Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cairo, the 30th June, 2010

The peacock

The writer said that the peacock 's full plumage would explode only when it was in love, and then all the colours would shine - all the colors of the rainbow on one body.
I was immediately taken with that beautiful image and the meaning behind it.

Piece of Michael Jackson's auto-biography: MOON WALK

And my plumage is wide open.
And all the colours of my rainbow are shinning like never before.
And I always LOVED peacocks (me too, me too!).
And, when I dance, that rainbow will show and fly around me like coloured wings with no end.
And God will be inside me, spreading Himself through my wide opened wings.
And that's when Miracles and ART happen.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cairo, the 28th June, 2010

Clinging to my personal genius Michael Jackson

In times of sorrow, I look for smiles.

In times when others feel so disturbed by my own growth/victories and cannot compete with me and, because to their lack of talent, choose to destroy my work (but not my strenght, talent or soul!) instead of giving what they have, I cling to my own personal inspiration of all times: Michael Jackson.
He always reminds me of what it means PURE GENIUS.

So check the sweetness of these simple, pure lyrics of JACKSON 5:

You and I must make a plan,
We must bring salvation back,
When there is love, I'll be there...

I reach out my hand to you, I have faith in all you do
Just call my name and I'll be there...


Got to be there
When she says hello to the world
Got to be there (...)
and show her that she's my girl...

But when I look at her eyes, I realize
I need her sharing the world beside me...

Got to be there
in the morning
And welcome her into my world
and show her that she's my girl
and she says hello (...)

Hoolllllly sweetness....this is honey in its purest form. LOVE YOU, Michael. (Always inspiring me).

ALSO READING Michael Jackson's own biography : MOON WALK (written by Michael himself when he was just a 29 year old ancient soul).
Brilliant. Heartfelt. LOVELY (in all the full meaning of the word).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cairo, the 26th June, 2010

Back to the basics

Building a great show can mean so many different things.
That's why I think, re-think and build only to destroy it in a second and start all over again.

What do I REALLY wish to comunicate to my audience? How smart or talented I am? Some Love? Different feelings? The ART of DANCE? Simply a breath taking moment?

What do I want to SAY through my show?

That's when I go back to the basics as if THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in DANCE: SOUL.
Any one can have great ideas or gather a major orchestra but TALENT shows in your ability to COMUNICATE through the SOUL and connect yourself with your audience on a higher level.


Cairo, the 26th June, 2010

Goddesses in US...

Because they're just hidden faces of every woman.
For NOW, I choose Athena in me. My warrior face, whenever I need to use it.
I also choose my mother ORIXA (from brazilian mythology/faith): OXUM. Half of me is Athena, the other half is OXUM, Goddess of the rivers, golden jewels, beauty and arts.

When LOVE calls, Venus will come to my rescue and through her, all the shields and swords are put away and only LOVE remains.

'Cause every woman is every GODDESS.

Cairo, the 26th June, 2010

The real MEANING of the word WOMAN

One of the things that distinguishes mentality in Egypt and in most countries of the Western world is the way women see themselves and men see women.

Since I've arrived to the Middle East, I've been facing a revolting reality: no matter how educated and socially/economically successful women may be, they still remain in that box of objects for the use of men.

I see WOMEN as high beings, totally dignified and sacred. Luckily, I had a strong, incredible mother who gave me the example of what a WOMAN/WARRIOR/WOLF is.
As I perceive it, my body, mind and soul belong to me and God. No man EVER could steal it, take it or buy it. I offer myself - or parts of me- to the ONE I love according to my exclusive will, desire and feeling.

Since I got to this part of the world I've been discovering this other dark reality of WOMEN-OBJECTS and the way every man thinks he can buy your body and soul.
I ask myself WHEN.

WHEN will women rebel against oppression and that notion of themselves as weak, vulnerable products made by GOD to serve men?

MEN will respect WOMEN - not servants, not prostitutes, not objects but W-O-M-E-N - when they start respecting themselves.

