Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Tarab Workshop in London (2nd August) by Joana Saahirah of Cairo

WARNING: this is NOT your regular bellydance workshop - you´re in for a Magical Life experience!

"Summer Tarab Workshop" in London by

Joana Saahirah of Cairo

 A day of discovery through the oldest language known to Humanity....
Digging into the emotional power of genuine Egyptian Dance*and discovering what it REALLY means to experience "TARAB"* - one of the most central and misunderstood concepts in Egyptian Music/Dance.
What makes dance magical is not what you do but HOW you do it and that´s what we´ll focus on. 


*Schedule: from 11h till 14h and from 15h till 17.30h

 Joana Saahirah has created a cocktail of dances (Dancing love +new Baladi "hips can talk" +
Shimmy Flight) that illustrate the true meaning of TARAB.

While working on these pieces, we´ll find out HOW to EXPRESS EMOTION, SOUL and MAGIC - using the powerful effect music has on each one of us.
Each person feels and expresses differently - as the individuals we are. That individuality will be an essential base for the whole workshop: NO to CLONES! YES to the FREEDOM of BEING YOURSELF!

Cultural context will be provided for each choreographical piece* 

Check out Joana Saahirah´s view on TARAB (vĂ­deo edition by Khaled Roshdy): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=md9pdeS6Q7Y

Islington Arts Factory
020 7607 0561

***Price of subscription:

Full workshop: 60 £ (morning and afternoon) for EARLY BIRD (payments done until 10th July); 75 £ for payments after 10th July.

Half workshop: 35 £ (only morning or only afternoon) for EARLY BIRD (payments done until 10th July) and 45 £ for payments after 10th July*

*** How you can subscribe:
You may pay the amount correspondent to your subscription via PAYPAL (to email: dancemagica@gmail.com); then send us a notification of your payment to the same email.

After your payment is confirmed, your participation is registered.

 ***Contacts for informations:
Joana Saahirah of Cairo
Email: dancemagica@gmail.com

Joana Saahirah of Cairo

*Blog: www.joanabellydance.blogspot.com

*Joana Saahirah Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joana-Saahirah-of-Cairo-Fan-Page/183318258358726?ref_type=bookmark

*"The Secrets of Egypt" BOOK Fan Page:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My cup runneth over: "The SECRETS of EGYPT" receiving the love*

Readers´feed-back never stops to amaze and humble me (inspiring me to do more and better). I usually don´t share them because they´re sent privately but this one is an exception. Thanks, Sonja Antanasijevic* - you made my day!

"Dear Joana,
  I just finished reading your book and felt that I musg write to you and say how much I enjoyed it. One of the writers I like starts one of his books by asking himself if by writing he makes things alive or kills them. It may be that both are true but reading your book made many things alive for me, and reflected some of my own thoughts, experiences and problems. Which is amazing, since we don't know each other in person but still seem to share something.
Your passion and love for dance and life, as you say, just speak from evey page of the book and they affected me as a reader. I love the way you write, because it is honest and personal -which I found to be very valuable.
I just wanted to share that with you and wish you more adventure on a journeys to come. And happy birthday!:)

Monday, June 16, 2014

I choose LIFE*

Creative image by my dear Lubov Fel (Russia)*
Daring to do IT* - for me, there´s never more than two options: live or die. The grey zone in-between life and death is foreign territory for me: can´t handle it, wouldn´t want to handle it and pity whoever handles it.
Choosing LIFE (mostly for lack of other interesting choices), no matter what the circumstances are at each moment. Death seems like a lot of trouble (at least for now).
It´s WORK/CREATION time now: baby´s growing inside my tummy...

Creative image by my dear Lubov Fel (Russia)*

Creative image by my dear Lubov Fel (Russia)*
Russian calendar with "The Secrets of Egypt" book and its author (that´s me :) )
Creative image by my dear Lubov Fel (Russia)*

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Joana Saahirah of Cairo first USA TOUR* (this Fall)

It´s with great pleasure (and excitement) that I see my first USA TOUR happening this Fall.
"The Secrets of Egypt - Dance, Life & Beyond" book launching, lectures, workshops and shows - all aiming at bringing back the Soul* of Oriental Dance and sharing my vision* of this art (always from my heart).

This Magical Journey will start in New York (my dearest - Morocco - is organizing it: what an honour!) and it will go through Chicago, Alaska and more...
More informations are arriving very soon.

Grateful to Life for all these opportunities and joy*********************


From Egypt to the World*********************


From Egypt to the World - Bringing back the Soul of Oriental Dance*
Image by Lubov Fel (dear student from Russia)
Joana Saahirah, Professional Dancer, Teacher and Choreographer (specialized in Egyptian Oriental and Folkloric Dances), Actress and Writer. One of the most well known, respected and original Orien...tal Dancers in the World nowadays.

After almost a decade of Life and Career in Egypt with her own orchestra - rescuing the ORIGINS and ESSENCE of Egyptian Oriental and Folkloric Dance - Joana Saahirah has created a Style (of teaching, choreographing and performing) that UNITES EAST and WEST; the best of Egypt and the best of western open and free mind; technique and expression; healing and Art; the MIND and the HEART, the BODY and the SOUL.

She has also studied and worked (as a choreography and teaching assistant) to Master Mahmoud Reda from whom she learnt all Egyptian Folkloric Styles.

Joana has recovered the SOUL of Oriental Dance and Egyptian Folklore and it´s her Dream and Mission to share it with the world revealing the true richness and ancient knowledge hidden in this art form.

