WEIMAR GIRLS! 2017
.... My favorite thematic numbers in the show were something called Milk Maids, devised by Djahari Clark, which seemed like one part Von Trapp Family, one part Russ Meyer; and another number that evoked silent German Expressionist horror films...
CLOUD CUCKOOLAND 2016
I adore everything that Djahari Clark and Desert Sin do. They manage to bring fairy tales and mythology to life on stage through theatrical dance and costume, and their performances are badass and breathtaking. Their aesthetic is like a live-action 80s Henson fantasy film meets Balinese puppetry pageant, with a dark adult edge thrown into the brew.
CLOUD CUCKOOLAND 2016
A high-flying new fairy tale about the Queen of the Birds will launch the first of six performances in Bushwick on Sept. 8.
CLOUD CUCKOOLAND 2016
As the Phoenix is introduced to Cloud Cuckooland, for example, the elegant, balletic movements of storks (Angela Harriell and creator Djahari Clark) give way later to a section in which the upbeat calypso-inspired composition accompanying a pair of flamingos slows and distorts whenever they dip their heads below the waterline and we glimpse the undersea world. If the second half of Balanchine's The Nutcracker featured the witches that Thomas Middleton wrote for Macbeth and were staged by Cirque de Soleil between performances and experimenting with burlesque, the result would be something like Cloud Cuckooland. With intricate, inventive costumes, athletic, expressive dance, and a sprinkling of puppetry, Cloud Cuckooland furnishes a diverting evening of spectacle (and the occasional bird joke). And you don't have to sign away your heart to see it.
CLOUD CUCKOOLAND 2016
Desert Sin's latest production Cloud Cuckooland: A Story About Death is a multimedia mélange of music, dance, puppetry and aerial arts with sprinklings of spoken word all set against a backdrop of constantly shifting projections.
The chaotically beautiful way in which these elements are combined creates an atmosphere of delirium, a fitting manifestation of the psyche of the girl who has just died. However, the overarching themes of death and transformation are easy to forget in a world where childlike whimsy and colorful spectacle are ever present to seduce viewers away from such matters.
Last night at East Williamsburg's diamond in the rough space House of Yes, I saw an absolutely enthralling and fanciful performance by my favorite theatrical dance company, Desert Sin [Djahari Clark]. They have joined forces with Lady Circus and The Mystery Bird Puppet Show to create "Twitchers," a stunning evening of performances about birds and flying, and I truly cannot recommend it highly enough. Each piece is incredibly inventive, the performers have grace and skill in spades, and the costumes are an exquisite riot of glitter, lace, and - of course - feathers. It is awe inspiring to see the imagination and talent that has gone into the show, especially in light of the fact that they are all relatively young troupes with presumably limited resources. I sat there the entire time breathless, my jaw agape, and feeling that pure childlike wonder that is too often a rarity these days. It's difficult for me to choose my favorite part, as there was so much variety and beauty throughout the night, but I will say I was entirely unprepared to feel not only delighted but totally moved by one piece in particular about a deer and a vulture - and that's all I'll say about that. Anyway, get yourself tickets NOW, this is not to be missed.
MUSEE DES FEMMES:
Hoyt Hilsman of Backstage West 2008
“[Djahari] creates an enticing and eclectic mix of Middle Eastern, Hindu, and modern dance forms, techno-ethnic music, puppeteering, and presentational drama… she has developed an original and energetic mix of styles that makes for a delightful evening.
New York's Flavorpill by H'Rina DeTroy 2008
Musée des Femmes is a titillating fusion of pan-ethnic dance, theatre, and vaudeville spectacle in which beauty and torment square off in vignettes about legendary women. Mata Hari is a Dutch exotic dancer, executed in WWI under false allegations that she was a spy; Joan of Arc is found innocent years after she was burned at the stake for being a heretic (and perhaps for also being a transvestite). With its extravagant costumes and a home in the funky Zipper Factory, Musée des Femmes plumbs the psyche of historical and mythological dames, rendering them beings we can relate to: misunderstood, flawed, and human.
