Thursday, July 28, 2011

" An essential portion of any artist s labor is not creation so much as invocation."

Lewys Hyde

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Joana Saahirah of Cairo performing with her orchestra

Dancing souvenir for all my blog s followers...
Happy Dancing/Living for all and always see you soon!

Ella Fitzgerald - Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye

Cole Porter speaking for myself in the voice of Ella Fitzgerald.

"Every time we say goodbuy, I die a little.
Every time we say goodbuy, I wonder why a little.
Why the gods above me, who must be in the know
think so little of me they allow you to go...

When you re near, there s such an air of Spring about it

Saying goodbuy to so much (at the same time) that I think my heart will explode from the extreme waving of its hand and river of tears pouring from it...
Yet you know what they say: after the storm, it comes the rainbow, all the LIGHT of the world.

Trips away from hot summer Cairo, writing craze of my own book, brand new shows in Cairo on the stove, events all over the world!

***Here s what you may follow regarding to my EVENTS for the next few months:

1. Brand new shows in Cairo being prepared with all my experience, fire and LOVE.

More than ever. I think I was just born again. That will show in my DANCE. I am sure of that!

2. Writing craze.

I never imagined that writing my own book would be so challenging. Most of all, showing my most private vulnerability is frightening (even for me...being used to expose myself in such an open and natural way!).

3. Events in PORTUGAL (Lisbon) - August,

UNITED STATES (Miami) - September,

ITALY (Merano) - October

and SPAIN (Barcelona) - November

where I will perform and teach, sharing this AMAZING PASSION I have inside my heart for Oriental Dance.

NOTE: My own videos available at the Youtube (search for Joana Saahirah of Cairo).

Photos, updates and videos available at FACEBOOK. Add yourself to my new FB page (also add me as Joana Saahirah). The old page has reached its acceptance limits so you can only join the NEW ONE.

Any additional question should be directed to my email:


So many other surprises I will be sharing as we go along...wishing all LOVE and COURAGE to all of us.

Joana Saahirah of Cairo on baladi, Egypt

"The dancer s body is simply the luminous manifestation of the soul."
Isadora Duncan

For the dancers which see DANCE as their religion...

For the dancers who DANCE because they cannot do anything else...

For the dancers who are not politicians or diplomatic bastards in search of power, status, easy money and empty applauses...

For the DANCERS who dance FROM LOVE and FOR LOVE...

For the DANCERS who KNOW their job is the speak the kanguage of the gods and goddesses, translating it through movement, breathing, emotion and soul...

For the DANCERS who know how to BE HUMAN BEINGS. In and out of DANCE...

For DANCERS who know there is no difference between the stage and LIFE...

For DANCERS who DARE to DANCE, not to ACT...

For all the DANCERS who understand what I just wrote, all my love and compassion simply because I know we are all connected, dancing the same dance, expressing the same TRUTH, living the same LIFE.

Summer has arrived to Cairo!

Summer has arrived to Cairo and some of its treats tend to drive me kind of crazier than I already am...
Mangoes and grapes at their best, for sure!
Warm nights that remind me of Cuba (lacking Cuba s humidity which takes away lots of sensuality from the whole subject) rocking us like babies on their mother s laps. Great!
Ramadan knocking on our doors, making life even lazier and slower than already was (Egypt is still on the undefition of a post-Revolution state with no clear horizon ahead). Not so great!

Not knowing what to dress when I go out on the streets under a blazing, killing sun and heat. Not so damned great, at all!

Getting used to the sexual remarks I ve been hearing for the last years, since I live in Egypt. Well...can I ever classify this newly gained psychological resistance as great or horrible? I guess not. It is what it is.
The thing is there is no place or street where I won t go. I dare to do so. I know I will see ONLY men around me, I do know I will be disrespected and sexually harassed, eaten with strange eyes and even followed home by men who don t know the meaning of a WOMAN but the other choice is to the a reclusive, to stay at home and hide myself ("my body", in this case, is all that I am to these male creatures not worth of being called MEN) like most women do around here. The other choice is to accept the silent LAW that still says WOMEN should be at home, hidding from male s gaze. The LAW that says, if you accept to go free in the streets of Cairo, then you are a tramp who deserves to be harassed and molested.
I REFUSE to abbey any kind of ignorant LAWS.

Sorry, folks! You may harass and show yourselves as the cave animals you really are but, if I feel or need to walk alone in any street of Cairo, God knows I WILL.
And that s what I call a WOMAN.

*P.S. Why would I use a cute Elvis Presley photo on this post with a weird kid looking straight at the camera???
Have no idea.
I just did.

Josephine Baker -2- (1927)

Thanks to my dear Sancha Franca for bringing up this HUGE inspiration to my life now.
Sure I knew Josephine Baker and her incredible history but it s great to have reminders of the most marvellous WOMEN grateful for this REMINDER!

"Is that what they call a vocation, what you do with joy as if you had fire in your heart, the devil in your body?"

