Thursday, May 31, 2012

Irish sense of humour

Irish sense of humour is very similar to mine so it was not hard to laugh like a mad person once I saw the picture that was published in this irish newspaper illustrating "Shakefest". I simply LOVE it and cracked up as if there´s no tomorrow. Here I am, being violently attacked by a medieval warrior at the front of the magical castle of Charleville, Tullamore, in the most central point of Ireland.

As far as I´m concerned, this is THE photo. Official image of the event and, from far,my favourite.

Land of great writers...

No wonder Ireland is a land of such great writers.
Dublin´s introspective, wild, even dark moods are precious to the intimate other worldly atmosphere required to dig into your soul and produce a book and the irish country side is full of fairy tales, imagination trips and a rich folklore that reminds us of the absolute necessity to believe in Magic*.
No one seems to underestimate the powerful role of folktales in the preservation of ancient cultural traditions in Ireland. Before Christianity took its toll on irish people, there were Celtic creeds that coloured all the country with a love for Nature and its creative/destructive forces. From that celtic heritage, lots of essential truths survived through the folk tales irish still tell. Pure gold, as far as I´m concerned.

In a very particular way, Ireland teaches you that using your Rationality does not mean abdicating of your right to fantasy, dream and realms that go beyond our brain´s comprehension.

Life without tales of Magic and Wonder must be dull and even umbearable, don´t you think?

Samuel Beckett, painting at the "Irish writers museum"

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
Samuel Beckett 

Puppet version of Oscar Wilde.

Staring at my pint...

When in Rome, do as the romans, the old quote says. Accepting others and their different points of views, actions and habits is not the same as repeating them just because you happen to be at their homes. I am a curious person who will try everything at least once. Coming from a family of good wine drinkers, it is strange that I never enjoyed alcohol. I just can´t stand its odour which is followed by nausea and headaches so being in Dublin would not include, most probably, joining the heavy drinking crowds which gather in bars all over town.
Yet, at the night of my arrival, I was feeling "risqué" and brave so I dared to follow the enchanting irish live music that came from a bar just besides the hotel where I was staying for the night. Oh, yeah, I´m wild and I know it! (yeah, right...).
-Do you have irish coffee? - I yelled at the barman amidst the noise. He was kind enough not to make fun of me for such a - how can put it? - tender request. Asking for irish coffee in a Dublin bar, at night, it´s kind of nerd, I admit. But, hey, I never said I was cool. I never travel in style (arriving all messed up and looking like a political refugee) and, although I easily mix with every crowd that has something to teach me, I do not embody the "good girl gone wild" character. I was born wild and any effort to show it seems childish to me.
-Yeah, I do have irish coffee.- The barman answered.

Once he brought me my "pint", I could just stare at it (as, later on, Dudley suggested at the Charleville castle). I took a little sip of it and was ready to throw up as the taste of whiskey invaded by nostrils and tongue.
-Blhergghhhhhh...- was my reaction.
-You ain´t gonna drink that coffee, ain´t you?
-No, I really can´t. You see, I am not an alcohol drinker.
-Blimey! Bloody hell...poor you.- Lamented the barman, with a sense of true compassion for my wanderer soul.

The next morning, as the stubborn I am, I returned to the bar with a renewed hope to mingle with the crowds. Irish coffee, once more with a side of James Joyce (book) to help it all go down my astonished throat.
Failed mission. Some times - very rarely, though - you just have to admit defeat.

The Corrs Unplugged - Toss The Feathers

Did I mention how it pops from out of bars all over Dublin, calling you as a seductive siren to its arms of abandoned pleasure?!
As someone who relates to music on a visceral, drunken, deep level, I could not be insensitive to the calls of these bands which, through their music, bring Life to souls and awaken the dead.

Irish seem to deal with darkness in such a lovely, open and even ironic, brave way that, at the end of day, you can laugh it all away and celebrate it. Death, loss, an evening that comes to an end and gets shut by the moon...all the darkest corners of the Soul look like close neighbours of every irish internal life. When you face darkness with such candour, it tends to disappear or, at least, become so small you discover its insignificance. What we resist, persists. What we accept and look in the eyes becomes less pervailing on us. Irish must have known it* for a long time...

