Carol Shannon in "Charlie Wilson's War"

topic posted Fri, December 21, 2007 - 2:13 PM by  Ken
Carol Shannon, one of the previous generation's most accomplished American belly dancers, is depicted in the new film release, "Charlie Wilson's War," starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.

While Carol's character in the film has a secondary role, the real Carol Shannon played a big part in my life and education in the world of dance. Beginning in the late 1970's, I had the honor of working for Carol Shannon for a run of 19 years, as her drummer and MC at the Texas Renaissance Festival.

Carol Shannon was, and remains, a truly remarkable performer. Beyond being an exceedingly skillful and sensuous dancer, Carol made eye contact with every person in her audience (and we often played to crowds of 300 plus, outdoors in broad daylight). When we would take it down soft and slow to a Chiftatelli, for her truly awesome floor work, you could hear a pin drop in that entire crowd.

After her tenure at TRF finally ended, I've continued to work that festival with my own troupe, Gypsy Dance Theatre. The first season that Carol Shannon was gone I had at least 1,000 different people come up to me and ask after her. Although most only knew her from the stage, they all spoke of her as a special friend, and really cared about her.

Now that, my friends, is a great performer. I hope this uniquely talented woman, and the fine art of belly dancing, are properly represented in the film.

Opa for Carol Shannon!

Yours in music and dance, Ken Knezick
posted by:
offline Ken
  • Re: Carol Shannon in "Charlie Wilson's War"

    Fri, December 21, 2007 - 2:36 PM
    Cool! I didn't realize that was her. She was a major influence on me considering belly dancing. Ah, fondly remembering the old days of TRF.

    I can't wait to see the movie. Kerry was stunned they made a movie about hot check Charlie. He knew him through the country club in Lufkin. Apparently he wasn't much more than a puppet for the Temples.

    Is Carol Shannon still around?