The opening night of the long-running Middle Eastern dance themed celebration known as the Cairo ShimmyQuake Belly Dance Festival (CSQ) will be enchantingly dark and decadent this year. Conceived, directed and narrated by Princess Farhana (the dancer persona of punk legend and longtime L.A. Weekly contributor Pleasant Gehman), Mystique traces the evolution of mystical dance, meshing ritual and movement to evoke expression from ancient civilizations and the sensual performance of modern times. Opening with a traditional Egyptian exorcism known as a zar, the ominous show infuses Vedic astrology, sorcery, voodoo and more with a diverse cast local troupes and solo dancers including Aubre Hill, Daniel Estéban, Devilla, Dusty Paik, Edenia Archuleta, Jayna Manoushe, Kamala Almanzar, Mandala DanceWorks, Mirielle Mischook, Qabila Folk Dance Company, Shauntel and Sherri Wheatley.

Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale; Fri., June 7, 7 p.m.; $15 in advance, $20 at the door. cairoshimmyquake.com.

LA Weekly