Fairs, Festivals, & Fiestas, Dance-Performance

7th Annual Belly Dance Festival

When: Sat., Aug. 2, 12-9 p.m. and Sun., Aug. 3, 12-8 p.m. 2008

Though the origins of Middle Eastern dance (known, in the west, as belly dancing) are open for debate, most scholars would concede that it's a protean form, and an amalgam of several folkloric traditions. In the last few decades it's evolved considerably, poaching styles from hip-hop, Bollywood films, burlesque dancing, "tribal fusion," and Goth culture -- each a pastiche form in its own right. Collectively, they make a dizzying panoply. This weekend's Belly Dance Fantasy Festival offers a chance to see many top-notch Bay Area dance groups perform their interpretations of the form. Also featuring Moroccan food by Tangia and a huge bazaar with vendors selling jewelry, instruments, and fantasy costumes, the festival runs Saturday, Aug. 2, noon-9 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 3, noon-8 p.m. at San Leandro Marina Center (15301 Wicks Blvd., San Leandro). $10-$15 or $25 including classes. Tatseena.com/festival.htm

Rachel Swan

Price: $10-$15 or $25 including classes

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