The maritime souls...

First of all, let me say this: Irish and portuguese have a lot in common. It takes one to recognize the other.
We both are bathed by the powerful/sorrowful Atlantic ocean which gives depth, a poetic view on Life and some kind of translucid sadness to our characters, we both have been emmigrants for certain periods of our Histories, we both have a wicked, often sarcastic sense of humour and we both are humble, hard working and umpretentious. To name just a  few treats that I see as connecting both countries.
Something about the deep sea that adds a "je ne sais quois" of nostalgia to specific countries. Maybe the endless horizon, the curiosity to see what´s on the other side of the limits your eyes can catch...I don´t know what it is. Maybe magic* that the sea offers - in a secret ceremony - to some countries which carry the heavy burden of FREEDOM thirst on their backs.

My first impression of Ireland, as I set foot on it was purely intuitive based on the energies I picked up in the air. Such an History of violent invasions, colonizations, escapes of survival, forced emmigration as a way to survive famine and there you go: no matter how much people may sing, dance, drink and be jolly, there is an underlying melancholy that does not put you down but, yet!, it confers HUMANITY to Irish people.

Lots of interesting characters, tough on the outside but sweet like honey on the inside, bars from where burst of alcohol and music seem go out on a daily basis, a love for culture (their own and others) and an attachment to the simple things in life that I also find in my own family background of portuguese peasants.

I was, immediately, in love with Dublin. It is an, apparently, kick-ass city but cozy with its river Liffey orienting the visitor, the working theatres, the multi-nationality sound background, a nebline that pervails even under an apparently sunny day.
The city is gripping, vibrant and full of interesting people with OPEN MINDS that I truly appreciate. It is a FACT: I have a "thing" for intelligent people as well as for clean hearts and bright souls that thrive on Life´s challenges and marvellous opportunities of growth.

Before heading to work, I spent an whole day walking around Dublin, browsing through museums (Irish National Museum and Irish Writers Museum are FANTASTIC), chatting with people in a laid back "New York" way, sipping coffee at cafes on the street and being drawned by the seductive irish music.

I had no idea of the Journey that would lay ahead. Giving and taking. Being surprised,learning, opening up to brand new experiences that expand me as an Artist and  Human Being. Isn´t it the greatest of all gifts*?!

Joana Saahirah of Cairo in Ireland doing a tabla solo

Dancing without my orchestra is, probably, the hardest thing I do in my beloved job. For the last years, I´ve been used to perform with some of the best egyptian musicians in the Cairo market so how can I FEEL anything when it comes to dancing, once more, on a dead music reproduced by cds?!

I try, though...and the audience´s appreciation and enthusiasm save me from total suffering. Somehow, they make up for the musicians absence.
This is one of my performances in a gorgeous ballroom of the Charleville castle, Tullamore (Ireland).

Already missing this castle and this irish audience...:)

Shakefest: the proper Gratitude.

Oriental Dance has become a commercial adventure for most dance schools in the world.
Festival organizers follow - more or less - a line that has beautiful purposes on the horizon though: it is not just about the business and the prestige but so much of it is trying to bring Oriental Dance to the ARTISTIC realm it truly deserves.

Most of these organizers REALLY search for QUALITY and a deeper understanding/feeling of Egyptian oriental dance and folklore. I am delighted they do so as this is my profession, my Life and my main mission in Life: to dignify and bring back the Soul* of egyptian dance to the world through my work.

Shakefest organization (with Terri Dale, Fionna Killeen, Dudley and Bonnie and all the volunteers who made the event possible) was a GREAT example of how some special people work from their hearts.
The whole event was dynamic, human oriented, ALIVE, soulful* and surrounded by Love.
It was also aimed to recover further parts of the gothic castle of Charleville, Tullamore. A team of sweet, interesting, motivated people gathering to help reconstruct a MAGICAL place, offering their time and efforts to it. And that, my dears, is a clear sign of HUMANITY.

"My cup runneth over..."Indeed.

My gratitude and congratulations to the Shakefest amazing organization.
Well done, all of you!

*Ah, a special thank you for the magical Charleville castle which I already miss as if it was my own home.

