Fair Features Belly Dancers

By Emily Van Cleve In Journal North September, 2013

It takes Pomegranate Studios owner and director Myra Krien three months to sew the costumes and prepare choreography for her company’s appearance at the Santa Fe Renaissance Fair. Between 15 and 30 student and professional dancers offer two main stage shows and several shorter shows throughout the two-day fair.

This year’s event will take place on Sept. 21 and 22 at El Rancho de las Golondrinas, which is located in the village of La Cienega, 12 miles south of Santa Fe.

Pomegranate Studios, which provides programs focusing on the artistic heritage of the Middle East as expressed through music, dance, poetry and visual arts, will present fully-staged 45-minute shows on the fair’s main stage. Company members also will entertain visitors in the fair’s tavern and near the museum’s main entrance.

“My family helped found the original Renaissance fairs in California,” said Krien. “I grew up in them. Being part of the Santa Fe Renaissance Fair is a labor of love.”

Now in its sixth year, the Santa Fe Renaissance Fair drew 4,000 visitors to its first event. Last year, more than 8,000 guests roamed the living history museum’s spacious grounds to watch sword fighting, Celtic games, juggling, jousting and combat demonstrations.

“One-third of our guests come dressed up in costumes,” said Amanda Crocker, the museum’s director of programs and marketing. “Sometimes it’s hard to tell who works at the museum during the weekend and who are the guests because so many people are dressed in Renaissance outfits.”

Costume contests take place on both days, with  prizes going to the winners. First-place winners receive free museum membership for one year.

Children who want to dress up like a fairy when they visit the fairy village can purchase appropriate garb from one of the vendors. Staff at the fairy village put on skits and sponsor arts and crafts activities for children. The mascot of the fairy village is a real white horse dressed as a unicorn.

The Renaissance Fair also features flamenco and Celtic dancers, singers and strolling instrumentalists. A brochure handed to each visitor at the entrance lists the weekend’s entertainment schedule.