Page 1 of 3: Opening Gala
Photos by Denise Marino
text by Leyla Lanty and Denise
posted November 2, 2009
It’s June 27, 2009, in Cairo, Egypt, which can mean only one thing – the Opening Gala of Raqia Hassan‘s Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival! At the Mena House hotel the excitement in the air is palpable, not only because of the highly anticipated evening show where dancers from all over the world gather to see the top dancers, musicians, and singers in Egypt, but the next week of classes with Egyptian stars and teachers from all over the world, nightly parties, and the Closing Gala, a spectacular evening of top dancers, AWS competition winners, musicians, and singers.
Denise Marino, world traveling professional photographer, who has been a featured photographer at the festival for several years, contributed these magnificent photos from AWS 2009 to the Gilded Serpent. See her website for more about her and to see more examples of her wonderful art. www.denisemarinophotos.com
Dervish dancers from the Raqs Tannoura show. About half of the performers from the full company gave us a sample of their full show by performing the secular whirling dervish dance called “Raqs Tannoura” or “Dance of the Skirt”. The full company performs twice each week near the Khan el Khalili, free admission.
Soraya is Brazilian and has been performing in Cairo since the 90s and is one of Cairo’s favorites. Her show included oriental, folkloric, and highly Brazilian style oriental (see 3rd photo).
Randa Kamel in some of her signature moves or poses. Famous for her fabulous shimmies and her beautiful smile, her shows are always high energy, innovative but truly oriental. Second photo is her oriental saidi number – a bedlah inspired by the Saidi style of balady dress, dance which is a blend of oriental and Saidi folk style.
Ready for more?
- More photos by Denise:
9-6-07 A Report on the First International Bellydance Conference of Canada Part 2 – Page 1 -Thursday Main Stage
April 19, 2007 Toronto California. Hungarian Canadian Cultural Center. Photos of Bellyqueen, Hunnan Sultan, Ranya, Rachel, Hiba, Elise Olmi, Nath Keo, and more…
- 9-8-07 A Report on the First International Bellydance Conference of Canada Part 2 – Page 2 – Friday Main Stage
April 20, 2007 Toronto California. Hungarian Canadian Cultural Center. Photos of Les Tri’belles, Leyla Zaharr, Amani Jabril, Ariana Vega, 12 yo Sofia…
- 10-17-07 A Report on the First International Bellydance Conference of Canada Part 2- Saturday Gala Performance
Held at the Ryerson Theatre in Toronto Canada on April 21, 2007. Featuring international stars including Amir Thaleb and Randa Kamal
- 12-13-07 A Report on the First International Bellydance Conference of Canada Part 2 – Sunday Club Party
Live orchestra, Randa, Amir, a packed house and very festive mood. How could it be any better?
- More by Leyla:
4-27-07 Rhythms of Oriental Dance, Starring Nesma and Khamis Henkesh
Nesma and Khamis’s discussion of the complexity of Arabic music and dance is both appealing and easy to grasp.
- 9-16-05 Ahlan Wa Sahlan 2005, Cairo a review and diary
On Monday night, the opening gala was a great success in all senses of the word! It was one of the best large scale events I’ve attended.
- 12-26-06 Teaching at the 2006 Ahlan Wa Sahlan Cairo Festival by Leyla Lanty
Performing on teachers’ night is a good way for new teachers to attract more students to their classes.
- 3-3-01 Giza Academy Awards of Middle Eastern Dance Video 2000
And the winners are…. Photos added on 5-1-01 take another look!
- 9-24-00 Cairo’s Costume Disasters
Tacky, Bizarre, and Surprising Costumes Worn by Cairo’s Stars of Oriental Dance
- More AWS Fest
- 7-30-08 Ahlan Wa Sahlan 2008, Not So Welcoming this Year by Yasmin
Prices have gone up everywhere, and Egypt is no exception. The reality hit me as soon as I walked into the Mena House. Bottled water was $4.00, where out in the street the same bottle was $.50. A bottle of beer was $10.00. Internet connection was $30.00 / hour. At those prices, life’s little pleasures didn’t seem important anymore.
- 6-30-05 Ahlan wa Sahlan 2005 Begins by Shira
Shira is back at Raqia’s Cairo festival again this year. Many improvements noted!
- 6-28+ -04 Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival 2004-Intro Travel Journal by Shira
Middle Eastern dance artists and students from throughout the world attend this event to immerse themselves in instruction by leading Egyptian instructors, shop for costumes and other supplies offered by Egyptian vendors, and enjoy the gala shows featuring top Egyptian dancers.
First Two Days
Day 3: First Look at Egyptian History
Day 4: More Egyptian Monuments and First Dance Show
Day 5: Shop-portunities and Whirling Dervishes POSTED 7-9-04
Day 6: The Festival Begins POSTED 7-17-04
Day 7: Classes and Free Time POSTED 7-17-04
Day 8: Side Trips, Part 1: Gayer Anderson Museum POSTED 7-25-04
Day 8: Side Trips, Part 2: The Parisiana 7-26-04
Day 9: The Evening Show posted 11-12-04
Day 10: Classes and the Sphinx Speaks posted 11-22-04
Day 11: Camels, Class, & Competitions posted 12-15-04
- 6-29-03 Photos from the Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival, The Opening Night Gala by Tahseen Alkoudsi and Shira
held at the Mena House Oberoi Hotel on June 10-17, Cairo, Egypt.More promised!
- 6-16-03 Breaking News from the Ahlan wa Sahlan 2003 in Cairo reported by Shira
The flavor of the instruction and dancing are very different from that offered by the U.S. festivals, and it offers an exciting opportunity for immersion in the Egyptian dance arts.
- 9-22-01 Raqia Hassan’s Dance Festival (Ahlan Wa Sahlan 2000) By Latifa
Then my dance idol, Suhair Zaki, walked in, creating eddies of excitement that ran through the crowd.