Saturday, November 25, 2006

More workshop reviews- Lubna and Nour

Yesterday was a wonderful day. 2 fantastic workshops;

Lubna- Egyptian dancer- not so young… was a bit concerned when I saw the white catsuit with black, thigh high, leg warmers………… But… When it comes to Saaidi this woman really knows what she is doing!!
In 3 hours she took us through a lovely wee choreography for stick- not that we could use stick in the class 'cos there were too many people in it to do that without injuries!!! However- when she demonstrated with the stick you just wouldn't mess with her- if you know what I mean! A powerful lady. But as a teacher- very friendly and warm and humourous, with a structured teaching style and only one break in 3 hours!! Reda style- but with more attitude. For that grounded earthy feeling you need for a good saaidi dance - I have not seen many better. Am hoping to arrange private classes with her over the next week or two. The steps she taught were not complex, but lovely little combos with fantastic feel. Nice. Felt but the end that I had got it enough step wise but that I could spend the rest of my life aiming for that feel!!! She looked like she may well have been born twirling a stick!!!

Nour- Russian who has lived and performed in Egypt for many years now and has such a good reputation here that she doesn't perform in any hotel in town- she gets enough work from weddings alone! At 4 months pregnant she was striking. If that was her feeling a bit ill (she was a little late for class 'cos she had morning sickness) I really don't think I could keep up with her on full strength! The choreography she did with us was very oriental in style and full of good balance and grace and tight controlled pelvic drops, lifts shimmys etc etc… well, it was when she danced it anyway. Again not many new moves as such- but lovely little variations of moves and step patterns in very varied combinations (e.g. very fast chonks on top of a H8 which was changing height all the time- sorry I know these bits will only make sense to dancers who know my names for moves!!!) which means that it was often difficult to predict what was coming next- lots of surprises for the audience. Very skilled. A true professional. She had a clear and logical teaching style and lovely interesting foot patterns- very balletic in her strength and control, and spins. Another one I want lessons from! Especially if she can get my arms even half as graceful as hers are. I sat out part of her class 'cos I was tired- she didn’t rest once- amazing! Then when I was really ready for the end of the class- she did another half hour of khaleegy- wow. I have seen many people do it- but none who have turned it into a sensual performance art! Usually it all the usual khaleegy moves… but they seem to link to the 1234 of the music- when she danced it there were lots of stops within the music and pauses and small sexy shoulder rolls etc I have never wanted to watch anyone perform khaleegy as much- usually it’s the type of dance that’s far more fun to do than watch…. She did the usual hair spins and also what I will forever know as the 'Bortucali' dance- i.e. an Iraqi move a group of us did one year for a show and hafla… with saaidi jump fwd and back- but Nour did it flinging hair fwd then back on every step- and not just once or twice but enough to make you feel- 'how the heck can she do that and not fall over'!

So – both these dancers inspired me but in different ways. Nour for the control and balance and energy, and Lubna for grounding and power. So glad I went to these!

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