The Gilded Serpent presents
Sirens In Sanity's 2nd Annual Halloween Belly Dance Bash
Report by Saiedeh and Yasmine
It was a rainy, dreary night, a perfect setting for the 2nd Annual Sirens In Sanity Belly Dance Bash in Benicia on Saturday, October 28th. The evening was filled with belly dance routines in a variety of themes; some Halloween, some traditional, and some alternative. Here was the line-up: Sirens In Sanity troupe and students, Raks Sahibat, Najmes, Chenoa, Jasmine, Dejah, Yasmine, Lisa Young, Ayana, Sitara, and Saiedeh.
Sirens In Sanity opened the show with a very haunting candle routine to "The Rite" by Lisa Gerrard, cloaked in black veils and holding great big eyeball candles. The routine had a very ritualistic feel with circle dancing and partner work. The ending was the unveiling of the three primary troupe members (Ayana, Saiedeh & Yasmine) and brought on the traditional double veil piece entitled "Mantra" by Hallucination Engine. These routines were very affective in setting the mood for the evening.
Raks Sahibat followed up with their award winning competition routine made up of four troupe members (Jasmine, Medeea, Nefeesa, & Sitara). As usual, they performed beautifully; with immaculate zill work, sword, and drum finale. They were definitely an appreciated highlight of the evening.
Najmes, portrayed "Mistress of the Darkness". Costumed in a feathered mask and black cape and dress, she entered hissing at the audience. Eventually, she shed her mask and cape and performed an erotic interpretive belly dance.
Chenoa, a student dancer of Sirens In Sanity, performed to a mixed piece by Enigma and Omar Faruk Teklibek. She floated onto the stage area in a delicate white costume, carrying a basket of glitter. She gracefully performed veil, drum and a meaningful interpretation of a mothers love for her daughter. The dramatic climax was to reach in her basket and shower glitter. Chenoa, a new dancer, is showing great promise with every performance.
Jasmine, a member of Raks Sahibat, did a beautiful veil routine to an Anna Vissi song in addition to a well-executed drum piece. Her costume was creatively matched in multi-colored beads and sequins. As always, Jasmine's performance was professionally entertaining.
Dejah performed an exotic, electric and exciting "Survivor Island" tropical belly dance to the song "Imaginary Traveler". Her costume included a sarong tied skirt, with beads and shells. It was a perfect match for the island theme. The dance consisted of a high-energy veil, sword and zill work.
The "famously comical" raffle drawing by Sirens In Sanity followed the intermission. It was a light moment in a very dark evening!
The 2nd half of the show started with Yasmine, Sirens In Sanity co-director. She glowed in the black light from head to toe in a beautifully executed, unusual but traditional sword and veil routine. Her all-white costume was topped off with her sword, wrapped in white ribbons with streamers, which was captivating and soothing to watch. As an unusual twist, while still dancing with the sword in place on her head, she did several veil moves, which was very challenging and exciting. She was truly "A Vision In White".
Lisa Young, a member of TroupeYas Salehm & The Celebration Dancers, had planned to perform a duet, but her partner had to cancel; so in the spirit of the evening, Lisa performed the routine as a solo. It was a fun, festive, and imaginative routine, which included a candle-lit jack-o-lantern balanced on her head. It was a great combination of both ethnic and cabaret styles, which ended in a luminous double veil under the black light. She is such a wonderful friend in the belly dance community and deserves the highest of respect.
Ayana, another Sirens In Sanity troupe member, got a few giggles from the audience when she entered (with the assistance of sound man, Michael Garrett) onto the stage in a black box. She started her routine with only her hands above the box with snake-like movements. As she emerged from the box, covered with a white veil, under black lights; she elegantly performed a veil routine. Her ending was perfect, when she danced back into her box.
A dear friend of S.I.S., Sitara, of Raks Sahibat, performed next. She danced to a lively rhythm and blues piece. She chose this song because it reminds her to "celebrate and do it well". Her costume, fit her perfectly, with a black choli top, brightly colored gypsy-style skirt, accented with a fringe hip scarf. Her solo dancing is always heart-felt and reaches out to the audience and let's them experience, with her, the joy of the dance.
Saiedeh, Sirens In Sanity co-director, performed "Lady Evil" by Black Sabbath. This alternative dance incorporated all of Saiedeh's distinctive stylings; flirtatious personality and playful audience contact, all the while executing proficient belly dance technique. The costume of "Lady Evil" was a tight black long sleeved dress with a full red and black lace skirt, layered fringe hip scarves and accented with silver jewelry. It seemed the audience really appreciated the spirit of the performance.
To close the evening's festivities, there was a "monster" finale!
All of the performers and many audience members joined together to belly
dance to the ever famous, "Monster Mash". It left everyone with
a smile on their face!