Back in the day, those uptight Victorians derided belly dance as the hoochee coochee (and that Salome certainly did nothing to help the cause way back in Galilee….) But this weekend, you can see just how far the art form has come when a thousand belly dancers from around the world converge on the Queen Mary in Long Beach for the three-day Cairo Caravan: a celebration of all things shimmy shake.
The highlight of the Middle Eastern Culture & Dance Association (MECDA) gathering is the Saturday night Cairo Sunset/Evening Show featuring top dancers such as Dondi (one of Miles Copeland’s Bellydance Superstars) , Mira Betz (a Bay Area belly dance powerhouse) and Princess Farhara (a.k.a. former punk princess/L.A. Weekly gossip columnist Pleasant Gehman).
Your ticket also admits you to the Shimmython, a shake-it-til-you-drop-it-or-win-it benefit for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. (Better pack some Dramamine so you don’t get woozy watching all those undulating hips!) Check out the creatively decorated brassieres in the BraVo Fundraiser. (Crafty DDs HAVE to have an advantage, right?!) Vote for your preferred push-up with a donation that benefits the National Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation. You can also attend free workshops and lectures like Nancy Wallace’s “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy”. (The subject? Your show, not your bod, baby.)
You definitely won’t want to miss the every-half-hour “World of Wonders” Stage, which features “the extraordinary, the abominable, [and] the phenomenal”; think sideshow staples with a twist like the Siamese Twins, the Figi Mermaid, and the Snake Charmer among many others.
That rumble you hear?
Countless Victorians turning over in their graves….
Ready? U Know U Want 2 Go Go….
MECDA’s 33rd annual Cairo Caravan
Friday, 6/4 – 5:00PM – 9:00PM
Saturday, 6/5 – 11:00AM – 7:00PM – Special Evening Show 8:00PM – 10:00PM
Sunday, 6/6 – 11:00AM – 5:00PM
Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA
1126 Queen’s Highway
Long Beach 90802
Three day ticket: $50
Single day ticket: $6 – $18