Me, photographed by Fionna Killeen

The Irish journey: Shakefest, shakesoul...

It´s hard to know where to start. My trips are, usually, professional ones.
 I travel around the world teaching and performing Egyptian Oriental dance and folclore, that´s what I do. But it is never just work. The much I give, the triple I receive back. Also I must admit how lucky I am to always find wonderful people who cherish my work and me, as a person, with such tenderness that it seems every place I visit becomes a nostalgic part of me that will be always missing from that point on.
Some particular places are even more special than others, that is certain and impossible to explain. What makes me click from inside on a mental, emotional, spiritual level?! What is that keeps me so deeply connected with a certain place?! I´m not even sure I wish to know the answer...not having all the answers and explanations is part of this pleasure of BEING ALIVE.

Ireland was one of those* places which gets under my skin and will never let me go. Some brief accounts of this amazing journey will follow...
Hope you enjoy the trip as much as I did.

Cliché of "my" moment: I love Ireland.


Joy is a feeling that, like many others, will be experienced by different people as a totally different phenomenon. For me, JOY comes in simple ways: through a tree leaf that falls on my lap, a child´s laughter, a heartfelt kiss, a rehearsal with my musicians, a performance where me, my orchestra and our audience are nothing but ONE.

Joy is what I feel when I dance for others because, basically, it is the kind of talking I could never have just with myself or through words. The language of God, someone said. I think it is the original language of human beings and that, for sure, we are made of JOY.

Loving, dancing...all the same candy for the Soul*...

Wild Wilde.


“You will always be fond of me.

 I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Irish nostalgia...Telegram.

Irish nostalgia in my heart. An Ireland little journal will follow on this blog.
Here´s the TELEGRAM of the moment:

Workshops.Performances.Conference.all. given .with

The news from my visit to Ireland will follow.........................

"I told you so..."

Being a dancer performing in Egypt has much more to it than just gaining the superficial title of a "star" or dealing with a world (dirty, full of traps as well as a Great School in itself) that most dancers envy throughout the world. In my profession I have the chance to see, observe and interact with the lowest and highest social classes in the country and that is more than enough to read the state of Egypt.

For me, as a conscious observer of the movie I live in it has been clear, at least for the past 3 years - that Egypt was taking an extremist turn on the so called religious mentality. Music has been replaced by the "Quran" twenty four hours a day, dance is less and less required at weddings by egyptians who used to see it as an essential part of their celebrations and a general mental backwards movement seemed way to obvious for me to ignore. No one - specially my egyptian friends - agreed with me and, tenderly/paternalisticaly, called me a pessimist.

Last elections in Egypt proved me right. I wish they hadn´t. It all went down the toilet between two kinds of shit: the old shit belonging to ex-president Hosny Mubarak and the new shit under the claws of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Why was I not surprised at all?! Egyptian Revolution has ripped off the octopuss head - aka Hosny Mubarak - but forgot that this animal has millions of arms, tentacles, associated parts of a body profoundly corrupted, the same parts that glued each other and Mubarak´s throne for so long.

Now the jig is up: the same old corrupts are STILL commanding the country through the only power the world knows nowadays (the bling, baby: MONEY) but two evil faces seem to be presented as the chosen by the people. Part of democracy, after all.(?!)

Let the devil come and decide!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

EXCITED to be part of SHAKEFEST, Ireland.


Something for everyone, this weekend,  just around the corner!

May 26th and 27th, 2012  at Charleville Castle, Tullamore

Amazing workshops - Historical Demonstrations - Live Music
and camping on the castle grounds, under the stars!

For a great day out, come to Charleville Castle this weekend!

 With entertainment and workshops all day long, you're sure to have a brilliant time. Come see the North Strand Kontra Band - African Dance - Fire Show from The Red Embers and special guests Babylon's Inferno - Fairy Glen - Drum Circles - Giant Butterfllies and Dragonflies - Workshops - Market - Live History

 It is our honour to welcome JOANA SAAHIRAH to Ireland.

 Hailing from Cairo, she is an internationally renowned Oriental Dance Master, offering a unique opportunity to meet and learn from her, with workshops and Master Classes. This is a brilliant chance for dance enthusiasts to push themselves to new heights in performance.

