Friday, March 30, 2012
I am mostly, a performer who enjoys dancing on stage with my egyptian orchestra. In or outside of Egypt. I also love teaching in special Festivals where most of the students are already advanced dancers or professionals. It never occured to me to offer courses of Egyptian Dance to Egyptian Women who, according to local mentality, know how to do it by heart.
Then there was the 1st Oriental Ladies Night which I organized by suggestion and a REALLY strong push of some wonderful male friends. I was Surprised at the end of the night. Never imagined Egyptian Women would be so sweet, creative, thirsty of RE-DISCOVERING their own DANCE not as a low seductive dance most use to please their husbands (or whatever;) but as an ANCIENT ART FORM THAT SERVES ONE´S SOUL.
The requests for classes started to flow and scared me at first. "I am not cut out for this," I thought at first. But then I listened to my heart and remembered how SPECIAL it was to share my Dance and way of FEELING it with these incredible ladies.
The main reason to start this new ADVENTURE (aside from my live shows) came from the clear KNOWLEDGE that EGYPTIAN DANCE MUST be reborn in the world, from its roots (Egypt) to its leaves, flowers and fruits (the rest of the World). If Egyptian Dance, as an ART FORM with DIVINE origins, dies in its birthplace, the source from which all Oriental Dancers drink will die with it.
It is my deepest belief that Oriental Dance must be taught to Egyptian Women as it REALLY is (and was, once...): a SACRED DANCE that will EMPOWER them, give them back their own CREATIVITY, SENSIBILITY, COURAGE, STRENGHT, IDENTITY, SELF-LOVE and FREEDOM. It is no coincidence that Oriental Dance is trated - in Egypt - as a cheap way of prostitution. The main reason for that lays on this Dance ´s potential for WOMEN´S TRANSFORMATION and GROWTH.
Once you remind EGYPTIAN WOMEN about their DANCE (as a creative ART, not as a streap-tease flick for men), they LEARN about who they are and what it means to be WHOLE, demanding RESPECT for themselves. This is nothing short of REVOLUTIONARY...
In times of multiple darkness, I am passionately willing to light more and more candles.
Join us, BEAUTIFUL WOMEN of this EGYPT (the TRUE Egypt) we all live in and LOVE so much!
***2nd CAIRO ORIENTAL DANCE WORKSHOP in "Dansation"
On the 6th April (Friday), from 6pm till 9pm
3 hours of soulful ORIENTAL DANCE....
More infos at:
& Dansation (6, El Gazaer Str., behind "Atlas hotel", Mohandessin)
02 330 48247
It will be a JOY to perform for the AMAZING audiences I found in Buenos Aires, when I was there two years ago. It was also an immense pleasure to meet and work with the professional, tender, lovely ARTIST that is Mario Kirlis. To perform with his orchestra, once more, for one of the most AMAZING audiences in the world is another dream come true. One more, thanks God!
Argentina, here I comeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.................................................
Here Ye Here Ye!
Website of the Festival:
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
Very honoured and Happy to be part of this AMAZING team!
Performing, teaching and FEELING Egyptian Oriental Dance and Folclore in a BRAND NEW way! Join us this July, in Cairo for the Dance experience of your LIFE......................................
Sunday, March 25, 2012
No better dance than this one to re-awaken the FEMININITY, INTUITON, NATURAL SENSUALITY and SELF-LOVE in Women.
WOMEN of CAIRO, join us in this loving adventure...............................
3 hours of QUALITY class with DANCE, MUSIC, FUN, WISDOM, LAUGHTER and SHARING of FEELINGS and SOUL between the Ladies. That´s what we will get.
***Price (promotional) for the Workshop (3 hours of PURE Oriental Dance delight): 125 LE
To subscribe, you can send your name and contacts to the email: firstname.lastname@example.org or through a message to Joana Saahirah of Cairo on the Facebook OR
"DANSATION" school, 6 El Gazaer St. Mohandesseen, Behind Atlas Hotel - Giza
Tel: 02 33048247
Mob: 0100 0850153
Welcome, beautiful ladies!