As far as I'm concerned, my legs are still MINE and only MINE. My breasts and hips belong to noone else but ME (and the man I love, when I offer them to him with all my heart).
My mind and soul still belong to me and GOD.
No one, no matter how powerful he is, can ever BUY me and that's one of my most beautiful VICTORIES.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cairo, the 25th June, 2010

The Warrior in me

Although hurt and exhausted, the warrior in me just rest for a little while to reunite himself and return to the battle field.

The warrior in me, although disappointed at life's evilness and injustice, accepts things as they are and just lets his shield lazily resting on a wooden chair until he can take a deep breath and return to the battle.

The warrior in me knows BETTER.
He knows that loosing a battle can often be the quickest way to reach the peak of your dream's mountain.
He knows when to remain still and when to advance and attack and he NEVER imitates his enemie's low strategies. He is above it and beyond it.

The warrior in me knows - because he knows BETTER - that, when you think and act according to your best heart and conscience, all the power of GOD is with you, pushing you forward and UP.

He just knows better.
He cries for a while. Then he gathers his tears and builds a lovely new boat he'll use to return to the infinite sea of the world of dreams.

Cairo, the 25th June, 2010


In times of sorrow and the closing of cycles, nothing more to do than retreat a day or two into my wolf cave and turn my mind to the real WISDOM DROPS of this world.

Here are some of my favourite from brazilian author Paulo Coelho:

The closer you get to your dream, the more your Personal Legend becomes your real reason for living.


Love will never separate a man from his Personal Legend.

The warrior of Light is not afraid to weep over ancient sorrows or to feel joy at new discoveries.
When he feels the moment has arrived, he drops everything and goes off on some long-dreamed-of adventure.


When we least expect it,
life sets us a challenge to test our courage
and willingness to change.


When there is no turning back, then we should concern ourselves only with the best way of going forward.


It is necessary to run risks, follow certain paths and to abandon others.
No one can make a choice without feeling fear.


In the search for your destiny,
You will often find yourself obliged
to change direction.

Cairo, the 25th June, 2010


Thanks to all Art Muses, the opening of Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival was a huge success and a one of a kind crowd gathering (as usual!).

I always get overwhelmed by the feeling of seeing so mnay dancers from all over the world united to enjoy the same passion: Oriental Dance. My romantic heart just cannot get enough of the LOVE gathering so many nationalities and styles.
The Opening was simply GORGEOUS! Congratulations, Madame Raqia!
No matter how many knives people stuck on her back, this lady is made of a great material and keeps getting stronger and brighter. I admire her so much! May God keep her strenght, always.

From all the performances I saw, I must dedicate a note to Souraya's show which was the best one (in my opinion). She still doesn't reach me as an artist, I can't feel emotion or my breath being taken away by her dancing yet still I can recognize the great taste in her presentation:
Her magnificent orchestra (her accordeon, violin and tabla always win my heart), the reportoire of extreme good taste and her impeccable look (cute but never cheap).
There are so many things one can appreciate in a dancer and I feel Souraya really cares about her work and respects what she's offering to her audience and for that I respect her and cherish her.

The other dancers - including Dina - were professional as they may be but didn't strike a note with me.

REALLY enjoyed finding new and old friends related to the dance world and hugging some of them. This event is a star gathering, that's for sure!

Now, all energies being kept to my VERY OWN show on the 30th June. Hope you'll ALL be there supporting me.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cairo, the 18th June, 2010

AHLAN WA SAHLAN SHOW and performing as usual...

Preparing to one more BIG retreat of work, work and more work in order to deliver the best at the greatest Oriental Dance Festival in the World:
AHLAN WA SAHLAN, directed by Madame Raqia Hassan.

Meanwhile, I feel excited to receive friends and students from all over the world and keep on with my regular shows at the NILE MAXIM.

Too many things to think, create, DO. And glad for it. Blessed. Thankful. Blissful.