 Don't forget to get your ticket for our raffle on Saturday 26th. Prizes include Shakefest t-shirts designed by Nicola Colton, CDs from The Underscore Orkestra (our headliners of 2011), and our grand prize... two weekend passes to Castlepalooza 2012, worth over €200 each!
 This is the Midland's largest variety of cultural art and dance all in the one place, perfectly placed for everyone from around the country to attend and enjoy! Most of the activities take place on Saturday 26th, and there's an option to camp that night for just €10 and enjoy the beautiful castle grounds the following day. Kick off your summer festival season in the best possible way.

Joana Saahirah of Cairo dancing Om Kolthoum

Ireland, here I come!

Taking my Dance with me but, most importantly, my heart in my hands wide opened to YOU.
It is an immense privilege to be able to share with the world the LOVE of my LIFE: ORIENTAL DANCE that comes from the soul and reaches other souls...

What makes a GREAT Dancer/Performer?

In my head, a Dancer is a Performer.
Some of them are also good teachers, others are only meant for the stage. Others will never be able to improvise, only dancing on choreographed pieces and others are uncapable of choreographing a piece. Very few gather the whole faces of the enormous task of BEING a DANCER (performer, teacher, improviser, choreographer ALL at the same time and level).

But as I meet more and more audiences from different spots in the world, there is a common denominator I find in the definition of a GREAT DANCER. It doesn´t really matter, on the hot spot (aka stage*****), how many graceful movements you´ll show or how hard you´ve worked on a technical or even musicality/ sensibility level. Sure those tools help you EXPRESS yourself more clearly/interestingly but they will not make you a GREAT dancer.

What I find and confirm time after time is that a GREAT dancer is the one who can forget about herself - her own ego, product of a mind which is always limited and will only reproduce already known material that it stores - and melt into the audience´s energy, heart, soul allowing MUSIC to gather both sides of the same coin.
I find it a GIFT* from God that some dancers borrow, frequently or only once in  a while. Before every show, I feel terrified and willing to disappear from the face of the earth simply because I´m so afraid that the GIFT* will not be landing on me on that particular evening.
"You never know if it´ll come or not...just have to be humble and open your heart to receive it. Hopefully, it will come." - I tell myself, almost shaking, while warming up.

No camera can catch the MAGIC when the GIFT is borrowed and the Dancer shines through it. You need to be part of the audience to FEEL it, experience it, be immersed in its transformative realm.

Yeah, this is ephemerous as a breath of air. Only someone who was born a DANCER can carry this blessing/curse with total commitment and passion. And there I go, before every show, surrendering to God´s will and letting my hopes and vanities melt into nothingness, hoping THAT occasion will be one more of those when me and my audience become one and we all fly together.

Terror and superior joy. In every single show. What a Life!

Not really...

Hmmm...not really. I am not a shoe g´al. Not a shopping g´al. Not a gossip phone chats g´al. Another things fill me much more than those treats traditionaly attributed to women.
Prefer to walk - and dance - barefoot.
Prefer to BE, rather than to have.
Prefer to be naked, rather than dressed in fancy, lifeless cloths.
Prefer to focus on what´s important in MY own life, not on other people´s gardens.
Prefer to talk face to face, connecting through the eyes.
Prefer to be MYSELF, my very own savage self that will never fit in the mold. Thanks God!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Prokofiev - Romeo And Juliet - Juliet As A Young Girl

"Romeu and Juliet" musical MASTER piece by Prokofiev is my all time favourite work composed for classical ballet. This particular theme "Juliet as a young girl" touches and melts my heart like all GREAT music should. Every single time I listen to this tune, tears flow from my eyes, impossible to control.
Checking how MUSIC travels so deep into your soul reaching secret places not even we are aware of.
Because, for me, Dance starts with the MUSIC, I bow to all great composers who have produced music for dance that is as grand and essential as dance itself.

Prokofiev: I LOVE YOU, man!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Oum Kalthoum (Howwa Sahih ) "NAZRA" from Morocco concert

Ah, my NUMBER 1 inspiration. Today and always.
And this, dear ladies and gentlemen, is ORIENTAL DANCE disguised by Om Kolthoum´s voice (bigger than life itself...).

