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Gilded Serpent presents...

The Photos of

Saroya Ahlaam

March 2006
Rakkasah Festival, Richmond, Ca

Suzanna Del Veccio

I don't know if you remember Naheda from 2 years ago when she brought down the house with her minimal costume and incredible dancing (not to mention the Turkish Drop ending!) Well, she was back this year. The skirt left her after the first dance & she continued in the pants & bodysuit. Great dancing but it didn't blow me away like the first time I saw her... Don't get me wrong, she was great... It's just that the first time was a mind blower.

Rachel George is a prote'ge' of Aziza and is one of the best kept secrets of the Pacific Northwest. I can't believe she's been dancing only 9 or 10 years. She certainly knows her stuff!!

Nadira has been on the contest track for a year or more. It was nice seeing her at Rakkasah.

Suhaila's troupe

Ayesha's Oasis Dance Company (Medford OR). Ayesha is in the front of the line up in left photo.
They opened the Cabaret stage on Friday night...

Aradia, I saw her originally on the Belly Dance Revolution DVD. Anyway, she was a replacement at Rakkasah for a no-show and did a great job! I was so impressed with the crystals on her costume. You could see them sparkle from the back of the auditorium.

DaVid packed the small Cabaret stage room. It was very hard to get pictures around all the heads in front of me, but I did get a few...

Rising Stars
Sherry Brier's troupes always look good and I liked their presentation on Saturday night.
We stayed late Sunday so as not to miss Said al Amir. He was featured recently in Zaina Hart's BellyDancer Magazine. Even Jamilla Salimpour sat next to me to watch him dance! He was not disappointing, except to say he performed late and much of the audience was heading home. We were the fortunate ones who stayed. Maybe he'll get a better time slot next year. He deserves it!

Fahtiem was wonderful.

I enjoyed the dance Angelika's Dance Ensemble did. I originally saw the dance performed on IAMED's Second Awards of Bellydance DVD.

Kaya & Sadie's performance was not a favorite of mine. I don't want to give the latter too much press, but I thought it belonged in a nightclub and not in a family venue. I e-mailed Sadie after I got home. No response. But, after they got through the sexual positions part and actually started dancing, I got a couple shots which I'm sending along.

Hasani has always been a favorite of mine. I've gone to a couple Oasis Dance Camps on Vashon Island, Oregon, where she has taught and I'm always impressed. She danced to Mirage.

Dawna is from Phoenix, Arizona, and danced to Mirage on the big stage. They had Mark Bell sitting in with them...

What can I say about Ansuya? She is so amazing! I felt so fortunate to see her dance live, much less take a workshop from her and get a picture of her and I together. She is such a sweetie. It was one of the highlights of my weekend!

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Ready for more?
4-22-05 Friday Evening, Page 2, Rakkasah West Festival 2005, Richmond, California, photos by GS Volunteers including: Jasmine, Lynette, Michelle, Monica, Sandra, Saroya Ahlaam, Susie, Zaheea

3-31-05 Rakkasah West Festival 2005 Photos- Friday Page 1 photos by GS Staff and Friends

4-17-06 In a New England Snowstorm, Hopes of Spring...Amel Tafsout, workshop review by Rachel Scherer
At some point, one collapses into a dream, but this dream world is the most real of realities.

5-17-06 An interview with Leila by Lynette
"Turning tricks," or sleeping with nightclub or hotel owners, is not required to make it as a dancer in Egypt, but it is a complicated and questionable industry and there are many pressures.

5-17-06 Making New Musical Inroads in Luxembourg 2005 by Mark and Ling Shien Bell
Helm takes Rhythm Diatribes Workshops to Europe. It was extremely educational for us to watch the learning process in three very diverse regions.


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