I really am glad I went. I wish I hadn't missed the opening show (only found out that same day it had started!) and I wish I had been able to attend more of the workshops but since I was performing each night as well it just wasn't possible at all. The Saturday esp was a killer for me- 5 hours of workshops and then 2 sails at night (ie 4 shows). Wow. It really was no surprise that by the time Sunday night came I fell on the dancefloor cos my legs just gave up on me- they called a strike!
I personally enjoyed the social side of it. Unfortunately since I had to work each night I couldn't go to the party nights they put on, but in between workshops etc it was nice to see faces from previous festivals and chat with other dancers from all over. One girl, Katia, an events organiser from Moscow, even said you look familiar- and where was I from, I said Scotland- and she said 'oh YOUR Lorna- I read your blog all the time and have even translated some of it to add into my blog in Russia!' It was so lovely for me to find that these hours of sitting at the computer alone in Cairo actually bring dancers from all over the world together!!!!
The Pyramisa is the perfect location for it- nice and central so people are not stuck in the hotel in times they don’t want to do workshops etc and small enough to feel comfortable in it. There was a large bazaar, selling costumes, and Aida had a very large selection of nice ones for sale.
The whole team were on hand near the registration desk almost all the time, if you had questions or problems.. and there were forever wee surprises- like a tannoura waiting outside the room when Mahmoud Reda's class finished to entertain the girls as they came out of the workshop. Just little things like that made it a lovely vibe and I recommend it to anyone, whatever their dance level.
A great experience!