The Gilded Serpent

The Gilded Serpent presents...

Raven and Zephirah Dance In Light Rain
Reviewed by Wendy Meluch

Like many other dancers, I have loved Light Rain since my early dancing days.  Indeed, a friend of mine danced to Beautiful Friend at my wedding.  Over the years, I have found many and deepening ways of dancing with  Light Rain’s music.  So of course I leapt at the chance to see Raven and Zephirah Dance In Light Rain.

While my aesthetic and videographic quibbles with this video are many, there is much to recommend.  The selection of music is lovely, as one would expect.  Most of the costumes are beautiful and very effective.  Students and professionals should be able to glean some good ideas here.

Dancers will do well to watch Raven closely.   The dance comes from deep inside her with feeling and precision.  Her movements are complete and fluid and those locks are awesome!  You can see the energy move through her body.  Raven gives solo performances to Tar Marmalade, Amber (danced among the rocky cliffs with a dagger) and Women of the Well (circular veil).  

Several of the solo pieces (Tar Marmalade, Dark Fire, and Women of the Well)  are staged in a set.  While this gives them a static feeling, it does showcase technique so the dancers in the viewing audience can take note.  Useful? Yes.  Still, I am left wanting to see these two performers interact with (and maybe smile at) a live audience as well.

Two duets are staged in natural settings (DeAnne’s Dream and Spirit of the Wind).  I appreciate the gesture of returning the dance to the natural world.  Beautiful women dancing among the poppies, in the breeze and out from behind trees -- all great ingredients!   I would like to see Raven and Zephirah treat the landscape as something more than a stage.  (This might speak more to my Pagan leanings than to this production, however.)  Much of these two duets are planned and performed as simultaneous solos, but during those brief passages of synchronized movements, these women give us glimpses of the irresistible divine.

Speaking of irresistible, maybe you’ve heard about Doug Adams’ and Zephirah’s rendition of Moon Rise.  In this piece, dancer and violin-playing musician become aware of, and eventually entwined with, each other. Watching Moon Rise brought to my mind thoughts of the indelible marriage between movement and music that is dance.  I prefer that interpretation of the piece over the more obvious one. 

At the same time, I appreciate that Doug and Zephirah have dared to go public with a depiction of the sensual, sexual nature of belly dance and have managed to do so in an artistic way.

  This number would be greatly enhanced by more sophisticated videography and higher production values.

Even though, and because, Zaphira and Raven Dance in Light Rain differently than you or I probably would, much of what they’ve produced here deserves a look.  If you can look past the uncreative videography and awkward transitions you will find some diamonds in the rough.

Have a comment? Send us a letter!
Check the "Letters to the Editor" for other possible viewpoints!

Ready for More?
More from Shira-
9-13-02 Mailbox Missives: Are You Helping or Hurting Our Vendors?
Fortunately, very few bad vendors exist.
9-6-02 Summer Caravan 2002, Sunday Photos from July 28, 2002 by GS Staff
extras include- extra photos of Leila Haddad's amazing show and candids shots of faces you know!
9-5-02 Interview- Soraya of Oklahoma City by Lynette
Shani had learned by going to watch the belly dancers at the Round Table after working as a ‘twister’ at the Peppermint Lounge”.

The Belly Dance Reader on sale now!

Get the SnakeByte!

The Gilded Serpent