Friday, July 30, 2010

Cairo, the 30th July, 2010

Some new musicians and loosing (or gaining?!) my head over some certain books!

Tonight I will be dealing, for the 100000th time, with some new musicians and the rehearsals, adaptations and surprises that come with these changes.
By now, I am used to it. Every once in a while, my ears have to get used to different musicians and moods and that's part of the growing process. As I always say: Give me GREAT music and I ll do GREAT DANCE, no matter who gives this music to me. I just need it to be GREAT (not asking for much, am I ?!).

So, early rehearsal and night of shows that I hope will be amazing and surprising, as usual...

Meanwhile, I am loosing (or gaining my head) over two books that are delighting me in different ways:

1. ZORRO, by Isabel Allende (no one writes like latin american authors...such warm, humid, sensuous way of feeling and putting words together...).
The character itself has always fascinated me. El Zorro...the fox...the hero! I've also said it millions of times, I have a thing for brave men...I just can't resist them!:)

2. Confucius from the heart - Ancient Wisdom for today's world, by YU DAN
Chinese wisdom at its best. Simple and truthful words that say EVERYTHING.

Billie Holiday - I'll Be Seeing You (w/lyrics)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cairo, the 29th July, 2010

The way you see me (or I see myself in your eyes)
These images reflect a simple breath.
These images reflect the enormous simplicity of who I really am, away from the stage.
These images reflect the way I reset my own self and re-center in moments I would not exchange for anything in my life.
These images reflect me off-working mode. Just me, nothing else.

Or the way you see me.

Or the way I see myself through your eyes.

Cairo, the 29th July, 2010

Me (with the moon!) on the Nile...

I am a day kind of person. There's nothing like a bright morning for me...

Yes, that's it!

I am a morning person but I have to admit that these Summer nights in Cairo are unique.

And the Nile at night has its own magic...I also admit. No morning can bring such mix between excitement and retreat, passion and coldness, darkness and shinning lights...

To know Cairo by night from the Nile has its own irreplaceable magic...and you're an essencial part of IT!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cairo, the 28th July, 2010

Osho at its best - Zorba The Buddha (great concept!)

Osho, the great philosopher, teacher, rebel,as usual, being a genius...

In THE BOOK OF UNDERSTANDING, Osho talks about a new concept of HUMAN BEING: Zorba The Buddha!
Why I got so hang up on this?! Because I act upon this concept and I see myself inside it.
Life is not only material. It's also spiritual. It's also emotional. And intellectual and so many other things. When we repress one of these many sides, we cut away an essencial piece of life and ourselves.

I live in my body, my senses and all the pleasures they can offer me.
I also live in my soul, always reconnecting myself with my own consciousness and sense of God.
For me, those are not opposite sides of me. They all two sides of the same coin.

Here's what Osho says:

My concept of a new human being is one that will be Zorba the greek and will also be Gautam the Buddha: the new human being will be ZORBA THE BUDDHA - sensuous and spiritual. Physical, utterly physical - in the body, in the senses, enjoying the body and all that the body makes possible - and still a great consciousness, a great witnessing will be there. Zorba The Buddha - it has never happended before. (...)

That's my idea of Zorba the Buddha: heaven and earth united.

How can I NOT LOVE Osho?!
It's so true you can find spiritual light in common gestures as a kiss.
It's also so true you can find Paradise or Hell inside of your own mind and meet Divinity while making love.
It's true that we are flesh and bones and who would be stupid enough to deny it (well...I can mention quite a few of those...hello christian Inquisition and all the religious inquisitions all religions/political interest systems could create to dominate people!) ?!

We are also emotion and soul and who would be so blind to deny it (then again...I could mention the same so called religious people and many intellectuals who believe all is worth in the Human Being is the MIND...)...

Life has so many colours and dimensios and so do we.
I am Zorba, for sure...and anybody who will see me dancing in the middle of egyptian peasants or travelling to Mexico just for fun would recognize that.
I try, just try to be a little Buddha. Feeling the blood in my veins is just another way to feel my own soul.

Zorba The Buddha! Here's the new human being!
Cairo, the 28th July, 2010

Late night with my orchestra...

One of the best things about performing in Egypt is the relation I end up having with my orchestra.
In some kind of strange way, they are my headache, my ground, my family, my troupe, my it was not surprising that we ended up, after performing at a WONDERFUL wedding in a 5 Star Hotel of Cairo, eating together in a baladi restaurant of
Al Haram street.

