Music and Songs for Oriental Dance"
produced by Nader Zakaria, at Merryland Studio Heliopolis,
Artistic direction by Yasmina
CD Review by Catherine Barros
in the dance steps of "Heya di Yasmina" and "Layali Yasmina", "Ehab
Masr" is the latest CD of music that has been produced
for Yasmina of Cairo. This CD includes music which
can be used for a full show with costume changes or separately. Most
of the songs are approximately 6 minutes or under with a full
length opening number.
Depending on your
mood and tastes, there should be something for just about
everyone on this CD.
What I like about this
CD is that along with the quality of the music, the flavor
and the moods of the pieces vary quite nicely. Yasmina's
latest selections include a mix of older songs (composed by Baligh Hamdi and Mohamed abdel Wahab)
along with modern compositions ("Ehab Masr", "Tribute to Samia Gamal" -
both composed by Reda Saad). The pieces are of varying
styles (Nubian, Balady, Sha'abi, Classic) and what helps to
emphasis the difference is the vocal talents of several singers. Certainly,
each singer's voice is different and a voice is like an instrument,
which, whether mizmar, drum, violin or kanoun, contributes
to the over all sound of the song.
On my first listen
to this CD, I jumped out of my chair to start dancing when
I hit track 3, "Agibni Kulak (I Like Everything About
Amazingly enough I
still do, even after I have listened to it well over 100 times. I
have used this song for performance twice now and it never
fails me. It gives me incredible energy and I would swear
it is better than any mood altering drug you can imagine. Ok,
now that probably seems like a bit of an exaggeration, but
I really have had lots of fun with this song. The singer's
voice is a bit rough but he sings his heart out with great
support from his backup singers plus it has one of my favorite
instruments, an accordion.
But this CD isn't a
one hit CD, so don't stop on track 3 as there is a lot of music
to like on this CD. The Opening, "Ehab Masr",
is a quite nice piece of music, which makes use of a full orchestra. In
the style of any good opening piece, it has many changes of
rhythms that are certain to challenge a dancer while keeping
the audience interested in her performance. I loved the
lush, old fashioned feel of "Tribute to Samia Gamal",
which evokes images of graceful dancers in flowing gowns without
losing that Oriental feel. I can see Yasmina dancing
a duet with Mohamed Khazafy to this music as I have seen them
dancing on the Farha Tour DVDs ("Tribute to Abdel
halim Hafiz", "Tribute to Farid el Atrash & Samia
For something completely
different, the "Nubian Cocktail" is a nice medley
of 3 different songs, which starts out a bit slow then builds
up some speed for the ending. This medley is a good addition
because I haven't heard too many CDs that include Nubian music
as used in a full show in Cairo and a nice change from the
more typical Saidi and/or Eskanderany tableau. Following
the "Nubian Cocktail" is an "African Drum Solo",
which I think is very hot.
For me, it brought
up images of the young Mona
el Said doing her famous drum
solo in the gold lame bikini looking costume. HOT!! And
the perfect finish for an ethnic performance.
The Classical Balady
piece that is included was composed by Mounir Abdel-Aziz and
Reda Saad and is a very nice one, which I
am sure that many dancers who favor Balady style will like. It is a bit
flirty with a relaxed and light feeling to it in the beginning
with its use of the violin and accordion. The tempo changes
from slow to fast, but it is never too heavy in the feel. It
is a good piece to dance with joy.
Now I am looking over
the 4 remaining songs, which are all about love, naturally: "Ala
Hizboadad (With all that my heart desires)", "Ala
Rimsh Eyounha (In Her Eyelashes)", "Ana henna, Y'ibn
el Hala (I'm here, Chosen One)", "Toul Omri Ahebak
W'ashkeelak (All my Life I Love you and Lament)". As
I listen to each one, I keep switching back and forth
from these trying to decide if I like one more than the other. Maybe
it seems like I am going to wimp out a bit as I'll just
admit that these are all equally pleasant songs for listening
and each has something that will probably appeal to a dancer. You
can make a very nice complete show with one of these songs
but deciding will be difficult. At least it would be
To wrap up, as the last
track on the CD, there is a 30 second Finale, which is a nice
add-on to have for an exit.
What I have enjoyed
with the various DVDs and CDs that have been produced by and
for Yasmina is the mix of music with inclusion of some nice
along with the modern and the folky. I think it
has broadened my music knowledge and it is nice to find some
new "old" favorites. In addition, it is wonderful
to have a source for new versions of classic songs that can
tempt a dancer to do more searching and learning. I
know that I always want to know more and spent a few minutes
googling Sayed Makowi as I wasn't so familiar
with him. I believe that is one of Yasmina's goals
and I hope that she continues to provide more music to pique
interest, tempt our senses and help us grow as dancers.
Complete track Listing
from the CD:
Masr: Opening Music
Love Egypt" - composer: Reda Saad
all that my heart desires" - composer: Baligh
Hamdi; singer: Safaa Farid
Like Everything about You" - Originally performed
by Abdel-Basat Hamouda; singer Alaa el Khateeb
to Samia Gamal
by Reda Saad for Yasmina and inspired by films of Samia
- Ala Rimsh
Her Eyelashes" - composer: Baligh Hamdi; singer:
Medley - "Fakhor Ana (I'm Proud)";"Shambousha"; "Seeb
el Homoum (Leave your troubles)"; singer : Mahmoud
- Ana Henna,
Y'ibn el Hala
here, Chosen One" - composer: Sayed Makowi
by Mounir Abdel-Aziz and Reda Saad
Omri Ahebak W'ashkeelak
my Life I Love you and Lament" - composer: Mohamed
Abdel Wahab; singer: Safaa Farid
Contact for obtaining CD- www.yasminaofcairo.com
a comment? Send us a
Check the "Letters to the Editor" for
other possible viewpoints!
April 2008 by Catherine Barros
was a late night as usual as we didn't even go out until midnight
to have dinner and watch Dina at around 3am . . . but who was watching
the time . . . It is CAIRO!
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Cairo Nights, August 4, 2007, Dallas, Texas by
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on each combination, and provides individual attention when someone
has a difficulty. His no-nonsense style of teaching is informative,
making you think about why you dance, how to dance, how to be
a better dancer, and making you laugh.
Dance presents Cairo Nights: 2005 and 2006 DVDs reviewed
by Catherine Barros
There are so many nuggets packed into these 3 DVDs other
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Kamal by Yasmina of Cairo
the film roles that I've been offered have unfortunately been frivolous,
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The cinema has done enough to spoil the reputation of dancers,
without me adding to it by taking such a role."
with Safaa Farid by Leila
days there are times I feel I've seen everything an Egyptian dancer
can do in the first five minutes of her show. She doesn't change.
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into their show so that is it interesting for a whole hour.
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it wasn’t long before I started to realize that the other
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features: #1-Introduction by author, #2- A Map Tour on an ancient
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" Communication with the outside world is difficult and expensive, and nearly
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Festival in Catalunia, Spain June 20-22, 2008 photos
by Eulalia Grau and Janixia text by Ling Shien Bell
the third year in a row, Maria Cresswell produced a dance and music
festival honoring the Summer Soltice. This year's three day event
took place high up in the Catalunian Pyrenees, in a rustic hostel
fed by fresh springs and bordered by a rushing river.