The Gilded Serpent presents...
Kismet's Festival
Salt Lake City
Photos and Report by

On August 30-31, Labor Day weekend, The Kismet Dance Company presented Utah's 23rd Annual Belly Dance Festival. It was held in a brand-new venue, Utah's Cultural Celebration Center, in West Valley City, a suburb of Salt Lake City. Festivities included about 18 hours of performances, by dancers both local and visiting (from as far away as Germany), as well as about 26 hours total of workshops. Teachers provided instruction in dance (Judeen, Dondi, Titanya, Zahirah), drumming (Michael Beach), and costuming (Aziza!).

The Cultural Celebration Center opened in July, though it isn't quite finished yet. Its purpose is to focus on culture and the arts to celebrate the richness of talent, creativity and experience among the diverse peoples of the Salt Lake Valley and the Wasatch Mountains, so it is a perfect place for Kismet's Festival. It is, however, large, and it made for a very spread-out event. The main building includes classrooms and very nice (and cool) bathrooms.
  The stage can be opened to either side. One side faces a grassy amphitheater with some benches, while the side Kismet chose to use opens to a large meadow, with space to seat a lot of people. The meadow did fill up more than one can tell from this picture, as this was very early in the day.
The vendors were strung out along the side edge of the meadow, heading out away from the stage, as that was where the electrical hookups were. The line of colorful tents led from near the stage to a circle of booths which included all the food offerings as well as a few more vendors. There was a wide assortment of goods available, from costumes and accessories (of course), to jewelry, pottery, gargoyles, face painting and massage. The food covered a wide range, also, including such foods as Middle Eastern, Greek, Thai, and the good old American Hamburger. As you can see by the background of the pictures, the setting was gorgeous!

The crowd, as always at Kismet's family-oriented Festivals, included a number of baby bellies. You can tell that this young lady is a star already!


Friendly, well-behaved dogs are also frequently in attendance. Cody, here, is all dressed up to fit right in with the two-legged humans! It's too bad that in this picture you can't see the jewel between his eyes nor the stars on his collar.

Stay tuned for more photos of the show
coming soon!

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