At 4.30h in the morning we were still ordering food, laughing, talking about different famous dancers many of my musicians have worked with, sharing experiences, ideas, dreams and eating molokheya, mahshi and so many other egyptian dishes that make my day/or nigght! whenever I am really hungry!

The curious thing is to observe their surprise and even embarassement to sit at the same table as me and watch me while I dig into a plate of molokheya with full gusto. They see me as queen, not as one of them and these moments we share turns that system upside down.

As far as I am concerned, I wouldn't exhange these moments for anything...
I LOVE performing. The stage is where I am the happiest. It has always been like this.
But, sometimes, real life can be also so much fun and enriching and that includes simple moments like these...

Cairo, the 28th July, 2010

My Universe

My World/Universe:

Cinema. All kinds of ARTS (painting, sculpture, love making...:)
Literature.Books, books, books...
Fresh air.
Great food.
Dreaming and following my dreams (acting upon them and taking risks).
Knowing different places, people, mentalities and hearts.
Family and REAL friends.

Nawal El Saadawi

Cairo, the 28th July, 2010

GENIUS - Nawal el Sadawy

Why I ADORE this WOMAN (worth the name WOMAN for real!)?!
Well, watch this video about creativity and dissidence and you will understand why.
As an artist, as a person, I assume myself as a rule breaker. I've always been a rebel and I admire the ones who have the courage to be one of them.

NAWAL el SADAWY is one of my elected writers and one of my AMAZING LADIES cathalogue.
I hope you feel awakened by this video, as much as I do.

محمد منير - صوتك - مونتاج عبدالسميع عبدالله

Cairo, the 28th July, 2010

Mohamed Mounir...following my ears, my heart, my soul...

I change as the winds.

A few treats remain the same in me (my sense of dignity, honesty, kindness and respect for others, my absolute devotion for ART and LOVE and my FAMILY,etc) but so many other things are constantly changing in me and transforming my body, my face, my hair, my eyes, my smile...
That's why my audiences will never know what they will see next because what I am today can never be what I will be tomorrow.

ART reflects LIFE.

I am in life as I am as a dancer...emotional, spiritual, physical, excessive, crazy, loving, passionate, unexpected, always transforming myself and growing...always.

I am like the winds which run while in different directions.
My country is everywhere. My country is the World, the Universe.

Yet, my home is where my heart is.My home is where my hug/hanan is.
My home is where YOU are.

Only LOVE keeps me from flying away. And, meanwhile, I spin and fly in different directions only to return to the most important place: YOU.

So...every once in a while a new sound, singer, inspiration comes to me and catches me from my soul. Mohamed Mounir is catching up with me right now and here is a beautiful song called SOUTIK (YOUR VOICE) with background images of one of my favourite movies: DUNYA (where Mohamed Mounir starrs as a singer and great actor!).

This guy is just too charismatic for my heart...tooooooo much!
Love this song and dedicate it to the voice I always want to hear near from my ears
(he knows who he is).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shakira - Hay Amores (Music Video)

Cairo, the 28th July, 2010

Amazing shows...(I guess I am inspired!) and Shakira at her best!

I guess I am inspired because my latest shows have been amazing...
I feel like growing second by second and enjoying being on stage like I never did before.
Besides that and still on the inspiration theme, here it is one of the best songs I've heard from Shakira.
This song is part of the soundtrack of the movie LOVE IN THE TIMES OF CHOLERA (based on the book with the same name by one of my favourite writers, Gabriel Garcia Lorca).

Hay amores...(There are loves...)
Ay mi bien, que no haria yo por ti...(Oh, my beloved, what I wouldn't do for you...)
Por tener te un minuto, alejados del mundo y cerquita de mi...(Just to have you for a minute, away from the whole world and so near from me...)

This is how you love when you LOVE.

Cairo, the 27th July, 2010

Yellow moon on the Nile...

Yesterday we saw a yellow moon on the Nile. Night and day came together as ONE to remind us of the truth: TRUE LOVE is above all things, all fears, all misunderstandings, all struggles and obstacles in life.

The moon was holding the sun in that hanan (embrace/hug) only YOU give so well. And, as if per magic, all the wounds of the heart and doubts of the mind disappeared and the night was not night and the day that arrived was not just another day.

Eternity was born.

