The Gilded Serpent

The Gilded Serpent presents...
Dance/Poetry Festival
Reported by Kalifa

The Artists Embassy International, headed by Richard and Natica Angilly, has once again produced a delightful and magical blend of the spoken word and the body in motion. The afternoon performance took place at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in the Florence Gould Theater, San Francisco. Natica has danced and taught for many years in the Bay Area. Recently she has been offering her Middle Eastern dance classes at Rakkasah Festival East, at least twice at Rakkasah Festival West, and for nine years she has produced the Dance/Poetry Festival.

The Dance/Poetry Festival was a blend of different kinds of dance, but Middle Eastern was in the vanguard of many of the performances.

This writer saw the entire first act from the audience, and the dance numbers ranged from the avant-garde piece entitled, “Eyes”, written and composed by Beth Mahocic and performed by Carole Y. Rae, to Natica's Poetic Dance Theater Company. Natica’s company performed “Webs of Energy; Ireland; Dancing in the Mystery of Life”, which was danced with a more traditional Oriental choreography.

A startlingly beautiful piece, danced in slow motion by the Tuju Taksu Masked Theater, evoked images to this viewer of giant Diego Rivera figures coming alive.

During the second act, I viewed many of the performances from the wings. Dancers glided by in gauzy costumes and stage make-up as they made their entrances. Watching their concentrated expressions as they pooled their talents to perform a unique piece, I marveled at the pleasure and discipline that went into each number. Their bodies were wet with perspiration that they dripped onto the nearby observers as these performers exited the stage.

Tatseena and her partner, Khaa, a 40 pound boa constrictor, added much flavor to Natica's Poetic Dance Theater pieces. Backstage, Khaa wanted to perform for us also, but Tatseena guarded him closely, lest he would escape.

Dhyanis performed, with her usual artistry, a dance entitled, “Truly We Can Only Allow Our Paintings to Speak Vincent Van Gogh”.

Special awards were given to outstanding people in the dance community. Among those receiving awards were: Bert Balladine, who was not in attendance but is a major contributor to the teaching of Middle Eastern dance worldwide, and Shukriya, troupe leader of the Dancers of the Pharoahs (sic) and the sponsor of the Rakkasah Festivals. Acts from all across the United States came to celebrate intercultural understanding and peace through the universal language of poetry and dance.

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