Serena teaches
The Gilded Serpent presents...
Hossam & Serena Ramzy's
International Tour

Report from Workshop in
Perth, Australia
August 8th - 12th, 2003
report by Ayesha

photos supplied by the Ramzy's

This was the third visit by Hossam to Perth. The first time he came alone, the second time he was with Serena but she was unable to speak much English. This time it was perfect. I think most students attend workshops with the idea that they will dance from beginning to end, sometimes learning nothing except a new choreography. Hossam’s presentation requires the student to listen – and I mean LISTEN.

The time he spends explaining Egyptian culture, the music and the history of the dance puts everything into context so that we can dance with knowledge which enriches our dance and our lives.

I was interested in watching the student’s faces in the workshops and from time to time there would be a sudden nod of the head, and I could almost see the light bulb being switched on! It was as if something Hossam said suddenly made things fall in to place. I mentioned this to Hossam and afterwards, during the workshops, he would suddenly shout out, “There’s another light bulb switched on!”

The dancer in the foreground of the photo is Sarah Henzell

These talks at the beginning of the workshops were also highly entertaining. They were interspersed with personal experiences from Hossam and stories told with his own inimitable sense of humour, often fueled by comments from students.

Serena stole our hearts with her delightful Brazilian/English/Egyptian accent and her gorgeous, bubbly personality. She had already won us over with her beautiful performances at the concert preceding the workshops so we were eager to learn from her.

Her choreography particularly suited me because of its simplicity and the way the moves matched the music so perfectly. This is an important lesson to all those dancers who feel that a piece of music should be choreographed to within an inch of its life.

Technique is very important, of course, but sometimes a very intricate choreography becomes so technical that it is no longer audience friendly. Serena’s style and fluid movements made her a pleasure to watch. The dances were a joy to learn and easily picked up in one workshop so that we were able to leave with a performance piece firmly tucked under our belt.

Another thing that we appreciated: after our concert Hossam took the time to address each dancer and comment on her performance. This was something that made us feel very special and aware that both he and Serena were actually watching the performances. They must have to sit through many such functions and watch dancers of all levels perform, so it was wonderful for us to get so much personal attention.

This event was held at the Costa Azzurra Function Center, in Hamilton Hill
Sponsored by Ayesha and Eva from Sheik to Sheik of Fremantle
Cost per day $200 AUD ($140 US!

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