And I loved you for bringing me into this truth.
And I loved you for showing me the moon and the sun together, holding each other as we do in our endless............
And I loved you because I looked in your eyes and any problem disappeared as if it had never existed.
And I loved you because I can not be away from you, even if I tried to.
And I loved you because no one can share the Nile with me as you do or the sun holding the moon.
And I loved you for all reasons. Cause I DO. Cause I am proud of the man you are.
Cause YES. YES. YES.................
And repeat, we repet, we repet, we repet, we repet.

And I even loved you for no reason because LOVE has no reason, only TRUTH.ONLY BODY. ONLY MIND. ONLY HEART. ONLY SOUL.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

hungry eyes

Cairo, the 21st July, 2010

Dirty Dancing...a dance education of its own...

How much this movie has inspired me while growing up, oh Lorddd!!!
It's corny to admit it but, until today, this film moves me from the guts and makes me remember why I love dance so much and why I cannot do it without PASSION.
This was one of my childhood inspirations and the fact that was amazing Patrick Swayze playing this main role and dancing GREAT in it helps a lot!
He had (may his Soul rest in peace) everything I love in a dancer: Art, Passion, Fire, Feeling...ahhh...

Hungry eyes...this will always be part of me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Csiro, the 20th July, 2010

How much can a simple smile say(mean)?!


Some things cannot be put into words. This photo of me dancing is a proof of that essencial truth.

Cairo, the whatever day of July, 2010

Sleepless in Cairo!

When I am sleepless wondering around ideas for new shows, crossroads or such there are a few things I usually do.Rolling in bed is not an option as I hate loosing time just doing nothing and feeling irritated (you can actually do nothing and feel pure bliss but that's not the case for me during these insomnias).

So I read - almost fnished the whole auto-biography of Patrick Swayze (Dirty Dancing, FOREVER!!!)- choreographed a bit of my next workshop's dance in front of my salon mirror and browsed the net.

To my pleasant surprise, here they are...the most recently found treasure coming out from my Cairo sleepless night:
some more photos of me performing at the Closing Gala of Ahlan wa Sahlan Festival.

Cairo, the 21st July, 2010

More flashes of a BIG night...


So many nerve recking, exciting, unforgettable moments...and, some times, images speak lowder than words!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cairo, the 17th July, 2010

More images from AHLAN WA SAHLAN FESTIVAL...

The question is I love to challenge myself and others into seeing a new perspective of ORIENTAL DANCE. Rules were made to be broken, after you dominate the basics and learn how to trust your talent and inspiration.

I break rules all the time both in my work as in my life. I challenge and I tease, I provoke and do stuff on stage no one is expecting. I dance the music MY WAY and nothing less or more than MY WAY, as I FEEL IT with no intention to copy any other great dancer or master I've learnt with.

I see another dancers coming to my shows unannounced and taking steps, ideas, songs and such from my program. I do something from my heart and then I see it as a copy in somebody else's show. That used to bother me but not anymore. I think it's a compliment and I pity the ones who cannot create somthing new for themselves but anger is not in the equation anymore. You know what! You can steal ideas, cloth designs, songs and musicians but there's the secret ingredient that keep audiences coming back for more and you cannot take away from me: my FEELING, my SOUL, my FIRE ENERGY, my one can take that away from me so...

At AHLAN WA SAHLAN I may have not done the show I could do - so many factors help or don't help - but I did something I am proud of: I challenged people's idea about Oriental Dance and about myself and I lliiiikkkkkkkeeeee it!
SO MUCH!!!!!!!!

Cairo, the 17th July, 2010

At the grocery store...

Today I was recognized at the grocery store in Zamalek where I buy my fridge essencials: milk, cheese, baladi bread, mangoes and so on...
To my surprise, the boss of the place recognized me, even without make-up or any kind of production (actually, I looked as if I could actually be one of the workers in the grocery...yeah...I confess and I have no fear of telling it as it IS!).

He recognized me immediately, told me he took his family to see me at the NILE MAXIM several times and commmented what a great artist I am with a tenderness and a respect that contrasted with his dirty nails and brute manners. Here it is why prejudices and judging books by their covers are clear signs of ignorance!

All the workers ran in my direction holding all my bags and whispering nice things between each other.
I am not one to fall so easily for flattery but this episode made me shy, HAPPY shy and some kind of proud to see my work reaches more people than I realize.

Cairo, the 18th July, 2010

First glimpses of AHLAN WA SAHLAN FESTIVAL night!

Madame Raqia Hassan has created, sustained and developed the biggest Oriental Dance Festival in the world, uniting professional and students from everywhere through an unique bridge: the love for Oriental Dance.

