Performer Highlight: Little Beasties

The Little Beasties are …

Amina Zareh and Laura Elizabeth!

2 awesome ladies in their own right coming together for a double bang, Slam-Wham of a duet. You really don’t want to miss these ladies on Friday night.

THIS is the DEBUT of The Little Beasties at Tribal Fest, and they will be Rockin the stage at the AfterParty’s big pumpin sound system. There’s lots I can say about these awesome ladies, but just come and see them – And be AMAZED!

By solunamar

Performer Highlight: Irina Akulenko

I think it was 3 years ago that Irina was here at Tribal Fest with Sarah J. Locke and Alchemy Dance, where they gave an amazing performance at Tribal Fest.

Since then, I have collaborated with her in New York at Kaeshi Chai’s night Djam at Jebon, and seen her perform with Belly Queen.

She is an amazing performer and will be bringing a beautiful solo to the AfterParty on Saturday night.

You will Only see her at the AfterParty this year!


By solunamar

Performer Highlight: Hannah Lily

You may have recently seen her recently with the Les Petites Bonbons trio, and will be seeing them on the Tribal Fest stage together this year … BUT …

We will be be hosting Hannah for her first Tribal Fest Solo performance at the AfterParty. I have seen her performance growth since I met her when she was performing with Heather Shoopman’s troupe Se7en, and have seen her with different groups and collaborations over the past years, and have loved what she has brought to each performance.

She has grown from a great dancer to an Awesome dancer in quite a short timespan. I am really looking forward to her solo on Friday night at the AfterParty. In fact, each of the Les Petites Bonbons ladies will be performing solos at the AfterParty.

By solunamar

Performer Highlight: Gibson Pearl

I have known Gibson Pearl and admired her dancing since my first introduction to the Tribal Belly Dance scene in 2004. She always stood out to me, even back in the Ultra Gypsy days when we were doing shows together at El Rio in SF before Electric Vardo sprouted.

Many of you may not know this, but she was an integral member of the Electric Vardo crew from its very beginnings. Her, Jill Parker and Rose Harden produced the first Electric Vardo shows with DJ Sep and I.

She has been part of the AfterParties since the beginning of time (ok, well, 2007, when it all started :). When I started planning the first Tribal Fest AfterParty, she was on top of my list of performers to bring in, and has been a part of the resident headlining crew since then.

The only year she missed was shortly after her baby was born in 2012. In 2011, though, she was there with baby in belly and rocked the stage with one of her most stellar performances (painting below by Calvin Lai, from original photo by Brad Dosland, taken during her duet piece with Mareeshka at the 2011 AfterParty).

We are so happy to have her back this year for another Exclusive AfterParty performance on Saturday night at the Hopmonk.


Performer Highlight: Faust & Freyja / Glass Butterfly

  • Glass Butterfly: Faust & Freyja, Featured Performers – Friday Night

One of the things I am most excited about this year is debuting a new song. Not only will I be debuting a new song, but it is the first piece of music I have produced – all thanks to a couple of amazing ladies I call friends and creative collaboration partners – Freyja and Jennifer Faust, who asked me to do the music score for The Glass Butterfly.


Freyja and I have done several projects and collaborations together, including performing together as a trio with SooozhyQ (DJ+Dance+Dumbec) at Electric Vardo and other bay area events. Soon after our performance collaborations started, Freyja joined me in production of Electric Vardo and Shadowdance. She was part of the performer crew at the first AfterParties in 2007 and 2008 (I know some of you will remember her from The Beckys – way back, as well as her awesome choreographed performances and improv sets with me). After a performing hiatus while she focused on her career and training in holistic movement, she has returned to perform with us for this special piece.

Amar and Freya
Photo by Sequoia Emmanuelle

Jennifer has been a regular performer at Electric Vardo and Hip’n’Bass shows over the years. She is a member of the Suhaila Dance Company and Deshret Dance Company. I am looking forward to having her at the Tribal Fest AfterParty, and thankful that she has included us in this project.