So make sure you'll be present at the CLOSING GALA of Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival on the 30th June because you'll be seeing me there with my beloved orchestra (which, coincidently, drives me crazy more than any saint could ever need to bear!).

Welcome to Cairo, EVERYONE!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cairo, the 14th June, 2010


And WOW (in capital letters) is what I can say about last night's shows.
Forgetting all about steps and what I've learnt...YES!

Doing it all from my SOUL and from that point where everything is PURE LOVE and FREEDOM.



Cairo, the 14th June, 2010

Miracles of the heart

You know kindness and generosity exist when you receive this beautiful flower bouquet at the door of your home at your Birthday.

You know miracles happen when you feel your heart healing with just this gesture.
Some acts are stronger than a thousand words.

And you whisper in surprise: how can someone who hardly knows me send me these flowers and put such a pure smile on my face?!

And you know God exist when something like this happens to you.
And it did.

And I know that, despite all the madness and evilness I've already seen around, there are good people who can make a generous gesture and make you believe, once again, in human kindness. And in God!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cairo, the 13th June, 2010

On FIRE...

On fire...
Going beyond my own fears...growing.



Cairo, the 13th June, 2010

My best birthday EVER...dancing...HAPPY!

This was my best birthdaY EVER for so many personal reasons and, mostly, because I worked all evening and did some VERY inspired work, full of the FIRE I thought I had almost lost (due to being exhausted, sad, disappointed at people and old wounds that don't seem to heal).

My orchestra sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY with me with all NILE MAXIM guests and some friends who came by to give me a hug.

Explaining the reason WHY it was such a special birthday is too personal for this blog context but I just had to say IT: HOW HAPPY I AM!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cairo, the 12th June, 2010

As I am feeling...these days...

Cairo, dia 12 de Junho, 2010


Giving meaning to my Dance is what I am looking for right now.
You grown within your Art and, hopefully, also grow beyond technique and what people expect of an Oriental Dancer.

I guess that's where I am right now.

Searching for higher steps to follow.
MEANING is the key word.

What do you mean when you dance? What are you offering to your audiences?
Those are the questions FOR ME, RIGHT NOW.
Cairo, the 12th June, 2010

New surrender to the delights of segregation

I cannot believe myself when I bless segregation (any kind of segregation).
Who am I NOW? I cannot recognize myself on so many -frightening - occasions!

The problem is : I am a bad lier so I have to say it as it is.

I have surrendered, again, to the delights of sexual segregation so I joined a gym ONLY for LADIES. No man allowed in.

May I add: YUUUUPPPIIIIEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Living in a 24 hour sexual harassement environment, having an ONLY-LADIES gym where I am not being checked from my toes to the littlest of the hairs on my head is a BLESSING.

The downside of it is the NOISE. Too much pheromones, I guess.
And mostly egyptian women, which means: EXTRA NOISE. In high pitch tones that make me quiver.

You cannot have everything. Maalesh...

Cairo, the 12th June, 2010

(Off) BEAT IT (by the opposite of Michael Jackson)

When Michael Jackson released the huge hit BEAT IT, he could not imagine that, somewhere in the future, so many people would use the term upside down. They would dance OFF-BEAT, so completely off-beat that it challenges my own ideas about music, dance and how you're supposed to follow the music (Am I REALLY sure about this right now?!!).

We've seen it all and I've heard it all when it comes to foreigners knowing little about ACTUAL ORIENTAL DANCE and it's known in Egypt that westerners cannot listen to the arabic music, interpret it and feel it as their arabic folks.

For most -99% - of the foreigners I've seen perform Oriental Dance this may be true. Some times, they even have the beat, oh yes they DO. But they have no feeling at all and no idea of what the music is comunicating so the dance remains EMPTY, MEANINGLESS.