I was honoured to be a part of this 2010 edition and hope to continue doing the best work EVER in order to dignifie the enourmes castle this incredible lady has built.

Against all kinds of odds most people don't know or care about, Md. Raqia Hassan has spread Oriental Dance fever through her event and we all, as dancers, enjoy the results of her struggle.

Here are the first images of the show and after show. My happy face is a mystery I cannot unfold in this blog!:)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cairo, the 17th July, 2010

Frustration and Delight!

Tonight I felt frustrated with the result of my performances and, at the same time, delighted and blessed with some mean, amazing music I shared with my orchestra on our backstage room.

There are days like these...God gives with one hand and takes with the other.

I could not connect with my audiences the way I enjoy doing. Mostly foreigners and arabs (Arabs have invaded Cairo just before Ramadan for a short Summer season)and a mood that doesn't serve my dance, my music, my intention.
I assume the failure is mine. As a professional, you should be able to reach any, I mean ANY audience and, for many reasons, tonight I couldn't get the deep connection I am used to.

Moving on this one.What can I do NOW???
Only better, better, better on the next shows...

Now the DELIGHT was unforgetable. Improvised music of the best egyptian caste...feeling, love and pure sharing...ahhh..I live for these moments!

It was a good night.
Not perfect but just GOOD.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cairo, the 16th July, 2010


I've received a few great comments about my performance at the Closing Gala of
AHLAN WA SAHLAN FESTIVAL but all of them came from other major artists who contacted me after the event.Besides being kind enough to congratulate me (for a show I am not really proud of because I know I didn't do my best neither did my orchestra), all of them asked me the same:

-Why did you leave right after the show and didn't remain in the event to socialize and meet new people?!

Well...this is a very wise question and I know I fail in this point of my career.
Part of an artist's work is selling his image, socializing and making contacts for future work but I always failed in this aspect and I have no real intention of changing.
I work all the time, non stop (thanks GOD!), and the few time I have left I prefer to apply it doing things and being with people who fill me with love, joy and peace.
Not for business, just for love.

I am shy by nature and I love to retreat to my own intimacy after every exposure in my work. I already give away too much on stage, I am vulnerable and share my deepest experiences with my audiences so...when I finish my work, I want to enjoy some silence, some different ambience, some loving friends away from my work and the company of my man.

When I finish my show, I should remain in the place and socialize. I know that.
I just can't, though...

After I finished my show at the great AHLAN WA SAHLAN FESTIVAL I had the man I love grabbing my hand with all his heart and all I could dream of was escaping and LIVING, LIVING, LIVING...

That's the reason why I didn't stay around to socialize and that's why I usually leave the room early after any show. There is more to life than selling my image and making business and your lover's hand is something you cannot resist. EVER.

That's why.

Thank you to everyone who has been speaking my name in such a kind, appreciating way.
For your sake, I will do better and better.Always.

Cairo, the 16th July, 2010

Is it a mortal sin to be beautiful?!

This is a complicated subject to discuss because I don't see myself as specially beautiful (phisically speaking) as others seem to see me. No matter how many strangers judge me and point a finger at me assuming I am full of myself and vanity, here's the - maybe!- sad truth:


This will leave some of you happy and others surprised but it's the pure truth.
It's not that I don't love myself but what I am INSIDE is way much more interesting and beautiful than the exterior face of it all.
I am aware of my talents and intelligence. I am not shy to say I am intuitive, emotional and loving but external beauty has never been a special treat for myself or something I am proud of.

Now here's the thing:
I've learnt - while studying/working as an actress and, specially, as a professional dancer - that, when most people perceive you as particularly beautiful, you PAY a price for it.

I cannot count how many times I heard women (sorry, fellow women but these comments come, usually, from the feminine side of Humanity)comment how I am a charismatic dancer, a well dressed dancer, a great personality dancer, a dancer with great hair or make-up and, and, and... but they will rarely admit or mention that I may be a GREAT DANCER.

It seems that being perceived as BEAUTIFUL is a handicap that builds a wall between me and some audiences. It's like being too BEAUTIFUL excludes all other qualities, including REAL TALENT.

I still remember some of my teacher's comments when I was studying to be an actress in the portuguese Conservatoire. How many times I heard the same: you're too beautiful to be taken seriously as a theatre actress...
I didn't get the point then but now I DO!

The irony of it all is ME, MOI MEMME...not considering myself as a particularly beautiful woman. I may be judged and punished in my work for that but I don't enjoy the good side of it!
OOOOOhHHHHHHHHHHH.....not fair! Not fair at all...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cairo, the 15th July, 2010

When foreigners love Arabic/Egyptian Culture more than Arabs/Egyptians themselves...