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes."
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
11:30-6:30pm - World Cultures and Dance Workshops
5-6:30pm Joana Saahira Oriental Dance Masterclass - Performance Enhancements and Alexandria with Mellaya style
12-6pm World Cultures and Family Activities fair
8pm-12am World Cultures and Art performances
12-2pm - Joana Saahira General Level Oriental Dance workshop - Classical Oriental
3-5pm - Joana Saahira Intermediate Oriental Dance workshop - Saiidi
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Education for Dancers. A MUST.
Oriental Dance is not less demanding than any other style of Dance. Therefore, I strongest belief that DANCERS should educate themselves about ALL other Art forms is stronger every day.
Isadora Duncan, the so called Mother of Modern Dance defended a lot of principles that directly apply to Oriental Dance.
"I have danced nothing but my own life" is one of her famous quotes and it curiously meets what I ve been practicing in my work as a performer and teacher. Empty movements performed just for the eye´s pleasure are better suited for Circus acrobats. As far as I know, Dancers should be able to SPEAK with their movements, filling them with meaning, juice, REAL FEELINGS and SENSATIONS, the use of emotional memory so common to Actors and so forth. A DANCER ´s movements should never be empty but FULL of LIFE. The DANCER´S LIFE.
Never stop learning, never stop locating yourself in the wise position of the student. Never stop getting a little shy when others call you Master because we´re nothing but eternal beginners in this Art of DANCE/LIFE!!!
Monday, March 19, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
favorite Dancing moments.
Never underestimating the immense pleasure, victory and privilege on performing in Cairo with my own orchestra. That has been a WONDERFUL dream come true and a source of constant learning, inspiration and willingness to grow further and further.Yet, my favourite DANCING moments are nothing less than private, unexpected and not directly connected with the Sucess others associate with me.
Here are some of them:
*The private dances all the men I loved offered me. Curious to observe that only two of them were, actually, Dancers like me. The rest was not but they managed to enchant me - and make me laugh so hard, in some cases - by dancing for me. Ever more curious than that is the fact that I, the Dancer, never danced for any one of them.
*A tribal african dance class I took in New York, some years ago. I was taken by the hand of an afro-american friend of mine, Brooklyn girl, and all I can say is: it kicked my ass so damn fine...
Wow! Africans have a stamina, physical strenght and vigour most caucasians - like me - do not possess. I had the confirmation of this fact during the class.
This was an undergroud studio for tribal dances - God bless New York and its incredible cultural diversity -and I give myself some credit. It took a lot of guts - and no sense of ridiculous - to introduce myself into a class of african dances that defied the law of gravity to a never seen extent. I almost got killed during that class, if it wasnt´t for my sense of humour and the coolness of the participants, all african and black as the beautiful night.
I jumped, I twirled in the air, I was the clumsy monkey of the room, I sweat and went close to fainting many times but the excitement kept me going. No doubt I did nothing but BIG TIME bullshit on that class but, by all Gods and Goddesses, did I have fun!
***My first Tango dance happened in Madrid (Spain), where I lived for an year studying in the Acting Conservatoire. I was heading for an Oriental Dance workshop as I passed through a studio where an argentinian dancer was practicing. Without further questions or "why", he pulled me into the room, told me to close my eyes and let him lead me. Adventurous and curious as I am, I did what he requested from me. What a treat! The whole dance was performed with my eyes closed and no step was on the wrong place, no heart beat on the wrong note, no mistake, no rocks on the path. When the song reached an end, I was ready to fly to Mars with this man. Never saw him again and, yet, never forgot him.
