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The Gilded Serpent presents...
Aida Nour & Magdy El-Leisy
in Dallas
Report on the Saturday Night Show
by Rhonda McGiffen
photos by Ram

After weeks of anticipation, it was finally time for the Aida Nour and Magdy El-Leisy show. It was well worth the wait, and I'd like to share my experience with you! There were two troupes and nine solo performers, so I'll only mention some highlights from a beginning dancer's point of view.

Soon after Nora welcomed everyone to the show, the tremendous energy of Mr. Magdy El-Leisy started the night with a bang. He dazzled the crowd with a double tahtib dance, showcasing his athletic spins and sharing his warm smile.

Here is a performer who loves what he does, and that instantly came across to the crowd.

There were a variety of dancers to follow, each bringing something special to the stage.  Between the crisp hip work of Trup Oryantal, his playing of zils, the elegance and grace of soloists Miabella and

Trup Oryantal

Tatika, the audience was kept well entertained! Unfortunately, Melissa Amira was unable to perform for this event but the dancer that filled in for her stole our hearts. The substitute dancer was Charli, a darling girl of 8 or so. This was no kid playing dress up, but a professional dancer executing a full choreography and a wide movement repertoire. Well done, Charli! 

Magdy El-Leisy took the stage once more, at one point pulling a partner up on stage and flirting outrageously.  In the end, he carried his new "beloved" offstage, after demanding that they get married!  It was quite unexpected and hilarious to see! Changing the pace, Shoshanna's spiritual, and seemingly effortless, veil dance made me forget to breathe for a while. Switching gears once more, Bahaia took the stage, exuding classic style and wowing us with her killer shimmies. 

I felt sorry that the first part of the evening was over, but soon found some comfort in shopping. There were vendors from Little Egypt, Tatika's Treasures, Dahlal International, Audrena, and Isis Imports.  By the time I was ready to head back in for the delicious buffet-style dinner, several items had found a new home with me!

The night of dance resumed with Magdy El-Leisy making us laugh again! This time, he performed a comedic fellahy routine, complete with a farm tool, a fake mustache, and some upside down antics!  Neenah & Al Bustan were up next, as a full troupe and also featuring members in smaller groups. Their candle dance was awe-inspiring for me, because I'd never seen it done before.  Karen Barbee's masterful performance utilizing her precision movements was next, and by now, I was wishing for a notepad to begin listing things that I need to work on at home. Wafaa Badr had the unenviable task of going on before Aida Nour, but her talent was more than equal to the job. She had us on our feet!

After Aida Nour was announced, we were watching the stage for her when I heard the sound of finger cymbals from the back of the room. Turning to see who could be so rude when one of the headliners was about to appear, there was Aida Nour! She entered with a lit shamadan (candelabrum) on her head and began making her way through the standing crowd, dancing her way from the back of the room to the stage area! Somehow, her zil playing remained audible above the clapping, zaghreets, and cheering!

To complete the evening's performance, Magdy El-Leisy called for his students to join him onstage for a debke dance. There was a slight pause, which made me suspect that they weren't expecting this chance to share the limelight, but the reluctant ladies soon got up and did their instructor justice!

They appeared to have a good time and soon got over any shyness they may have felt.

Too soon, the show was over, and it was time to head home. I look forward to the next night of dance that the Asads bring together for the Dallas community.  Thanks to Little Egypt for bringing the stars of Egypt to Mockingbird Lane!


Dee Dee Asad of Little Egypt
with Author Rhonda,
photo by Lonnie McGiffen

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