This is an ancestral and endless question: how the West appreciates the East (what can we learn from each other and share ) and what the East appreciates from the West.
The basic truth is many countries do not take their culture into their hands with full respect and love. When it comes to music and dance, the Middle East and North Africa (where Egypt is included) have contradictory views and feelings about it. They love it and they fear it, despise it, avoid assuming it as part of their cultural heritage.

As a foreigner myself (although I discovered my soul belongs everywhere!), I can see how easily we find interest in what's not familiar, the exotic, the apparently distant culture that awakens out bodies, minds, hearts and souls to a different way of LIVING.

Egyptian and arabic music/dance has this effect on many foreigners. We are mostly used to be productive machines in a consumer's society that leaves no time or a single breath for pure enjoyment and there it comes the oriental sounds, flavours, colours, feelings pushing us into a world of PLEASURE, BEAUTY and DREAM that we simply cannot resist.

Yesterday I saw a heartfelt homage to egyptian/arabic music/dance.
This homage came from a group of foreigner musicians (not professionals, so I heard, but amateurs as the word really means: LOVERS=AMATEURS) from a Californian University.
The maestro and director of the whole project has been coming to Egypt since 1984 to research, learn and reproduce egyptian music as well as reportoire from other countries in the same geographical sphere such as Lebanon, Iran, Turkey, Greece,etc.

His work, so I understood, has been giving fruits after 30 years of pure dedication to egyptian/arabic music/dance and this is no small feat in itself.

This Californian group presented itself yesterday night at the Opera House in Cairo just to reminds us all that ART doesn't belong to any specific country but to the heart/soul of Humanity.
They will be performing tonight and on the 16th and 17th July and, in case you're in Cairo, you don't want to miss it!

People from all ages (women and men) and nationalities united through the love of a culture that is not their own from birth. The appreciation I don't see in egyptians and arabs (towards their own music and dance) was very obvious yesterday night and it was shown from the hands of foreigners.

Ahhh....the old come foreigners grasp the richness of the Arab World culture and people here just don't!

The group even played and danced a Saiidi (shocking thing for an Opera House's management that considers egyptian dance as a minor art).

Of course I can comment on many failures (artistic wise) but that wouldn't be fair.
I just saw people doing their best from their hearts and recognizing immense value to cultures that are not theirs to begin with. AND THAT IS BEAUTIFUL.

Only one little critic (it had to be!):
They shouldn't have allowed one of the girls to sing ENTA OMRI (Om Koulthoum).
Naaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh....don't touch Om Kolthoum, unless you are a genius of a singer.
It's known you'll never sing like Om Kolthoum or even near from her but DO NOT put yourself in front of egyptians singing Om Kolthoum when your voice is not o.k and you don't speak arabic. That, I thought, was a real put off for me and a kind of disrespect for Om Kolthoum (although I think the group was not aware of this!).

There was also a cute grandma playing the orgue and that filled me with tender joy. This kind of freedom we have achieved (mental freedom, at least) in the West is the greatest treasure of our evolutionary proccess. The fact that a 70 year old (or more!) lady took a full program of arabic music in the Opera House in her hands and got a kick out of it is, at least, INSPIRING.

The program included some of the major classics (hard stuff):
Om Kolthoum, Farid el Atrash, Saied el Darwish, Said Mekawi, Fairouz, Faiza Ahmed and etc, etc.
Long program with some dancing (Lebanon, Iran, Greece, Turkey, Egypt with a mean Saiidi that I REALLY LOVED).

The show was closed - brilliantly- with a Saiidi launched by the maestro himself playing the rebaba. VERY, VERY GOOD!!!

So here's the recommendation:
OPERA HOUSE, the 15th,16th,17th July - Arabic Folclore Group by the University of California.

Check with your own eyes how ART is UNIVERSAL and belongs to everyone and everywhere.
WE ARE ALL ONE (how many times do I have to repeat this?)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cairo, the 14th July, 2010

Me (maybe that's why some people consider me so egocentric)

What can I do about it?
(Here are some images that reflect parts of who I am).
I talk about what I know better and I know myself better than anything or anyone else so...
Greek philosopher Socrates said: KNOW YOURSELF and he considered this knowledge the highest one could achieve.
I happen to agree with him.