Mohamed Abdel Wahab Cléopatra

Talk about Courage (and the inconscience that often comes with it)!

"Cleopatra" was the first oriental song I performed on stage, in Portugal, back at the beginning of this amazing JOURNEY. I chose it by ear, from one of the cds I bought - kilos of them! - on my study trips to Egypt. No idea how classical, sophisticated or "whatever" music experts may call it. I just knew that I LOVED it and felt it deep in my heart so I dared to do it: a fresh, unexperienced dancer doing what most professionals do not dare to do. Happy and unaware of the treasure I chose for myself.

Love Abdul Wahab, love "tarab" (so much of this concept defines ME) and learnt to love this desert crossing. This is one of its many oasis of sweet dates, crystaline ponds where I see my own reflection, "nay" tones in the air caressing everyone´s sorrows...

Joana Saahirah of Cairo dancing "awadi", baladi in Egypt

On my way to IRELAND!

More precisely, to Chasterville Castle (enchanted gothic castle, yey!) where "SHAKEFEST" will take place.
A weekend full of entertainment, conferences, diversity of interest with a SPECIAL*** participation of my own teaching, performing and giving a conference about Egyptian culture, music and dance.
One thing I know for sure: it will be a MAGICAL time for me and all the participants in the event.

The organization is lovely, super professional and kind. Can´t wait to personally meet them, as well as the irish students and audiences and AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH......the castle. Yes, the castle! I am in love already.

"Shakefest" in Ireland this next weekend (25,26,27th May)!
More infos at:

My own BOOK writing...

Oh, it´s killing me softly. Really!

Who told me to be a Dancer with a passion for writing?!
Between tours, shows, workshops, travels, I persist on the first reason that took me to perform in Egypt: the WRITING of a BOOK about the REALITY of being a WOMAN and an ORIENTAL DANCER in the birthplace of this art: Egypt. It took me six years of dedicated work with my musicians in Egypt, struggles (both personal and professional) as well as enough accumulated experience in order to feel MATURE enough to enter this INCREDIBLE journey and conclude it, against all odds.

No one, except me and God, has seen what´s being written. All I can say is the TRUTH - ugly and beautiful - is being openly told and I am sure that this BOOK will inspire every reader to reach for his/her own dreams and have the strenght to endure, fight and manage any obstacle that may come their way.

Killing me softly, probably turning me into a better person too. No one told me a BOOK which is being written has a life of its own, almost independent from the one who presumes to be writing it.

Ego massage (rare and tasty!)

As an extremely serious self-critical Artist, I always see what I didn´t do - yet! - and never take the time or effort to gather my bearings and congratulate myself for what I´ve already done of QUALITY. It´s in me, this mechanic logic that says "Being great is just your duty, it is no special deal, honey!".

I strive for better, ALWAYS. So compliments tend to always suprise me and leave me blushing like a child to whom someone points a beautiful curl in her hair. Most of the compliments I receive are directly delivered to me or sent through private- endearing - messages I never expose because they are PRIVATE. I am opening an exception here as this kind argentinian dancer directly exposed her comment on my Facebook so it has been public since the beginning.

It is a simple, yet touching comment about my work and here is my own - well deserved - ego massage:

From Fadhila Al Masriya.

"Con Joana Saahirah, me emocionaste hasta las lágrimas bailando Inta Omri, tomar tus clases fue realmente una experiencia maravillosa! Tu carisma, la libertad con que te expresás, tu sensualidad, esa conexión mágica que tenés con la música....realmente fue un inmenso placer y un honor haber podido disfrutarte así!"
(original message in spanish)
"With Joana Saahirah, you touched me to the point of tears while watching you dance "Enta Omri", to take your classes was reallly a marvellous experience! Your charisma, the freedom with which you express yourself, your sensuality, that magical connection you have with the really was a immense pleasure and honour to be able to enjoy you like that!"
Outch (great outch, though...;).
How can you thank comments like this? You just can´t. All that is to it is to keep on working harder and higher in order to always deserve gentle, tender and passionate messages like this one.
Love back at you, Fadhlia Al Masriya /Besos, nenita!