So, when the opposite happens (arabic people getting totally off-beat with foreigner dances), I am not surprised anymore but I admit I get a little surprised at how insensitive people's ears can be.
Yes, I understand an egyptian or a jordanian can dance salsa or mambo and not getting the lyrics but being totally OFF-BEAT is something I can hardly understand.
Open your ears, dear people! JUST LISTEN.

This is a lesson - although seaming simple - even professional dancers can learn, on and on again (including me).

JUST LISTEN. That's where the REAL DANCE starts.

DIEGO DAYER painting at this posting. Genius!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cairo, the 10th June, 2010

Fast food-marriage and tolerance

I've just heard from another express egyptian marriage.Oh, yes...faster than a simple burger at downtown's McDonald's!

By now, I've learnt not to say THIS IS RIGHT or THIS IS WRONG. Each brain has its own judgement and it became hard to consider one culture as more advanced than another. If there's techonology and apparent freedom of thinking and action in one place, there is also subtle repression and so many pressures that human beings loose sight of their soul and joie de vivre.

In another side, there may not be the medical, cultural and mentality advancements but you still find a sense of spirituality, joy and family...this is just an example.

In the West, we took all chances on the LOVE scheme.
You fall in love, you marry and live happily ever after, right?!
Not quite.

Reality has proven this fairy tale wrong in so many cases (see the cheating cases and the divorce rates around the world and you may look at marrying for love with a twisted face).

In the East - Egypt, all Middle East and India come to my mind right ahead - people seem to marry first, have children and then - hopefully and if opportunity arises - fall in love or simply develop a tolerance for each other's company.
This results in long lasting marriages but not in happiness or fidelity between couples.

So...what's the solution for this LOVE/MARRIAGE puzzle?!

I just heard about another egyptian express marriage.
A girl - daughter from a neighbour - was being rushed by her parents to marry (God forbid she doesn't cause she's already a 20 years old maid destined to die alone and wrinkled).

She was still searching for a groom - interviewing prospect candidates, looking at photos, curriculums and bank accounts - when I left for Latin America.
When I returned, I got the news: SHE'S GETTING MARRIED this summer!
July will be the month and that means she met a guy, got engaged and married within 3 months! WOWWWWWWWWWWW.............

Can I comment on this?! I guess not.
What do I know by now?!

Cairo, the 10th June, 2010

Finding IT (always going back to the Classics and my beloved Gene Kelly)

After the searching part always comes the best part: FINDING IT!

Whenever I am dull and feeling nothing makes sense in my head, I find renewed excitement in Gene Kelly (my all time favourite dancer).

After I discovered this magical performer (MR. GENE KELLY, indeed)by the hands of my also beloved Master Mahmoud Reda (another one of my favourite dancers and one my all time best friends), I never left him for long.

Every time I conclude this path is too hard on me and I just feel like throwing the towel on the floor and retiring to a monastery in the Sinai mountains, I run towards the CLASSICS like SINGING IN THE RAIN.

There are many reasons why a movie/song/book/painting is considered a CLASSIC. There are so many other reasons why these cultural products resist time and fashions and always remain fresh, amazing and surprising.

This is the product of GENIUS!
Heellllpppppp...whenever I feel like I need some dancing rescue, I run towards Gene Kelly and the movie SINGING IN THE RAIN.

Amazing is not enough to describe what this movie can do for me...

Cairo, the 10th June, 2010


Some people live for the fortune
Some people live just for the fame
Some people live for the power
Some people live just to play the game...

Piece from a wonderful Alicia Keys song

Some people live for whatever...searching for whatever.
I live in search of INSPIRATION, LOVE, JOY.
Every day and everywhere, I look for BEAUTY and lights that make me remember the meaning of my life and work.

Searching for INSPIRATION (S).

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cairo, the 6th June, 2010

What's following for JOANA SAAHIRAH OF CAIRO.
Check it out:

1. My regular/daily SHOWS at the NILE MAXIM, Cairo
(for reservations, please call 012 73 88888) during all Summer Season.