Me: always in evolution. Flowing and changing like the wind.
Transformation, death and rebirth, continuous change are in me so conscious that I never take myself serious.
Impermanence is the only permanent thing in LIFE.
And LIFe is BIG.
And I am as big as LIFE.
As we all are.

Cairo, the 15th July,2010

Another indecent proposal

No matter how many times I turn rich guys off. I always receive some sort of direct or indirect indecent proposal. I guess that's part of the obligatory package when you're an Oriental Dance in Egypt.
It's known that all the famous dancers - with rare exceptions, very rare...- grow in their careers and jump into major stardom when they start dating/sleeping with/playing in all sorts of ways with a big shark with his pockets full of money, connections and power.

It is known, for sure. But what is also known in this market is that I tell these big shots to put their money and power into know...the place where the sun never shines (yes,BRAVO! You guessed it!).
Yet, once in a while there are pimps hanging aorund me promising the world and express success on a major scale.

I don't get offended or mad anymore.I pity the pimps and I pity the sharks who cannot conquer a woman, only buy her. I pity the system and the way women - dancers, actresses, singers and any regular woman - sell themselves so easily in exchange for money, job opportunities, dresses, jewels, etc.

For now, I can sit and laugh at the scene as if I was a spectator watching a movie I am not part of.

Last night, there was one more of these one on one pimp-prospective client encounters and it came from the the most unexpected place.
It seems a big shot - that I presume must be a really small shot! - is coming to town next week and heard about me (no kidding!). He heard all the right things (that I am beautiful, an artist and a respectful lady) but he wishes to do with me all the wrong things (no kidding!)in exchange for a brand new show totally financed by him (the biggest and best orchestra I wish for, the dancers and dresses I dream about and everything beyond my imagination...ahhhh...). much I laughed at the pimp's face!
It's not just the fact that I have a man I love and respect above everything but I RESPECT MYSELF before anything else.
If I have been performing daily for four years with no kind of help, promotion or push it's because I refuse to sell myself and lower my head.

What these pimps and cave men do not understand, once more, is that some creatures with breasts and vaginas are actually WOMEN.
And I mean W-O-M-E-N with CAPITAL letters. Not cheap meat.
Women with soul, heart, dignity and self-respect.

What a strange world I am living God!

Whitney Houston - I have nothing (South Africa, 1994)

Cairo, the 15th July, 2010

An INCREDIBLE performance by Whitney Houston

Ahhh....check out this video and know why this singer is unique until now. Drugs, personal problems, jail and such low things in life could never erase her talent and amazing soul.
Another reason why I have a thing for black voices. They have a fire and a life swing nobody else does.
Love THIS!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cairo, the 14th July, 2010


I will not comment on the reason I assume this (gotta keep my personal life out of the public arena, sorry folks!) but I'll just say it as it IS:

I AM SO MAD IN LOVE that I am out of breath.

And it's changing me and feeding me from the inside out.
It's making me smile for no reason and confirm that there are REAL MEN in this world for whom strenght is not in their fists but in the dignity and honesty of their character.

Loving my man, so much...
In heaven...
In loooooooovvvvvveeeeeee (the kind that changes your I gooooooooooo............)

The Notebook: I'll Be Seeing You by Billie Holiday

Cairo, the 14th July, 2010

Two other favourites: THE NOTEBOOK (movie) and I'll be seeing you (MUSIC)

I've said it over and over again: An artist gets inspiration from EVERYWHERE. Movies, music, dance, literature, painting, sculpture, LIFE!
As a BEAUTY lover, I always search for gorgeous soulful stuff, may it be a flower or a great musical composition.

Here are two of my inspirations. One is a movie : THE NOTEBOOK (if you're a helpless romantic like me, you have to see this movie!).
And the music is part of the movie's soundtrack: Billie Holiday's I'LL BE SEEING YOU.This is a bombastic combination.

Cairo, the 14th July, 2010

You (and me)

When I move my arm, it goes towards you...

When I reach the infite space with my hand, it's YOU I am reaching to...

When my legs swirl and move me through the floor, they fly because they're looking for you...

When a smile or a tear comes to my face and all my body is immersed into the music and my audience is with me (in their hearts and souls), it's only you and for you that I am dancing.


Billie Holiday - All Of Me (Extended Version) / The Man I Love

Cairo, the 14th July, 2010

My very own Billie Holiday (besides Michael Jackson, this is who I listen to every day)

Cairo, the 14th July, 2010

Dancing differentely

I just can't stop myself.
I AM IN LOVE. Like I've never been in love before. EVER.

