Saturday, November 14, 2009

Performing experiences of the last week or so....

Last night I felt i danced well. This doesn't happen very often... i think it has something to do with being a bit of a perfectionist! It was mainly because I danced to a song I haven't for a long time and I was able to completely lose myself in it... Alf leila we leila. I love this music and had forgotten quite how much until i was dancing last night and realised, at one point in my dance, that i had totally forgotten there was an audience watching me! Because it started on a high like that the rest of the show went really well too. The audience was totally with me. One woman asked the management for my number because she wants me to dance at her daughters wedding. Guess i know what song to perform to if that wedding happens!

A few nights ago I had, on the same sail, the worst and best of audiences. The boat had been chartered by a company IBSE. Now, I don't know what that actually stands for, but by the sour attitude of the 1st deck i performed to it could well mean IBS Egypt! All Egyptians, but distant and acting as though i didn't exist. Even though I wasn't dancing fairly well I thought!!! Of course, i was then dreading the 2nd deck, since it was the same company ... however... there were about 4 guys in that group who were incrediably enthusiastic- and it lifted the entire experience for us all, performers and audience. I was dancing my heart out and they were shouting out the names of famous dancers i reminded them of when i did certain moves. In one song i was Soheir Zaki, Fifi AND Dina....... seemingly !!! At one point in my show (during my tabla solo) I actually had to raise a finger to my mouth and tell them to shuush ('iskut' in arabic!) because their praise was louder than the drum! They obediently did as they were told, then as soon as i did the slightest move after that, they erupted into shouts of appreciation yet again!!!!! I have never felt so powerful, or appreciated, I tell you! It was a wonderful night. Thankfully the good audience was 2nd not 1st- so I left the night with a good feeling about myself, my dance and the whole world!!!!!!!

As part of my show, if there are a lot of tourists in the audience, I often get some of them up to dance with me. I try to be encouraging and get them to do moves they can manage. I don't go out my way to embarass anyone as I have seen in some shows ( in Turkey- not in Egypt). In one show last week there was a young Japanese girl sitting at one of the front tables and she had been watching intently throughout, when I tried to get her up she was too shy, but her big sister (I presume- maybe wrongly) agreed to get up too to keep her company. It didn't take long to find out why! They were amazing!!!!!!! Both of them followed every single move I did- and I threw in some difficult ones when I saw how well they were coping. This little girl who was maybe 8 or 9 years old, was doing beautiful hip drops and shimmys and you name it, her sister too! I strongly suspect that wasn't the 1st time either of them had bellydanced! In the past when i was going to watch shows here in Egypt, I always used to wonder how a dancer felt when she pulled me from the audience, unsuspecting that I was a professional dancer, only to be surprised that she couldn't 'embarass' me or use me to make her look even better. Now I know. And I have to say- I LOVED it !!! It was so wonderful to relax and dance with these girls and watch the amazed expressions on the faces of the Egyptians in particular. Well done those girls!

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