Gilded Serpent presents...
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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more by Aziza!
Friends Are Where You Find Them
people thought that we were partners, as we were so close, but that
wasn’t the case, either.
My Troupe Adventures
The first thing that I discovered was that I hated to design
or perform choreography – it was like having my teeth pulled -
and I wasn’t too hot at it, truth to tell.
to Santa Rosa
So I married
a Greek, and for a while it was okay with him that I continued to dance...
I didn’t see just how it happened, but evidently a couple of brothers
from Cyprus were hired to put the Taverna out of business.
The Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp
in Mendocino by Yasmela
is nothing like immersing yourself in study and in the strange and unique
culture of the Middle Eastern music and dance “scene”.
The “Tuck It Under” Phenomenon
by Vilia (Valerie Cherry)
“Tucking under” is for ballet, and it has less
to do with posture than it does with enabling the execution of the kinds
of movements and positions that ballet demands.
Orient House Istanbul by Justine Merrill
fears about our security from friends, everywhere we went in Turkey,
we met with nothing but perfect friendliness and assistance.