*Me and my dearest friend and teacher Mahmoud Reda (founder of the "Reda Troupe" and fairly called the "Father of Egyptian Folclore") dancing under the rain in Brighton. After my performance, me and Mahmoud were supposed to return to our hotel but decided not to wait for the car ride. We just went into the streets of Brighton - deserted by that time of the night - and danced oour way to the hotel, hands joined, laughing our hearts out and...yes...under the rain. It was an instant classic directly competing with Gene Kelly scene on "Dancing in the rain."
*Performing for peasant - "fellahin" - women and children in a village by the Nile close to Luxor, Upper Egypt. It was one of my studying trips to Egypt that lead me to this place, thanks to the kindness and risky sense of fun of a tour guide who wanted to present me to his family.
The village women gathered at his home to watch me dance for them, not before they fed me and covered me in hugs and kisses. I usually do not do Oriental Dance outside of my work. This was an exception. A room was closed to this effect. Men were out of the equation.
A tape recorder from the time of ex- president Nasser was on with Om Kolthoum and I did my own private show. It all ended with old ladies crying and hugging me and a gorgeous, emotional procession of women who didn´t want to let me go.
***Sure there were many other Dance experiences I cherish. I have been blessed with more of them than I can count but, for some reason I don´t need to understand, these are the ones which my emotional memory retains.
More will come...
Saturday, March 17, 2012
2nd Cairo Oriental Ladies Night arriving...
Ladies of Cairo, be prepared for the MOST AMAZING dance experience of your lives...
After the success of the 1st CAIRO ORIENTAL LADIES NIGHT, I am taking my time to organize the 2nd edition of the event. Bigger and better because QUALITY is something I do not live without.
ORIENTAL DANCE MASTER CLASS, PRATICA, PRIVATE SHOW only*** for the ladies with a VERY SPECIAL orchestra and many other surprises that will make you remember what´s SPECIAL*** about being a WOMAN and WHICH treasures are hidden under the oh so forgotten ART of EGYPTIAN ORIENTAL DANCE.
Details will follow soon...
Essential documentary for all Oriental Dancers and lovers of the Middle East and North Africa TRUE history. There is a responsability inherent to every ARTIST who represents cultures so rich and controversial as the Oriental ones.
Educating yourself about the difference between stereotypes, prejudices and REALITY is part of our job.
Enjoy the LEARNING...
Friday, March 16, 2012
Inspirations are everywhere!
LOVE this Usher song - with the silly boobies and bootie talk and all...- and the COOL quality that comes with it.
For the ones who know me, there is a fact that defines me in such a large scale: I am not just an Oriental Dancer. I am a DANCER who studied and loves many styles of dance (starting from Classical Ballet at the age of 5 and going all the way through jazz, modern, flamenco, afro, latin american dances, tap dancing, you name it!), an ACTRESS and, above all, an ARTIST.
This means I get excited like a child, learn and feel inspired by many ways of ARTISTIC expression.
Just yesterday, I could not sit still on my chair at the OPERA of CAIRO while watching an AMAZING performance of a HIP HOP group directed and choreographed by Rennie Harris ("Puremovement") .
This american company kicked ass yesterday night @ the Opera of Cairo! I tell you that place was on FIRE, damn fine, baby...
Hip-hop, funk, jazz, street dance mix WITH an ARTISTIC VIEW and loads of PASSION.
Egyptian hip- hop dancers gathered the party and were SIMPLY AMAZING.
All I did was smile and dance on my sit the whole time. Just wanted to screammmmmmmm: WOWWWWWWWWWWWWW.........................
Incredible how DANCE, when done as an ART FORM and WITH FUL PASSION, can be the most UPLIFTING of remedies.
God bless my sponge quality that gets raw material from everywhere and turns it into my own...Dance/LIFE.
So cool. So damn cool.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Shake an annual holistic and international dance fair at Charleville Castle, home of Quest Campus, has blossomed into a full week-end long festival of art, culture, dance and life - fun enjoyment for all ages all cultures - it is an international and local Tullamore Festival - a special camping week...