The Gilded Serpent presents
Part 2 of our photo report of...

The Virgin Megastore Grand Reopening,
with Jillina, Sahlala Dancers, and
Issam Houshan
Youth, Beauty and Branding

San Francisco, California,
December 3, 2003

photos by Lynette


Setting the Scene
A slightly bizarre setting for performers of our genre! ...Pack and set out your bags ready for the morning...awaken at some awful hour of the morning to get on a bus full of other probably cranky cohorts. 6-9 hours to arrive in San Franscico from Los Angeles....park your huge bus somewhere downtown...walk a few blocks with your bags wearing too much makeup and stepping over sleeping homeless and their collection containers...arrive through a doorway to a brightly lit, cold, and modern retail space that is wall to wall filled with racks of CDs. There are escalators to your left and video screens are everywhere. Your audience is a broad market of individuals who have probably just gotten off work and are transitioning to their homes. They are caught by their curiosity about the comotion as they pass by. Without the help of your overblown surroundings, your challenge is to transform their work anxieties into a softer world with curves instead of angles and points.

The Party
The required VIP party is upstairs and consists of "suits," press, and courtesans with laminated passes. We were served champagne and dainty treats, and given bags of promotional products. The elite permitted behind the curtain to the party rubbed elbows with the top brass who made appearances and indulged the minions posing for pictures. The Bellydance Superstars inventor, Miles Copeland, hangs close by quietly watching his beauties and the reactions of the crowd... and the marketiers. Is this our future?

Richard BransonRichard Branson

Richard Branson owns Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and other virgins entities. He is known as a suave and famous entrepreneur recognized for his daring feats and successful business ventures.

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Ready for More?
1-31-04 Memories from Planet Earth by Sadira/Sierra
Apathy is alive and well.

1-17-04 Virgin Megastore Reopening featuring Jillina & the Sahlala Dancers & Issam Houshan, photos and layout by Susie
San Francisco, CA, Wednesday, December 3, 2003

1-25-04 One Ad Changed My Life by Amina Goodyear
I was very desperate and determined to get back to my old self.

1-14-04 Understanding Middle Eastern Rhythm by Frank Lazzaro
The rhythms of the tabla inspire the dance, so to understand these rhythms is to fully blossom as a dancer.

1-7-04 Luna Gitana 2003 photos and layout by Susie Poulelis
Featuring Kamaal and Shoshanna Presented by Vashti, A Bellydance Odyssey Production, Santa Cruz, CA November 15, 2003

1-3-04 Khairiyya Mazin Struggles to Preserve Authentic Ghawazi Dance Tradition by Edwina Nearing But when Khairiyya Mazin retires, one of the most distinctive traditions of Ghawazi dance may come to an end.








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