Written 8/9/08 – H'Rina DeTroy
LA Weekly by Amy Nicholson 2005
Desert Sin’s Middle Eastern dance extravaganza [Musée des Femmes] unsettles and enthralls with its striking concoction of latex, glitter and pain. The atmospheric first act finds grim inspiration in a waxwork chamber of horrors, a merry-go-round of legendary women each trapped in her cramped cage. A ghoulish Ringmaster (Brad Miller) orchestrates the rotating stage, forcing each legend from her quarters. Middle-Eastern-style choreography is hypnotic even dressed down, as here — coiling, languorous and cruel. We see Mati Hari (Tatianna) get shot, the Snow Queen (Cassandra) raped (who knew?), and Joan of Arc (Djahari) enters burning. As the Ringmaster’s guest, the audience spends Act 1 feeling uncomfortably implicated in the tortures underscoring the stunning beauty and skill of Djahari’s choreography, and Jeremy Vargus’ superb technics. A briefer Act 2 finds the Ringmaster in Egypt where he promptly recovers from his slight pre-intermission comeuppance when a flock of sinuous sun worshippers reveals his divine origins. This tenuous narrative link sets up a rager between gods Ra and Apep, whose curvaceous minions shimmy and lurch for dominance under two massive, violent puppets. As [Jesse Kingsley’s puppets] loom over the third row, one feels disconcertingly fragile — this spectacle has fangs. Desert Sin Dance Company at the Ivar Theater, 1605 N. Ivar Ave., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sun., 8 p.m.; thru June 12. (866) 468-3399. Written 05/25/2005 (Amy Nicholson)
YouTube Interview on ShowBiz India TV:
Interview w/ Indulge Magazine:
BREAKING NEW GROUND by Jocelyn Matthews
Jareeda Magazine December 2000 p. 18-20
Troupe Desert Sin (Tatianna and Djahari) closed the show with an impressive piece. The pair began by performing a most unusual sword dance, in which Japanese kata swords are used and both participants are blindfolded. Body paint and alternative costuming combined to create a post-apocalyptic effect. Both dancers are skilled, and while the frankness of the dance would perhaps have been shocking to a typical audience of Middle Eastern dance aficionados, the audience for this show had come expecting to see experimental work, and received it quite well. The drum solo alone was lengthy, and it was remarkable to see that Desert Sin retained such synchronicity across the entire choreography.
RX FOR THE JADED BELLYDANCER By Laurie Buenafe
August 11-12, 2000
Like a "Dark Angel" episode, "A Love Story." (Troupe Desert Sin) took the traditional sword dance and spun it on its moody black head with an industrial neo-gothic twist.
EEMED 2002 Review by Dhyanis
Gilded Serpent Magazine 2002
Highlights include a stunning duet by Desert Sin, "Sacramental Skins". described in a subtitle as "the absence of guilt and sin". The pair of blue-painted Shiva-esque bodies with bejeweled nipples move as one in a flawlessly danced portrayal of cosmic lovemaking, struggle and resolution, incorporating erotic Kama Sutra poses and strong MED technique. Also performed by another two members of Desert Sin, draped in sheer black veils over apparently lovely beledy dresses, is a synchronized candle dance which hints of guedra trance but which morphs into pure sensuality when they turn to reveal bare backs and bottoms adorned only with gold coin hip sash and tattoos. They continue with some tandem floor work taken to its animalistic extreme, proclaiming as they walk off, "I just want to be a woman!".
EEMED 2002 by Meleah
November 2002 THE PAPYRUS Magazine pp. 28- 29
One of the memorable pieces for me was "Sacramental Skins," performed by two dancers in royal blue body paint with gold glitter. The body jewelry, hair, and costuming were incredible and must have taken hours to apply. The music was a mix of East Indian and raunchy techno-rock. The dancers appeared as statues; posing and dancing in beautiful harmony with unexpected moments of blatant sexuality. It was incredible.
