ad 4 Fahtiem


Gilded Serpent presents...
Carl's Raqs LA Photos
Best from the Stage on the Lower Level

Glendale Civic Auditorium, California
produced by Miles Copeland and organized by Marta Schill
May 17-18, 2008

Photos by Carl Sermon

text by Carl Sermon, Ma*Shuqa and Marta Schill
As always we would love help with names, thanks

Marta Schill- Organizer:
The first year of Bellydance Raqs L.A. broke new ground with its unique approach to a Bellydance festival. More opportunities were presented to take class with more legends of the dance than ever before in Southern California.
There were hour-long sets with six live bands over the two-day event, providing Egyptian, Turkish, Gypsy Rom, Fusion and Arabic styles for the dancers and viewers delight.

Additionally, because performers came from around the world to audition for the Bellydance Superstars, most also performed on the Open Stage during the festival, and elevated the entertainment to a spectacular level.

The Saturday evening show featured performances by the stellar instructors: Morocco, Helena Vlahos, Bozenka as well as the Bellydance Superstars at their best. Additionally, the recording band Milli Collective finished the show with dance music for late-night partying aficionados.

Raqs L.A. will continue presenting the finest in Bellydance music and dance with our 2nd annual festival on April 25 and 26, 2009 at the gorgeous Glendale Civic Auditorium.

Carl Sermon Photographer:
This year, I photographed the lower level stage at Raqs LA, enjoying the wonderful weekend of performances that felt like a "party in a palace". The stage was draped in a burgundy/gold/green curtain that made it seem dancers were performing on a vintage set from a Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. movie.

It was a mixture of dancers, some experiencing their first stage performance and some professional dancers, all who spontaneously "Raq’ed" out with live bands and their excellent music. Many times, special moments in performance happened when professionals and beginners alike jumped on stage or danced in the aisles to the singing and percussion of the well-known Gamal Gomaa and his band.

Click photo for enlargement
Kamar dancing with the Feldthouse Family Band


David (Davul)

Bryan Venton


David (playing cumbus) and Bryan.

Suleyman and Ryan with Dusty


Frank Farinaro



Band Taxsim

Artemis Strimenost


Mystery Dancer #7



Claudia Lopez

Estrella Ellison

Middle Earth plays for Alex
Frank Lazzaro on dumbek and ? on oud

Gamal Gomaa Band

Jayna dances with more mystery dancers


Jody Waseca


La Shonda




? of Middle Earth


Shalimar and Jessenia

Steven Eggers and Sabrina Fox






Tracy Farmer

Viridiana and Roxanna

Unknown performers

Mystery Dancer #1

Mystery Dancer #3

Mystery Dancer #4

Melissa Billings of Phoenix, Arizona (Thanks Helena!)



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Ready for more?
5-9-08 Carl Sermon's Photos from the Hoover Hafla
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This trend has been growing steadily since I can remember, but caught fire recently, due to the instantaneous broadcasting of ideas and styles on the worldwide web and the proliferation and availability of video for this generation of dancers.





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