So that will, for sure, be reflected in my personality and in my DANCE.
These days, I am dancing differently as if all this LOVE came out from my pores, my hair, my eyes.

These days, I am looking straight at my audience's eyes like never before and it feels great. It tastes like FREEDOM.

These days, my body is not only mine anymore and I never dance alone.
Unity and hunger for the next encounter all together with a sense of peace that gives me WINGS.

These days I don't dance anymore, I FLY.And Thank God for this GIFT.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

i'll be there- jackson Vs jackson

Cairo, the 10th July, 2010

Pepsi commercial - beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...

There's nothing more precious and rare in the world than pure LOVE and this is what I feel when I see/listen to this Michael Jackson's commercial for PEPSI.

Check the original lyrics of the song portaried in this clip:



Cairo, the 10th July, 2010

To read and feel...


Said by Milarepa (famous poet saint)

Cairo, the 10th July, 2010 live better!

It has been a long time since I've mentioned a book I am reading so here it is something AMAZING I am digging into right now:

BY Sogyal Rinpoche

Buddhism is, by far, the most intelligent outlook at life (according to my own limited opinion) and this book is like pure water on a summer grilling hot day.

Accepting reality - in its cold/warm faces - change and the many deaths life entails is not only wise but essencial in order not to go totally crazy in this world we live in nowadays.


Always.I do believe this with all my heart and mind.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Gene Kelly Summer Stock Dance

Cairo, the 9th July, 2010

My favourite piece from my elected dancer- GENE KELLY (one more of my all time inspirations)

From all the amazing performances I've watched from Gene Kelly, this one wins the 1st Prize. Genius is a small word to describe him in this piece.
Dear folk dancers (and sensible people who follow this blog), this is all that DANCE is about.

Inventiveness, passion, playfulness, creativity, NO RULES. Surprise.
This is IT.

Michael Jackson 1988 Grammy awards (FULL PERFORMANCE)

Cairo, the 9th July, 2010

Another Michael Jackson pearl

Sorry to all my friends, neighbours (who listen to Michael Jackson every day on my account), blog followers and such but Michael Jackson is in my blood.
Why I cling to his work when I most need strenght and inspiration is no coincidence but not even I can explain my all time love affair for this genius.
It just IS.

Check this smooth performance...ahhh...I could watch him forever (and I suspect I will).

Cairo, the 9th July, 2010

And then they came...

Ohhh...and then they came, my dear egyptians. They requested my name and that I knew from reservation people at the NILE MAXIM (the only way I am allowed to know this stuff nowadays)and they made my night.

I dance better when people come to see my show expecting to see and feel the BEST.
I dance better when my heart is jumping with joy or totally smashed and rolling into deep sadness. I use it ALL in my dance and, thanks God, it becomes ALIVE.

I dance better when the worst critic I listen is: she does something strange that is not quite belly dance but it's still oriental...(I particularly like this one!). You cannot define me, you just can't. And I love that you can't.
I am the weak and the strong. I am the freezing cold and the burning hot. I am the bad and the good. The white and the black. The light and the shadow.

You cannot define me. You just can't.
I am unlimited like the portuguese sea.

Because you cannot define me as a person, you hardly can define me as a dancer. I change as the wind changes and my movement flies away with my ever flowing emotion. What I was a minute ago cannot be applied to the present moment and the way I danced yesterday is dead only to give place to a new moment, new breath, new heart, new DANCE.

And then they came and their eyes met mine only to make me feel that my art is useful and comunicates with their soul and there's nothing more an artist can wish for.

And then they came - my dear egyptians - and my sadness was transformed into a miracle of BEAUTY and JOY. And then they came and my inner joy - that cannot be destroyed by circumstances - rose up and revealed itself like a sunrise.

And then they came and my night was transformed.
And I was transformed. Forever.

Cairo, the 9th July, 2010

Why I love friday mornings in Cairo

Friday is the national holiday and also the day when most muslims run towards mosques and communal matresses laied on the floor in the middle of many streets of Cairo.
You can easily pass by and see crowds of men gathered (no women in this mix because it's considered haram/forbidden by God and it would distract the fidel's concentration in the praying, comment on this one because my sarcasm is taking the day off!) on the streets with their heads stuck to the floor in full prayer ritual.

What I most love about Cairo's friday mornings is the 12.00h main prayer when you can almost listen to the silence hanging above the city and most streets are empty and relatively quiet.
I like to walk without being pestered by men and see some emptiness in a city where, wherever you go, there is always people staring at you.

