Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ahlan wa sahlan opening festival

I was very nervous about tonight.... it was the opening night and I was to be dancing in Amera el Kattan's ( aka pharonics) fashion show. The plan was- a few models in each costume and each time with a dancer up front showing how the costume moves as well as looks. There were 4 'primas' ( Amera's word for us dancers- not mine!!! ) Leila ( Russian- works here in Cairo) 2 girls from Norway ( Mai and Nina) and me. The theory of the event was great- the reality- well- I dont know what it looked like from out front, but I felt everything was so manically rushed, and dancing to music we hadn't heard before, that if someone was to judge my dance from that performance they would seriously underestimate my abilities! It was nice dancing on stage and recognising people in the audience. It was also an experience working with all these Russian models. They were very sweet and welcoming which for some reason I hadn't expected!

overall- my 'modelling on stage in Cairo debut'- The costumes were lovely... just not so sure about my dance!!!!

At the end- getting back into 'normal' clothes- I discovered I'd lost a shoe! someone had packed up my shoe in a bag with a costume and packed it in one of the 5 massive boxes !!!!!!!!!! I had to hobble one shoe'd upstairs and empty each box and look through every single costume until I found it!!! a crazy end to a mad experience!

I then watched the rest of the show. Suraya, Rhanda and Dina all performed.

It was interesting to see so many similarities between the 3 of them. Rhanda is still my favouite. Suraya did a fabulous om kalthoum with the best violin player in the world (in my opinion!) and her drum solo is always good- but she seemed really on form with that tonight. She did a strange dance , with a pink hat on her head with a full sized blue veil coming down from it which she swished about with gusto. Bizarre. Samba shimmys to die for though.

If Suraya can be described as a fun, pretty, sexy girl, then Rhanda in comparison is 100% woman. Power, poise, confidence. Her entrance dance in particular blew me away. the number of things she can do whilst standing on one leg is really quite impressive! I felt inspired and depressed watching her- always a good sign! When Rhanda does her slow , controlled, theatrical stuff - nothing can beat it!

Tonight was the 1st time I have seen Dina dance in maybe 3 years.... and I was surprised to see how similar to Rhanda she is ( although I suspect its maybe the other way around!!!!) I guess Dina is softer and prettier on stage than Rhanda.... but to be honest they were both very good. I feel they maybe should have been performing on different nights though... I never used to like Dina too much- but my opinion changed tonight...she looked like she was having fun up there.

Dina danced to Enta Omri and I cried.

It was also interesting that both Suraya and later Dina both danced to 'Msafer'- another favourite song of mine. Dina's composition though was unlike any I have heard- and the piece she finished her show with. It was pretty striking!

All and all it was a very good ( and very busy!) night! Well done Ahlan wa Sahlan! Now since its nearly 4am I guess I'll hit the sack- although I'm still buzzing!


Anonymous said...

seems like a lot of fun...wanted to know, how is the quality of the dancers and the festival...

Lorna (aka BellyLorna!) said...

i can't say anything about the teachers and performers for this years festival as my work has always been at the same time, so I have not been able to attend. But usually its a great event....