Josephine Baker

This quote can only be understood by the very few WOMEN who DARE to BE the BEST of THEMSELVES without surrendering to less than that.
Only the ones who see themselves and LIVE like the QUEENS they are can TRULY taste the flavour of the "devil" in their bodies and souls. The devil (being here) all that is so TRUE, RAW and STRONG that no one or nothing can limit or stop it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Man must speak, then sing, then dance.

The speaking is the brain, the thinking man.

The singing is the emotion.

The dancing is Dyonisian ecstasy which carries away all."

Isadora Duncan

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


And all that jazz...


Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Lady Antebellum

Of cowards and true LOVERS!

Finding this song through Ana Maria s blog ( was a treasure catch.
As I, slowly, return to live after some of the hardest experiences of my life, there s no way deep changes may not occur.

That s the thing about deep pain and disappointment: or they hurt you for life and leave scars which will never fade or they rise you up to dimensions you would never have guessed existed.

Faced with some very interesting Om Kolthoum material (to teach in Italy and Portugal), something clear came to my mind: the main reason why dancing Om Kolthoum is so difficult and only RARE DANCERS can do it.

Only the ones who understand and dare to LIVE REAL LOVE can ever DANCE Om kolthoum. There is no pretending, no getting close, no being smart, no acting.
Only the BRAVE of the HEART, never the cowards, can pick an Om Kolthoum s piece and eat it properly in the shape of movement, breathing, true emotion and LIFE.

I am surrounded by fake relationships, convenient marriages, husbands cheating on their wives and wives cheating on their husbands. Lies, traditions that are totally disconnected from TRUE LOVE and a deep weakness towards the RISKS and WONDERS that this TRUE LOVE OFFERS.

Om Kotlhoum and her world is not for ambitions politicians and diplomatic dancers. It is for REAL MEN and REAL WOMEN who are strong enough to kick garbadge on the face and take the vulnerability and possible pain embroidered in the marvellous possibilities and pleasures of LOVE.

Only REAL LOVERS can dance Om Kolthoum. Only those.
And this, aside from many other hard won pieces of wisdom, is what I ve learnt from the sadest experiences of my life.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Joana Saahirah of Cairo dancing Om Kolthoum

For all the dancers and fans who wish to follow my EVENTS and NEWS on the Facebook, please add me as Joana Saahirah Oriental Dance as my first Facebook account has reached its friend s acceptance limit.

For further infos about shows and workshops in Egypt and around the world, please contact me through the email:

Although I will be out of cybernetic mode for the upcoming time, new STRONGER parts of me are emerging after TOTAL DESTRUCTION.

I am just grateful to GOD for my survival and GROWTH out of the worst circumstances.
And higher LIGHT arises from the most complete darkness. As always.

Saahira Joana´s Show (Bellydancer)

Joana Saahirah of Cairo improvizing on egyptian tabla

Facing darkness with LIGHT is the mission of the STRONG souls.
Forggiving and letting go of past pain, current hells and back stabbing events is the mission of the BRAVE.
CREATING ART from the ashes of several deaths is the mission of ARTISTS.
Using deep sadness to choreograph a brand new DANCE that speaks of JOY is the mission of GREAT, not regular ARTISTS.

Comprovising with her accordeonist

In the middle of chaos, just DANCE and every broken piece of your body and soul will fall, once again, in its right place...

Joana Saahirah of Cairo on baladi, Egypt

This is still a time for my DANCING/WRITING retreat so I ll leave you all with some dance goodies and say "See you soon" with my heart full of LOVE and STRENGHT to face all the obstacles that make the road of LIFE a constant, surprising - and often cruelly shocking - challenge!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sekhmet mode.

In Egypt, and still around the whole world, Women are still put into very clear, limited boxes.

If you are strong and defend yourself from all the bastards of this crazy world of ours you are seen as a cruel bitch. If you let others step on you and surrender to the male supremacy, letting others lead your life and the way you behave, then you are a weak doormat where everybody seems to step.

Now, here s the thing. I know myself quite well by this corner of the road and LOVE what I know about it! Kind of proud too...

So I become Sekhmet when that s what s required of me.

From all the pain and disappointments, I take a renewed FIRE and an even BIGGER strenght full of rage, yes!!!, full of deeply rooted sense of injustice and will to make it RIGHT and put things in their rightful place, YES!!!

From this "Sekhmet" face, only FIRE gets out of me and that s all right. This is no time for tenderness or smooth sailing. This is the time to EXPLODE in a way that transforms the deepest SADNESS into an unsuspected VICTORY.

I am, officially, in a "BITCHY MODE" and damn proud of it.

Women of this world, WAKE UP and smell the coffee...always remember some wise popular phrase that tells us only bad girls go everywhere!

Incredible how having consecutive back stabbing experiences can give me SUCH a

CREATIVE ENERGY and daring attitude!

Yay to all the wild cats of this world...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Then here I go flying away once more...

Cairo is too hot right now and already getting lazy for Ramadan...and I have way too much to do so I say to myself: YALLA!

No matter how many shocks, disappointments and stabbing in the back we may suffer, there are only two choices: Moving on and accepting reality by learning from it with a light heart or become as dark and ugly as the ones who hurt us.