2. My SPECIAL SHOW at the CLOSING GALA of AHLAN WA SAHLAN FESTIVAL - 30th June at the Mena House Hotel (Welcome to the biggest Oriental Dance event in the world). You will not want to miss this me.

3. PRIVATE CLASSES to students from all around the world (Welcome to Cairo and to my world, ladies!).
Feeling thrilled to receive so many bookings for private groups of students arriving from all over the world. We'll do a GREAT JOB, folks!

4. Choreographing for my upcoming workshops. Great things on the go.

5. Recommending my friend Souheir Nemesis's class to everyone. Besides being my friend, she's a great dancer and teacher and she will be giving her own workshop at the AHLAN WA SAHLAN FESTIVAL (on the 30th June, from 10.00 a.m till 12.00h).
Cairo, the 6th June, 2010

The a posh Cairo SPA

O.k. I have to give myself a break: there are lots of things I already managed to adapt myself to when living in Egypt but there's one of them (from the crazy stuff club) that I cannot get a handle of: The staring of women towards another women.

I can grasp the concept of sexual harassement from men towards women - or from man to man and woman to woman in case of homossexuality - but I just can't understand why on earth any regular egyptian/arab woman loves to stare at another woman to check on her body, clothing, make-up and so on.

More so...I cannot get it when egyptian women delight themselves on staring at you when you're naked, trying to relax in a posh Cairo SPA.
I mean...give me a break, my ladies! I pay extra, EXTRA money on a good SPA in order to have a relaxing, clean, harassement free environment in which to disconnect from the outside world and that DOES NOT INCLUDE being observed, inch by inch, when I am naked in a locker room, in the jaccuzzi or sauna. Come on!!!

Haven't we introduced each other already?
Me, Jane. You, Jane too.
NOT TARZAN, dear dolls. You're not TARZAN and we're not living in the jungle where female monkeys pick each other's pubic hair for insects.
Come oonnnnnnnn.........
I have hips, breasts, arms and legs like yourself and your mums and sisters...It's really not a big deal!

So there I was, after a loud thai massage, enjoying the pleasures of being stared at by two ladies in the locker room who followed me everywhere for no reason other than to stare at me from all possible angles (and I mean...ALL possible angles).
Yes, I did try to relax.
Yes, I know all about cultural differences and allowing others to be who they are.
What about someone allowing me not to go bananas when all I wanted was an hour apart from this crazy world where I am already eaten enough.

Maybe I am missing some feminine hormone or something but I just can't understand the interest on checking another women's arses and Co.
Yes, I still love Cairo (just in case you were wondering).
Cairo, the 6th June, 2010

All you need is LOVE

Yes, indeed.
There I was again - with my dear friend Noha who has a heart that defies all prejudices I carry towards most egyptians and arabs - between dozens of cats in a far away Cairo shelter.
Our boy - Casper - is still waiting for adoption but it's getting stronger and more beautiful every day (and that includes trusting human beings once again and their ability to love).

In the middle of our motherly visit to Casper, I had to check on all the other cats in the place and had one more encounter that brought tears to my eyes. I always feel overwhelmed by animal's pure hearts and willingness to love you and receive your love.

I entered in one of the big cages and sat at the couch surrounded by 10-15 cats at a time. I always feel at home when surrounded by animals or children.

Then I started listening one of my favourite soundtracks: cat's purring. Their pleasure/joy sound that is both sweet and sexy. They're the best, really!

Even before I could sit on the couch, all the cats in the cage came running toward me to greet me, kiss me and ask for attention. The sweetest of them all are the egyptian cats -MAU - this shelter is protecting (because they are in extinction). I've never seen so much tenderness and ability to express love as I saw in these creatures.

They were all over me, talking with me, purring at me and for me, kissing and hugging in their own unique way. I felt such an overflow of unconditional LOVE that simple tears ran down my face.
It was inevitable. My cup ran over board with their ability to comunicate, ask and give LOVE. And they're animals...I wonder how human beings could be like, if we tried!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cairo, the 1st June, 2010

CASPER for adoption- Gorgeous cat needing your LOVE!