SE black and white 1

Now the 3 of us are part of what began as an idea in Jennifer’s creative brain, and has flowed into a full blown feature short film, or music video of sorts, backed by a group of professional animators and film industry producers. Below is a glimpse of the work in progress and vision from the successfully funded kickstarter campaign. The original music score was produced by DJ Amar (Yeah, That’s Me :), – and that’s me in the video clip) with choreography by Vanessa “Freyja” Naja. The project was taken on as a student project by the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and is due for release later this year.

Shots-In-Progress: Glass Butterfly – Chapter I from Jennifer Phang on Vimeo.

(Note that the soundtrack in the above video is not the song we are using in the final cut).

Friday night will be the World Premiere public performance and preview of the new song, which will be included in my upcoming album due for release in 2014.

By solunamar

Performer Highlight: Emily Alrick

My first introduction to Emily was in Ashland, when we did a show together. The introduction was coordinated by my friends Jeffe & Layla from Eugene. Emily hosted us in Ashland, and performed at the show with her troupe, Circus Tribal.

I was obviously impressed because I quickly invited her to perform at the Tribal Fest afterparty in its early years. If my memory serves me right, it was 2008 when she joined the cast and immediately became one of our resident performers. What I mean by ‘resident’ is that, while we bring in different performers each year, we have a small crew of regulars who join us when they are able to make it to Tribal Fest. She hasn’t been able to join us every year, but she has been there consistently as a soloist or with her troupe, Circus Tribal.

This year, she will be joining me in an improv set as part of the Electric Vardo Live piece, along with Michaella Manning and singer Daniella White. I am really looking forward to having Emily in my set, and mixing the music live – on the fly – for a truly interactive improv performance by both DJ and Dancer.

By solunamar

Performer Highlight: Avery Lamar

While Tribal Fest and the AfterParties bring in performers from across the globe, we also have our home-grown folks who are hot on the touring circuit and are gems of the local community. Avery is no exception, and no stranger to the Hopmonk stage. She has hit the festival stages with the likes of Drumspyder, David Starfire and DJ Dragonfly at  Symbiosis, Earthdance and (as pictued below) Lightning in a Bottle.

She will be joining DJ Dragonfly for an improv. dance performance on Friday night.

Performer Highlight: Ariellah

  • Ariellah, Featured Performer, Friday night

We are very honored to have the amazing Ariellah back for another performance at the Tribal Fest AfterParty. It is a rather rare opportunity to catch her in town these days, so we are fortunate to have her back. Many of you remember the first Tribal Fest AfterParty in 2007, when we had Ariellah, Unmata and Sabrina Fox headlining the show that started it all – the one at Oddfellows Hall (This pic below was taken at that show by Brad Dosland).


Since then, she has either been out of town or teaching and performing on the Tribal Fest stage (One thing that makes the AfterParty unique is that we do not book the same acts performing at Tribal Fest). She graced our stage at the Hopmonk again in 2011, and will be back this year for an Exclusive performance at the AfterParty, opening the performance section of the night with a very special guest joining her.

Once you enter the Abbey (following the Fire Show, performances and Live Music by Helm outside) you will be greeted by the humble greatness that is Ariellah – and will probably be blown away. I can’t think of a better way to bring ‘Halfway to Halloween’ into the night.

By solunamar

Performer Highlight: Alejandra Escárcega

We are excited to announce that we will be bringing this Amazing lady up from Mexicali for an Exclusive performance at the Tribal Fest AfterParty. We met her at Cairo Caravan last year, and decided immediately after watching her perform in the Evening Gala show that we Had to bring her up.

Please welcome Alejandra to her first ever Tribal Fest. Some of you know her, and no explanation is needed as to why you should be there on Saturday night, and i’m sure you’ve already told your friends. Folks who have not seen her before, you are in for a special treat.

Cairo Caravan 2012 - Performance Portraiture and Stage Photography by Lee CorkettPhoto by Lee Corkett, Weathervane Images, Cairo Caravan 2012

Click on photo above to visit her page.