It feels great to grab a taxi and move in the city in a fast pace (totally impossible in normal circumstances) and see the empty streets breathing a little of peace.

What I most love about Fridays is to confirm that religion has nothing to do with Spirituality (check sexual harassement from men while they are praying in the street and you'll know what I am speaking about)and mosques/churches do not substitute the REAL temple which is your own CONSCIOUSNESS.

Friday mornings in Cairo are lovely because, despite the generalized hypocrisy, you can actually feel an upgraded sense of PEACE and that's priceless.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cairo, the 7th July, 2010

Addicted to (new addictions):

1.Sushi (I am afraid I will turn into a fish from so much sushi...what the hell is happening?!);

2. Mocca cafe from Cilantro (I just can't function without my mocca cafe);

3. Michael Jackson songs while I prepare myself to perform (I've always listened to Michael Jackson but now it's just way too much to the point that I am afraid my next door neighbours will start singing high notes in the shower and doing an egyptian version of the moon-walk taking the risk to step on the soap and break some bones...ouch!!God forbid it!).

4. Billie Holiday. If I am not working or preparing to work and happen to be at home, there's nothing else I hear except Billie Holiday. Why, I don't know!

5. Sahlab. Egyptian drink made of milk, served hot with dried fruits. If I pass by any street coffee-shop, I have to HAVE a sahlab! Also can't understand why.

More strange addictions will come, I am sure.
Dealing with so much stuff and not being a smoker or a drinker has its price. Human beings NEED evasions and I am not an exception.

Cairo, the 7th July, 2010

Returning to my egyptian audiences is the BEST!

After my experience in the Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival (thanking Madame Raqia Hassan for the honour of this incredible invitation)where I danced mostly for foreigners, it's great to return to my usual crowds which are egyptian.

Nothing can pay the love and warmth egyptian audiences give me.Ohhh....
I am on my natural environment once again.:) Like returning home and we all know there's nothing like home.

Several smiles on my face.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Cairo, the 5th July, 2010

I should have kept my mouth shut!!!

I speak too much. I say too much. I open myself too much. I am way too transparent for this crazy world full of hungry wolves.
I complain too much and brag too much about stuff that make me happy and I should have kept my mouth shut.

Why is it so hard to learn this lesson?!
Just keep your mouth shut, you girl!

When I glorified the wonders of sexual segregation at my Cairo gym (remember the signal forbidding men to enter the gym? There you go...)I never dreamt that today, early in the morning, I would have to train between men checking everything I did, second by second, inch by inch...

Apparently, the women's gym section where I train was being checked by male staff and I had to be removed (along with a few mohagabas who trained in full abbaya and head scarf)to the male's section so here's what I got (for speaking too much!):

1. Every movement I made was verified and appreciated by, at least, 10 men.

2. Every time I whispered or cleaned my sweat (after running 30 minutes in the treadmill, I apparently look sexy to them...all that sweat and hair all over my face must be a delicacy although I cannot see how!).

3. Practically every male in the gym was able to do his own training session while checking my legs, breasts, arms and even manicured finger nails (egyptian style multi-tasking at its best).

4. I discovered that I don't really mind anymore if these guys are checking me out or not. Somehow, I am learning to be cold and indifferent to the male's gaze.

The Band Wagon - Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse

Cyd Cherisse and Fred Astaire (by this order)

I have assumed my forever love for Gene Kelly but there's another name I would like to point and it also comes from the Golden Years of American Cinema. Her name is Cyd Cherisse and she personifies the strenght, sensuality and talent of the best dancers in the world. Her body was amazing - what lines!!!- and her movement was not only technically amazing but everything came out from her like water falling from the sky.

I cannot ignore Fred Astaire, for sure. But he's just not one of my favourite. He was so neat, so correct, so smiley and well behaved all the time.
Too much ballroom for my gipsy character. Too correct to be a genius (in my humble opinion, of course).

In this sequence, Cyd Cherisse shows why she was the best dancer of her time - and beyond, somehow - and I dare to say I learn so much from these geniuses.
Talking about choreography...well. I hardly saw better than this until now. Such freshness and inventive movement. The rules are made to be broken by real talent.

Who says I can only get inspired by other Oriental Dancers?! The sad truth is that most Oriental Dancers - or so they are called - do not inspire me at all so I ll move to the REAL THING!


Cairo, the 5th July, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cairo, the 4th July, 2010

Michael Jackson ditto


From MOON WALK, Michael Jackson