by author of previous year's AWS event
I started oriental
dance in 1991 thinking that it might fun; little did I realize
how wrapped up I would become in bellydance. Three years and all
the possible dance classes later I was ready to take my first
trip to Cairo. A Danish drummer Lars-Bo Kujahn
organized the trip for a group of Scandinavian drummers and dancers.
That was it pretty much; ever since I have needed my yearly dose
of Egypt. Of course there sometimes are other things in life;
however, this Easter I celebrated my tenth time in Cairo.
Easter is a Christian holiday turned out everyone was out of
town. Cairo felt quite empty, actually.
was a family picnic day for everyone. No work was done and not
everybody returned to work after the holiday.
it is to go back time after time and see that certain things
are just the same – like the pyramids and Dina.
Of course, with the latter a few changes have been made in the
course of time but you can trust her to be Dina.
first time I ever saw her in the Cairo Sheraton, one of her
outfits was a simple red dress with just a couple of rhinestone
buttons as a decoration. No other dancer could have gotten by
with such a simple costume.
was tight and kept creeping up and she had to pull it down every
couple of minutes. I was irritated. Wouldn't you think that
such a star could afford dresses that fit properly when she
moves? Well, I was obviously young and naive. I now understand
that the point of the dress was just that. Come to think of
it that is one of the things that has changed: these days there
isn't really that much to pull down anymore, is there?
With all this
carrying on I'm just trying to summon enough nerve to say that
I skipped her this time. I always want to do something that
I haven't done before and this qualifies. It felt strange at
first but I survived and it gave me one more reason to go again.
Dina is performing in the Semiramis
Intercontinental on Thursdays.
For the past
Kamel has been my absolute favorite dancer. She was
now dancing at the Marriot
Night Club as well as the Nile
is so strong and powerful and beautiful and intense. Even the
not-so-stylish costumes she used to wear didn't take anything
away from her.
she is now dressed by Eman Zaki, so that department
is very well taken care of.
in the near-by table didn't seem to care too much for Randa,
preferring Dina and Nancy. They said that Randa
was too muscular. I didn't take that very well and dreamed of
saying to them "Dancing is hard work with your muscles,
you nitwits" but, being the coward that I am, I ended up
saying "oh, I quite like her". Wonderful
as Randa is, there is a difference in seeing her first show
of the night opposed to the last. I recommend the first.
Asmahan was also performing at the Nile Maxim.
Her other venue is the Mena
House. She, too, is a very strong dancer and a great
entertainer, but to me feeling is lacking from her dancing.
had never been to the Cairo Opera before so it was time to go.
And what did they have to offer? A week of Finnish music.
So I went
and listened to the créme de la créme of Finnish classical musicians
at the Cairo Opera. What an extraordinary experience! As the
Cairones were out of town, most probably including the person
responsible for advertising, it was mainly the Finnish community
of Cairo that attended.
has a very nice and relaxed atmosphere. I quite recommend it
if you need a break from the dance hassle.
One more recommendation:
the restaurant Abu el Sid in Zamalek.
They advertise serving traditional Egyptian home cooked meals
and the meals are good.
in the evening they were playing the same loud techno music
no one in the world wants to listen to. But where else can you
ask for a change of music and get old Andalucian songs, the
ones originally written for the Reda Troupe? Try this
Ashmahan of Argentina and
her drummer at the Mena House in Giza
a comment? Send us a
Check the "Letters to the Editor"
for other possible viewpoints!
A Report on the First International Bellydance
Conference of Canada Part One- Lectures, Workshops, Panel Discussions
by Diane Adams Photos by Lynette
18-22, 2007 Toronto, Ontario. Hosted by Yasmina Ramzy of Arabesque
Academy in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, this International Bellydance
Conference of Canada, the first ever on the Canadian dance scene,
proved to be one of the top dance experiences in this reviewer’s
Interview with Kay Taylor by Leila
Kay seemed a bit older and wiser to the ways of Cairo, many people
assumed she was my manager. They would address their questions
about my fee or my experience to Kay.
Randa Kamal in Cairo
The Photos of Susie Poulelis
fortunate to travel to Cairo on business in April '06, and managed
to take some time to see a few sights and, at least, one dance
performance: Randa Kamal at the Marriot Zamelek's Empress Nightclub
Belly Dance:Time for Personal Assessment
or How old are your Shoes? by
do you personally want from the dance? In order to answer this
honestly, you must make a personal assessment of your goals and
include your achievements.
"Veiled Visions" How Belly Dance
Music was First Brought to the United States by Ray Rashid,
intro by Amina
time he told me about a blind accordion player who sat and made
lots of jokes while they rehearsed, that musician turned out to
be Ammar el Sharie.
Chapter 5: Listen to the Music
by Amina Goodyear
wanted us to look exotic, like we were from the Middle East, so
he made us stay downstairs, look available and wear sexy, skimpy
pantaloon outfits or diaphanous caftans when we were not dancing.
San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, Weekend Two, photos by
Chinese, Peru, Korean, Appalachian, Bolivian, Mexico, Tajikistan,
Cambodian, South Indian, Tahitian
My DVD Shoot Adventure, A Bellyqueen
& Peko Collaboration by Elisheva
thought I had left my bad luck mantra at the airport, but I soon
found that it followed me right through the studio door.