I only managed to get along to 2 workshops in the festival this time round.. mainly because with performing everynight I was scared to do too much in the day and be too tired to perform!
Hassan Afifi was a lot of fun. He is a lot older- and worn a 'cuban' style flatcap to teach in, and had tons of character. He was always making us laugh and was fairly strict too. He chose a piece of music that was very cheeky, but very long so we rushed through the choreography. I am dreadful at remembering routines and need more time for things to sink in so I can actually DANCE something rather than just run through the moves- so I found that element of it a little stressful. But I enjoyed a lot the way he would use mime with dance to express the words and in a very cheeky way. (like "I asked him to come out with me - but he said no"- was a beckoning finger then a turn around to face the back with a thumping your bum with your fist - as in 'take that'!!!) . I'd definaltly do another of his workshops!
Zahra................ oh Zahra. WOW. I didn't chose this workshop- I went becuase my friend was sick so she could use her place. BUT I am sooo glad I went. It was an Om Kalthoum technique class. Zahra is seemingly originally from Algeria and now lives in Germany. She didnt' teach a choreography (which makes a very VERY refreshing change at these events) it was a watch and copy. Oh if only. She danced to various classics by my favourite Egyptian singer including lissa fakr and ana fintizarack. In the end I just sat and watched- with my face awash with tears. She was doing so little- and yet caputered the music and feel so well. A very emotional experience for me. That class could have gone on all day as far as I was concerned!!! If you ever get the chance to see her perform or attend a class- do it!!!!!!!!!