Joana has written several articles for newspapers and magazines (about Egyptian culture, music and dance) and two BOOKS about The Magic of Egyptian Oriental Dance and her Paths of Discovery in the land of the Pyramids. One of these books - "The Secrets of Egypt - Dance, Life & Beyond" has been published this January. Another one will be published this Summer.

She has also been invited to teach and perform all over the world with a constant blessed applause and the transformation of thousands of Dancers who are touched by her Vision of Oriental Dance***.

***For a glimpse of Joana Saahirah´s Life in Egypt, please check the link: 

 ***Updates on her published book "The Secrets of Egypt - Dance, Life & Beyond" on its oficial Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/thesecretsofegyptbook

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My dearest (Master Mahmoud Reda): how we met*

Mahmoud Reda as a little child. I have this photo printed and cut by Mahmoud´s hands. So precious! Love the pose, the "cravate", the melancholic look on his face...
It´s hard to speak - or write - rationaly when it comes to Mahmoud Reda. Anyone who´s into Egyptian Dance knows - by heart - who he is, what he represents and the legacy he has already left us.Yes, I know: Mahmoud Reda is a symbol of something great: an icon: The Father of Egyptian Folklore: all that and then some.
 Because of HIM, Egyptian Folclore was recognized as an ART form - good enough for the greatest stages in the world. That says it all.
Nonetheless, I am lucky to know the PERSON behind the Artist and the Teacher. Having received  his friendship, support, inspiration, company and teaching was one of the most precious gifts Egypt has given me. Many people ask me how we´ve met - and many others make up stories about it (as usual). I don´t care - especially when the subject is my dear Mahmoud.
Here´s the thing: I´m a black sheep - always been and always will be. Although I´ve learnt Egyptian Folclore directly from Mahmoud´s hands, I refused to copy him or teach according to his method (as other dancers who studied/worked with him do).That doesn´t mean I respect him less - it only means I have my own identity and I´ve learnt - from Mahmoud  - that discovering and sharing MY language is what makes me as an Artist and a Teacher. It also means I know copies won´t do the trick: there´s only ONE Mahmoud Reda. That, ladies and gentlemen, I call RESPECT.
Now: back to where we started:
I first met Mahmoud Reda at "Ahlan Wa Sahlan" Festival in Cairo but none of us connected at this time: he was too busy with hundreds of students begging for photos and kisses and I was too busy learning.
Then came Cairo and my first contract to dance with my own orchestra. I was alone (no manager, no empresario, no maps, support or guidance: nothing but me, my guts and God) and I needed to create daily shows (1 hour of solo performance) that were entertaining and rich for my audiences.
I already knew a bit of folclore but not enough to fill endless hours of daily shows for the upcoming years. So I headed directly to the lion´s mouth: Mahmoud Reda´s studio in downtown Cairo, an old building where the original "Reda Troupe" used to make rehearsals.
I applied for several private lessons - starting with "Tahtib" - and hoped to learn the best material from the BEST - simply the best. After we´ve finished the first lesson, I handed the payment to Mahmoud and he refused. He REFUSED (!) to be paid for his work. I couldn´t believe it! After all I´d already seen in Egypt, all the soulless ambition and greed, this great master was offering me a class for free. More...after he refused my money, he gently put his hand on my shoulder and told me:
-I cannot receive money from you. It´s an honour to teach you. My studio is your place: come whenever you wish and tell me what you want me to teach you.  
I think my mouth was open for days and nights after that. Someone offering me this gift and asking nothing in return ("Am I still in Egypt?! - I asked myself).
After that day, he was faithful to his word and offered me even more than he had promised.
I started to study and work with him but more important than that was the FRIEND and SUPPORTER I found in him. More than 50 years of age separate us and yet it feels like we´re twin brothers - we giggle, exchange jokes, share ideas and dance as new born babies: his brain is fresher than mine and his enthusiasm for dance, music, art and life is the brightest I´ve come across.
Mahmoud never promoted me (after all, I wasn´t following his style or pedagody, except when I assisted him in his workshops) or had any contact that could help me in my career but he was PRESENT whenever I needed him; he made me watch, listen, feel, learn precious diamonds that no money can buy; he sat silently (with the patience of a saint) watching me practice just because "he liked to see me move..."; he pushed me to choreograph ("I hate it, Mahmoud - I can´t do it!" - "Oh, yes, you CAN. Do it for me!"); he RECOGNIZED talent in me and never refrained to tell me so.
The luxury of watching him teach and choreograph just a few inches from him; the amazement of listening and feeling music through his ears and soul...the pleasure of working with a genius who also happens to be a fabulous human being...ah...
Above all: he loved me like a grandfather and never failed to deliver the tenderness and friendship that healed all wounds in my heart and rebuilt my hope.
Now that I´m travelling the whole world to perform and teach and don´t have the privilege of his frequent presence, I appreciate him even more and apply all I´ve learnt with him in my work and life.
Always in my dance and in my heart.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Writing new (miracles) Magical Journey*********************

Spot on*
It´s amazing how the act of writing can be healing and the definitive instrument for personal FREEDOM (even forgiveness).
As I re-edit my upcoming book - with the distance that allows me to SEE things through the wide eyes of compassion - I notice how I clean and reorganize my internal house. As a result, I am lighter, happier, less judgemental and human. What better gift could a book give to its author?

"When I speak of writing, the image that comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or a literary tradition; it is the person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and alone, turns inward. Amid his shadows, he builds a new world with words." 

- Orhan Pamuk