Some random images of me dancing Tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Thanks to David for his lovely company on this "tangueros" circuit, apparently so distant from the Oriental Dance world where I am supposed (!) to belong. The thing is I belong everywhere and nowhere and I surely take inspiration, creative material and lights from many art forms, not specifically connected with my particular field of work.

From Buenos Aires, I brought a deeper passion for the city and its warm people (very close to me in the character of fierce determination and hot temper), a delightful "creme de leche" (traditional argentinian sweet that I fell in love with), "gaucho" cheese, olive oil, "chorizo" and "jamón" (I just can´t deny my peasant roots as they are all over me...), and some incredible memories of loving people, great Dance moments in my work as well as out of it...just a general affection for LIFE itself!

Gracias, Argentina, simpre te amare!
Food for the Soul,mind, heart***
"The philosopher had a practical view as well as metaphorical interest in horticulture. On resigning from Basle University in 1879, Nietzsche had set his heart on becoming a professional gardener. 'You know that my preference is for a simpl...e, natural way of life.' he informed his surprised mother, 'and I am becoming increasingly eager for it. There is no other cure for my health. I need real work, which takes time and induces tiredness without mental strain.' He remembered an old tower in Naumburg near his mother's house, which he planned to rent while looking after the adjoining garden. The gardening life began with enthusiasm in September 1879 - but there were soon problems. Nietzsche's poor eyesight prevented him from seeing what he was trimming, he had difficulty bending his back, there were too many leaves (it was autumn) and after three weeks, he felt he had no alternative but to give up.

 Yet traces of his horticultural enthusiasm survived in his philosophy, for in certain passages, he proposed that we should look at our difficulties like gardeners. At their roots, plants can be odd and unpleasant, but a person with knowledge and faith in their potential will lead them to bear beautiful flowers and fruit - just as, in life, at root level, there may be difficult emotions and situations which can nevertheless result, through careful cultivation, in the greatest achievements and joys.

 'One can dispose of one's drives like a gardener and, though few know it, cultivate the shoots of anger, pity, curiosity, vanity as productively and profitably as a beautiful fruit tree on a trellis.'
But most of us fail to recognize the debt we owe to these shoots of difficulty. We are liable to think that anxiety and envy have nothing legitimate to teach us and so remove them like emotional weeds. We believe, as Nietzsche put it, that 'the higher is not allowed to grow out of the lower, is not allowed to have grown at all... everything first-rate must be causa sui [the cause of itself].'
Yet 'good and honoured things' were, Nietzsche stressed, 'artfully related, knotted and crocheted to... wicked, apparently antithetical things'.
 'Love and hate, gratitude and revenge, good nature and anger... belong together', which does not mean that they have to be expressed together, but that a positive may be the result of a negative successfully gardened. Therefore:

 'The emotions of hatred, envy, covetousness and lust for domination [are] life-conditioning emotions... which must fundamentally and essentially be present in the total economy of life.'
To cut out every negative root would simultaneously mean choking off positive elements that might arise from it further up the stem of the plant.
We should not feel embarrassed by our difficulties, only by our failure to grow anything beautiful from them."

ALAIN DE BOTTON, in «The Consolation of Philosophy».

Via Sara França (Fb)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Under this portuguese sun I wish to express my GRATITUDE towards all the blessings I´ve been showered with.
In fact, HONESTY and COURAGE to always be yourself and do your best without harming others is ALWAYS COMPENSATED in the end. Thanks God!
During the incredible JOURNEY destiny offered me - taking a clear advantage of my gipsy, warrior instinct which never says NO to a BIG challenge - I´ve seen the Good being punished and the BAD being crowned and treated as queens and kings in this mad, turned superficial world of today.
It is with enormous PRIDE and JOY that I see that all my victories have been conquered with talent, serious work and heart. It is with even bigger pride and joy that I saw myself rejecting the shortcuts that were offered me to or the glories in exchange for my body and self respect. Never selling myself and what I FEEL, in my soul, that is RIGHT I climb my own mountains with the fierce faith of monks and lunatics. Success is, so MUCH, a question of "HOW" you achive that success.
Never surrendering to low games, strategies, mafias and such. Art belongs to the SKY and it is in the sky that my dance happens and, therefore, my LIFE happens too.
 Argentina was AMAZING, now PORTUGAL and a quick visit to SPAIN. Then IRELAND for the SHAKEFEST at Chasterville castle and then back to CAIRO.
 "SALAMAT MASR" FESTIVAL on the way and so many other beautiful things on my AGENDA. Feeling BLESSED and GRATEFUL for everything............................................

