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Gilded Serpent presents...
8th Annual Blood Moon Regale:
Disease 101

Photos and text by Brad Dosland

In the eight years since Amy Sigil’s Hot Pot Studio began the Blood Moon Regale, the event has grown from a modest student show to a showcase of the best national and International Belly dance talent. That makes sense; after all, during those same eight years Amy Sigil’s Unmata troupe has taken the tribal Belly dance world by storm, headlining major festivals and touring the globe, with dates in Puerto Rico, England, Czech Republic, Holland, Spain, Germany, Italy, and France slated for 2009.

The magic begins at home, around Halloween, every year.The 2008 Blood Moon Regale consisted of a Friday night fire show, a pair of Saturday workshops with Shakra and The Uzume, the Saturday evening gala show that is the highlight of the event, and a Saturday night after party that rocked deep into Sunday morning.

As the years have progressed, the actual Blood Moon Regale shows have evolved into some of the most ambitious productions in the scene, with myriad acts coming together to create a single story or theme. Past years’ shows have told the twisted tale of Alice in Wonderland, the adventures of Batman in a gothic Gotham City, and last year’s unleashed a menagerie of wild beasts in a demented day at the Zoo.

The stars of the dance have always turned out to play their roles, with Shabnam’s role as the Red Queen, Sabrina Fox as the Caped Crusader, and Suhaila Salimpour as the King of the Jungle. This year’s show was no exception with star power including Urban Tribal from San Diego, Ariellah from the SF Bay Area, Shakra from Washington DC, and The Uzume from the Netherlands. Sooz returned for another wacky turn as the eccentric professor guiding you through this year’s controversial theme: Disease.

With interpretations ranging from comic to poignant, dancers portrayed a gamut of disorders from Scarlet Fever to Head Lice, Elephantiasis to Anorexia. Many of the performances were touchingly powerful, while others such as Origin’s depiction of Crabs had the capacity audience at the grand old Colonial Theatre laughing out loud (and scratching themselves subconsciously).

The after party featured performances by Aubre, Elizabeth Mahina and She’enedra, and Tatseena with her scaly friend. The catered party had everything from crafty shopping opportunities to dancers dressed as naughty nurses. Mitara’s ooky-spooky gothic number was sabotaged by a renegade DJ and ended up as a knee-slapping polka. Unmata and their student group Verbatim closed out the festivities by packing the floor with the unique Hot Pot flavor.

After dancing into the morning, everyone finished the Blood Moon Regale physically and emotionally spent but rejuvenated by the promise of next year’s Blood Moon Regale.

Lisa Fiera of San Francisco in Parkinsons Disease

The Uzume of The Netherlands in Heart Disease

Origin Tribal Bellydance of Chico CA in Crabs

Hiplash LA in Tuberculosis

SeVen of Pasadena CA in Anorexia/Bulimia

Hiplash LA, CA inTuberculosis

the group is Sadiqa form Pittsburgh. Scarlett Fever

Amy and Unmata performing during the after party

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