EEMED 2003 By Victoria Shulem 2003
"Tucson" awarded us with visions of dark forms with silver masks moving and undulating in mind-boggling movements. In the center a form under a dark veil moved pulsating to the music working to the point where suddenly there were four dancers doing a beautiful, strong, and stylish Flamenco dance. Their movements were beautiful and I enjoyed their dance and costume style. The theme was: "When we weight ourselves with doubt and find no beauty in the world we deviate form harmony, and it is those we love most that provide us with the strength to bring ourselves back to a truthful, beautiful, and blameless life. Performers were Desert Sin (Alsana, Cassandra, Djahari, and Tatianna)
LA Weekly - MUSÉE DES FEMMES 2004
Blending a carnival-macabre gleefulness with Hindu kitsch, the (mostly) women of Desert Sin Dance Company cavort through Djahari and Sa’Elayssa’s undulating choreography. In these “tales of the grotesque and arabesque,” not a word is spoken. A pierced-nippled ringmaster-devil (Jeffrey Damnit) slithers in front of a circular platform/merry-go-round to the sounds of a calliope. The turntable houses five compartments, each holding performers who wait in tableaux to break free for their respective sagas. Three dancers (Katherine, Nicolette Henry, Sakaya) portray the Hindu Goddess (of Creation) Kali — all body-painted in ocean-blue and sprinkled with gold stardust. They meld to form the ancient six-armed creature before breaking apart and gyrating erotically to Middle Eastern pop. In “Red Shoes,” adapted from the Hans Christian Andersen story, Sa’Elayssa morphs into a human puppet in a skillful and brilliantly horrifying rendition of a child whose dance shoes crush her feet and dictate her motions (society’s payback for her wearing only those beloved shoes to church). Djahari’s “Saint Joan” — appearing from the dead and making peace with her persecution — is somehow both sensual and ethereal at the same time. Act 2 goes Egyptian with puppets, shadows and a battle between the Sun God Ra and the serpent Apep. It employs the entire ensemble and gallons more body paint and glitter, while exposing torsos galore. Written 03/11/2004 (Steven Leigh Morris)
EEMED 2005 - by Heather Hoxsey
Jareeda Magazine, Oct./Nov. 2005
Eden stands head and shoulders above the others in this respect. It is not the quality of the dance alone through which this is achieved. Amara, Brandon and Djahari are not simply gifted dancers; they have an intrinsic understanding of how to speak without speaking. They use their bodies to convey the story of Adam, Eve and Lilith in a way that few others can. Each movement is taken to its farthest point, and thus digs those few inches deeper into the minds of the audience. They create the story, then let it go, a spirit left to hover about us after the dancers themselves are long gone. Their salvation is the sweetest, and the most heart-rending. It is the oldest story. It held us in the quietest goodbye.
BELLY TRANCE By Hiya Swanhuyser
Published: March 16, 2005
It was sneaky, how they got me. A nice lady recently sent mail about "Undulation2," a two-day belly dancing event, and her message included the following note: "I saw Desert Sin in L.A. last November doing an homage to silent films. Three women painted completely white, with beautiful makeup and little black flapper wigs and slip dresses, somehow managing to seamlessly fuse Middle Eastern dance, the Charleston, and the exaggerated movements of silent film stars." Despite the bizarre picture the description evoked, my thoughts were overwhelmingly along the lines of, "I want that. Gimme some of that. Carve me off a big hunka Desert Sin, like, now."..one killer group of offbeat babes...
Middle-Eastern inspired dance troupe Desert Sin worked a magic on the crowd.
11/16/07 (Elena Dahl)
DANCES OF VICE FESTIVAL 2008
Gothic Goddess Media Magazine
After Oryx Incruentus came the dancing troupe Desert Sin from Los Angeles, CA. They were just amazing! And their costumes under the most fabulous lighting provided by the Element staff. They are indeed strangely alluring, hypnotic, and different. I will have to email them and ask them, "Why Desert Sin?". The name intrigues me. I won't even bother to try and describe their performance. GGM's photos will provide the proof! Written 02/23/2008 (GG-Maria D. Campbell)
"Wow! ...the best piece of original dance theatre that I have seen in a very long time!" - Michael Medina of OUTWORD MAGAZINE
“…extremely profound and very sensual…beautifully decadent. I only hire the best…” - Palagia (OneLegUpNYC – HBO’s “Real Sex”)
“Absolutely beautiful…the best, most polished, critically acclaimed talent in the business.” - Jeremy Vargus (RPI Entertainment)
“Exceptional” – ChicagoPride.com
“…stunning…flawlessly danced…pure sensuality…” – Dhyanis (Gilded Serpent)
“Fucking fierce!” - Sandy Sachs (The Factory)
“Djahari’s jarring performance in “Reccurring Scream”, took us on an emotional journey. Her stunning presence gives the impression of an imprisoned woman on display. Amazing. Another spectacular piece by Desert Sin…deliciously wicked performance…" - Monica Khudan (Jareeda Magazine)