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Oriental Dance Behind glitz & glamour - interview with Joana Saahirah part 02 ~ Oriental Limelight

Second part of the interview I gave Isis Zahara.

Main conclusion of it ALL: NEVER give away your self-respect and dignity for your ambition as your apparent victories will then be short timed and embraced in shame. There is ALWAYS a way- maybe harder, longer, more strenuous and risky but CLEAN and HONOURABLE - to achieve your goals.
Remember: Women are HUMAN BEINGS and DANCERS are the messengers of the Gods.

Never let yourself down!

Oriental Dance Behind glitz & glamour - interview with Joana Saahirah part 02 ~ Oriental Limelight

Oriental Dance Behind glitz & glamour - Interview with Joana Saahirah part 01 ~ Oriental Limelight

Facing the FACTS about the REALITY of being an Oriental Dancer in Cairo!

First part of the interview I gave to Isis Zahara regarding different aspects of my life as a successful, independent Dancer in Egypt. Read, learn and enjoy:

Oriental Dance Behind glitz & glamour - Interview with Joana Saahirah part 01 ~ Oriental Limelight
Next STOP: Shakefest, in Ireland! Workshops, Shows and Conference about Egyptian Culture, Music and Dance. This and much more at the Chasterville Castle, near Dublin. Join us at this amazing event! More infos at:
Tango Passion in Buenos Aires...
That would be me by the side of the GENIUS Astor Piazzolla (or his statue, I better specify!) and wandering through the argentinian beautiful "ghetto" of the famous neighbourhood "La Boca", birthplace of Tango. On my journeys, I learnt that the Tango we know today is a result of a long evolution that started with a kind of music/dance brought by africans to the port of "La Boca". This original form was called "Habanera" and it evolved to be "Milonga", a style which is still danced nowadays with a clear african touch to it. From "Milonga" was born the Tango in a time when socialization between men and women was not allowed. Men went out of drink, have fun with "street women" and dance. Their wives would remain limited to the domestic arena, therefore Tango was - for a long time- danced only between men until they started to practice it with the only females allowed to touch them: prostitutes. That explains why Tango history is associated with brothels. Theory is interesting and I sure kill everyone around me with questions and more questions but nothing feels better than DOING it*. Dancing Tango, instead of just knowing about it. P.S. How on earth argentinian men dance Tango so damn well?! The most common of men knows how to embrace a woman and make her fly on the dance floor. Outch, that´s GOOD! God bless them for that. P.S. 2 Cliché over cliché: Love, just LOVE Buenos Aires!
Self-portraits before the show in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Moments*** in Argentina.
There was Dance, there was Stage and live music with Mario Kirlis and his orchestra (warm as roasted nuts and sizzling hot tea on a winter´s night)and there were workshops I taught and enjoyed as much as the students. There were hugs, kisses, photos and autographs. Heartfelt messages of appreciation and yelling at the show. There was ecstazy, adrenaline and a Tango dancing at a traditional "milonga" in the heart of Buenos Aires ("La viruta", baby!). There were discoveries, personal and professional, argentinian folklore in the street and "gaucho" food melting on my mouth. There wasn´t a lot of sleep but, in compensation, loads of excitement. One of the best things about performing and teaching all over the world is LEARNING about those places and the people who live in them.
There was, above all, a willingness to never give up my dreams and extra reasons to BELIEVE in myself. So many other people do...and how much their appreciation feeds my soul, dear Lord!
There was FEELING and that other* confirmation that tells me about the WAY of Oriental Dance. The ORIGINAL way. From my SOUL, directly to other people´s SOUL. The map is marked in red lines painted with passion and conviction but the journey is not yet defined. It can take me everywhere. And it does! Blessed I am.;)))