Today I visited an animal shelter in Cairo where I could have a great time with dozens of cats - many of them rescued MAU cats, the egyptian cat that is practically in extinction - and I had contact with CASPER, the cat from these photos which is waiting to be adopted by some loving new parents.

He took me in immediately and showed me so much tenderness and hunger for love that I didn't want to let him go.
He was rescued from the street in a state near from death and he has clearly suffered a lot but he's healthy now and LOVELY.
Such a sweet cat with the biggest yellow eyes I've ever looks taken from a Disney movie...SOOOOOO CUTE!

He's a persian (his hair is still growing) with 2 years old (around) and all he needed was...the old, so absolutely necessary and essential: LOVE.

Here's everything CASPER IS:

1. Gorgeous. Like a character from The Wizard of Ozz...
2. Magical. The most beautiful yellow eyes...stunning!
3. Tender. Sweet. Soooo sweet...
4. Needing lots of love in order to get stronger and really happy!

He's being taken care of by the shelter staff but he needs a home urgently as they cannot take him for more than a few weeks.
If you're interested in adopting him (you'll not regret cause you'll take an angel into your home) or being a foster dad/mum (taking him just for three/four months until a permanent owner is found),

PLEASE CONTACT Madame Noha El Sharkawi
through the mobile number: 010 668 2852
Cairo, the 1st June, 2010

Never quite enough...

Ohhh...I see great women all around me doing their best in life and still feeling they cannot match everything everyone (society, family, their own conditioned minds) expect of them. I am one of these women. BIG TIME.

Why do I feel that I am never doing enough? I could do more and better, always. Never a grip to myself, ever...

I perform on a daily basis in the hot spot for Oriental Dance in Egypt (meaning GREAT pleasure and RESPONSABILITY) and that includes all the work of conceiving new shows on a weekly basis, doing rehearsals and managing an whole orchestra with nothing less but EGYPTIAN musicians (tricky kind of people, although I can't help but love them!). That also includes new cloths and a daily update on my looks (nails, skin, body and face, hairdo, mood and the whole thing in order to look and do my best on stage).

I am finishing my first book (asking Lord for inspiration and time management skills in order to finish it this summer) and updating two blogs almost daily (one in portuguese and one in english).

I also teach and choreograph and try to keep reading, studying, researching, etc.

Add to the equation the normal tasks no one does for me (cleaning, cooking, taking care of my two cats with food and love included, going to the bank, making sure all my working papers are in order, work meetings, etc)and you have an ideal potion for chronical madness.

Also have in consideration that I live and work mostly in Egypt, with egyptians and for egyptians and the fact that I am still here, still distinguishing between black and white says a lot about my internal stamina.
Life in this country is HARD for those who struggle with honesty and professionalism!

I also started travelling abroad to teach and perform and try, just try not to loose sight of my chaotic personal life.

I earned the right to be called an international dancer and a very respected one in Egypt, all due to my own talent and hard work. Four years of struggling in the dark with no helping hands have built my NAME in this market and I still feel I am not doing enough...

I never feel beautiful enough. Smart enough. Educated enough. Relaxed enough. Whatever enough.

I torture myself because I think I should be returning to university to do a Master's Degree in English Literature or Psychology while teaching,performing and writing at the same time.

I torture myself because I think I should be helping at some charity institution (feeling selfish for not doing so...).

I torture myself because I am not taking those needed yoga classes or going to the gym to keep me fit and mentally sane.

I torture myself because I don't give my true friends and family the attention they deserve.

I torture myself because I do not rest enough and I torture myself when I do (because I think I should be doing something PRODUCTIVE!).
Ohhhh....this is mad.

When will I feel enough then?
When will I be aware that I am ALREADY enough, just as I am?! No improvement of any kind needed?