When you see a dirty rear window of a Toyota, with what appears to be an om sign missing its hat drawn on the dirt, instead of something that says "I'm filthy, wash me?" you know you're in another realm.
This time, I didn't take any workshops nor stayed near Sebastopol. Instead, Laura picked Julia and me up at Julia's apartment in Berkeley, and we went from there. We arrived in Sebastopol on Saturday, May 19, 2012, at around 10 AM, just in time to catch Laura Elizabeth's performance.
We only came on one day: Saturday, and boy it was a treat. It was the day of ATS®. We had Ujbaba from Russia (those girls... I've said this once, and I'm going to say this again: Ujbaba proves that no matter how far removed you are from the mother ship, you can still have the ATS® posture and attitude), Spin-Off (Ms. Wendy Allen's student troupe from Alameda, CA), Blue Diamonds Belly Dance (student troupe of FatChanceBellyDance®) and of course, FatChanceBellyDance® themselves.
It was a day of shopping (I finally got two saye goshas that I'd been eyeing ever since last year's Tribal Fest) and Silk Road Tribal did not disappoint. Thank God I didn't have that much money and they were out of red talhakimts, or I'd be more broke. If that's even possible.
Other notable mentions were: Donna Mejia-Ela Rogers-Hilde Cannoodt Intrepid Bodacity, Donna Mejia's solo, Ela Rogers' solo (I finally understood her. She had this... amazing stage presence, and her facial expression was so spot on), Ambush Bellydance (I don't understand why this group is named this way, but they were spectacular), Devi Mamak & April from Ghawazi Caravan (using Flamenco and ATS®, they were moving poetry), and Paige Lawrence (he can actually dance, and this is probably inappropriate, but I don't care: I find him really attractive). That being said, I was busy going in and out and eating with my dance sisters, and so I didn't really sit still and see the whole show.
And we took off earlier for dinner at Infusion Cafe (or something - great tea, but the food was total rip off, and it took them ages to make our dinner, and they let two crazy dudes in: one was playing the guitar in the parking lot and then came into the cafe, STILL PLAYING THE DAMN GUITAR, and the other was high beyond belief. The high guy was spotted at Tribal Fest too). So I missed this (somehow NSFW):
Suhaila Salimpour and the Bal Anat closed the Saturday show. We thought they would do the same performance they did at Rakkasah, but they didn't. Those are boobs. We didn't see those at Rakkasah. We didn't see them at Tribal Fest 12 either because we left early (thank God). You see that black block on her left nipple? That was my doing with Photoshop. You're welcome.
You know, I'm not going to apologize. I'm going to say this: call me a prude, call me short-sighted, but I don't think this is art. I mean, braless? Really? They can afford all those assuits, why can't they make a white or beige bra covered in cowrie shells? I mean, it would have the same effect, probably even better. There were straight men in the audience. This is exactly why I stopped being a PETA person: female nudity can be avoided.
I didn't see the performance first hand. There's a YouTube video of it, but I haven't seen it and I'm planning to not see it (that's different from "not planning to see it"). So maybe, maybe I missed the point. Then again, that whole Saturday was so filled with skimpy clothed ladies and dub step songs and pieces that are said to be "theatrical" just to get away with having visibly low quality, that my eyes were hurting from rolling over and over, my sides were splitting because I was trying hard to restrain my laughter, and my ears were in pain because of those... dub steps.
So, again, maybe I missed the point, but maybe I also didn't. Maybe I was the boy who said that the emperor was naked (an unsightly view, otherwise I'd die of dehydration from overdrooling). Maybe if I had been there when Bal Anat performed, I'd have liked it because judging from the assuits and all, they were dancing to a more traditional Middle-Eastern music, and at Tribal Fest, that's awesome and rare.
Then again, come to think of it, maybe it's like that hard poem, or hard fiction story, or independent film, the one that gets so critically acclaimed because it's difficult to understand. The judge or critic or whatever doesn't get it, but doesn't want to admit it, so in order to look intelligent, he/she applauds that piece of... art.
However, I also didn't see this performance below and I truly regret it. And now, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the genius work of Sooz Tribal. This is theatrical, this is American Tribal Style®, but most of all, this is heartfelt and amazing. I saw Sooz's work last year and it was hilarious, but this one... This one touches so many strings of my cold, dark heart, and melts it that it comes out of my eyes as tears.
Finally, here are some photos to cleanse your palate.
Blue Diamonds Belly Dance:
The perfect Layback
Ms. Carolena Nericcio's back and her gorgeous tattoos.
And of course: Vlad... Look at that horn. They didn't name him "Vlad" for nothing. That horn looks suspiciously like a fetish dildo or something. Although that pointy thing does seem like it's able to deliciously touch some hard-to-reach spots.
Which reminds me of another impaler (or not, I don't know him and his preference):
I had to blur out the dangling part, otherwise this blog would've been R-rated. Click here to see the full view (NSFW). Again, you're welcome.