, 2007, produced by Alexandria and Latifa Centennial Hall in Hayward, California

2-11-08 Photos from Carnival of Stars 2007- A-Z Page 1- A through K photos by Carl Sermon, Duane Stevens, John Kalb, Murat Bayhan, and Lynette Harris
Novemenber 10 & 11, 2007, produced by Alexandria and Latifa Centennial Hall in Hayward, California

2-8-08 Amina's North Beach Memories, Chapter 7: Yousef –Black Lights and Veils by Amina Goodyear
It was kind of hard to compete with this kind of action when we kept our clothes on.

2-6-08 The Secret of Saiidi Song and Dance-Straight from the Horse’s Mouth by Keti Sharif
"Saiidi". Say this word anywhere in Egypt (including El Saiid) and colloquially it implies someone who is funny, backward - a loveable, gullible character with salt-of-the-earth village simplicity. To call someone “Saiidi”is a local term or endearment for a likeable buffoon!

2-5-08 My First Mid East Gig by Yasmina Ramzy
Once we landed in Amman, we were greeted on the tarmac by solid lines of soldiers on both sides leading to the doorway of the airport, machine guns pointed towards the passengers. I don't recall ever seeing even one Canadian soldier in the flesh and blood, let alone a gun, let alone so many big guns and pointed at me. I don't think I blinked during that endless walk. We were clearly not in Hawaii.

2-1-08 MECDA Breaks Its Silence by Rachel Lazarus Soto
Thomas agreed that this was a good idea, and Schill volunteered to do the paperwork, presumably on the behalf of MECDA.








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