I choose BEAUTY, always. In my ART, in my writing, in my LIFE.

So here are the events you can follow about me these days:

1. Secret writing project. In the box of the Gods. Getting even braver because of this one!

2. If you happen to be in Cairo during the month of July, then take the opportunity to have private lessons with me. Booking through my email:

3. Teaching and performing in PORTUGAL, UNITED STATES, ITALY and SPAIN during the upcoming months and a BRAND new show in Cairo that will ROCK the mind and heart of so many people. They will not see it coming and, yet, the storm will hit them!

4. Further informations about my performances and workshops on the FACEBOOK (add me as Joana Saahirah) and through my email:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Breaking the rules!

Always a rebel, always going against all kinds of rules I don t appreciate. It shows in my character and, surely, it shows in my dance.

Here s a comment/answer I wrote directed to a fellow dancer (thanks for your sharing, dear Melanie!) on the subject of FREEDOM as a main characteristic of Oriental Dance:

" We can only break the rules after we know them and dominate them very well. Oriental Dance, from where Isadora Duncan got so much of her work s inspiration, is by DEFINITION a freedom dance but, as Rudi (reference to Rudolf Nureyev) says, it is ACQUIRED.
If you try to do it without knowing the ABC very well and deeply first, then you will make some non sense monkey business thing.
It is a mix of study, experience, intelligence and talent and it is surely my conviction towards DANCE: no limits.
Breaking all the rules, after you know the rules so well you can go beyond them."

I had to post this answer I wrote as a plea to all dancers and studants: search within yourself the TALENT necessary to learn the technique and the roots of this dance BUT reach BEYOND all that. Knowledge and accumulated experience are great BUT they do not make GREAT DANCE.
As far as I see it, GREAT DANCE arrives when the one who DANCES has the ability to break all the known rules of his style and make it grow into new, original, fresh and interesting territories.

This is the way all kinds of ARTS evolve and this is the way of GREAT ARTISTS.

Congratulations for "Majancy" Magazine!

I am a sucker for POSITIVE, beautiful things so here I am, could not keep myself from doing it, excited about a brand new Oriental Dance Magazine with the original and funny name of "Majancy" which is a term egyptian musicians use to denominate a dancer s signature entrance music on stage.

This term comes from the french "marche en scene" but egyptians, faithful to their nature, created something original and funny out of it: "Majancy".

Wish to congratulate the creators of the magazine for their initiative and send them all my SUCCESS and BEST WISHES!

Can t wait to see the result of their brave enterprise.

The beginning.

Lately, I have received a few messages wondering why I post so many Classical Ballet videos and not much of the Oriental Dance videos that, I suppose, are expected for me to post.

I do post some of my videos because it is part of my job to do so but I cannot find, and I apologize in advance if this sounds arrogant, Oriental Dance videos that enchant me.
Oriental Dance has become a commercial issue in most of the cases all over the world.

All I seem to see are clones of well known teachers, mechanical copies of dancers here and there. Exotic aerobics, not ART. This is, probably, what takes away my interest in most of the things that are being done in the Oriental Dance area. They do not reflect what I KNOW is Oriental Dance and they do not move me in any way. I feel I am watching a gimnastics class, not a DANCE PIECE.

Maybe I am way too focused on my own work and don t know the best references, maybe not...the truth is that I appreciate GREAT ART, no matter the style of it.
Japanese dance, GREAT!
Indian dance, WONDERFUL...anything, as long as it takes my breath away.

Another GOOD reason for me to post lots of Classical Ballet videos is simple and unknown by most of my followers: I started as a Classical Ballet Dancer at the age of 5 years old. This was my world for all my childhood and I left it behind when I was 16 years old on the verge of deciding if I would do it professionaly or not.

Although I LOVE Classical Ballet, much more than I like to admit because it brings very emotional memories to the surface, I left it for another arts (acting, other styles of Dance and, allas, Oriental Dance where I TOTALLY found my language!) with no regrets and I look back at it with such tenderness and gratitude.

In order to become a REAL Oriental Dancer, I had to put behind most of what I had learnt in many years of ballet training. I had to re-educate my body, my physical, emotional and mental posture and how to listen to the music and CUT all limits imposed by my initial training.

I had to be born again, no doubt. Yet the roots remain and will never disappear.
So, every time I post a Classical Ballet video, you all know WHY I do it. It is all from my heart, my guts and my soul. As everything else I do.

P.S. Until today, I keep a classical ballet pink little shoe hanging on my bed. It s an old gift from the first "pointe" shoes I got and I ve kept it all this time. It reminds me where I came from.

Friday, July 1, 2011

"When you re dancing, you have to hold the music in your hands as you would hold your lover. Don t kid yourself, dancing is love making turned into poetry!"

The author: ME! (while practicing tango with a friend of mine)

Where did this come from? I am...REALLY?

The cute thing about it is that, after I ve said it to him with such conviction, I actually thought about it and agreed 100%.

Some "dancing djinn" has taken possession of my body and mind, I guess...Let him do his job. I am loving it, as always!