I am back in Cairo now, after spending 3 fabulous days with a lovely group of women from all over Europe. The festival was run by Sara Farouk and Kay Taylor and was just perfect! The 3 main teachers for the week were myself, Khazafy and Eman Zaki.
I also performed, with the orchestra they provided. I was given 3 hours on arrival the 1st day to rehearse- we only needed 2 hours to put together over an hours set! What a group of totally professional artists. It was bliss working with them. I also felt a real mutual respect between me and the musicians, possibly since the orchestra leader , Ahmed Mahrous (violin player) has spent many years in France and therefore doesn't have the usual Egyptian attitudes towards women and in particular bellydancers. I think the show I did on sunday night was possibly my best dancing to date. I am hoping that people have filmed parts of it at least (if you have; PLEASE add it to youtube- i want to know if it looks half as good as it felt!!!).
I did a set in my 'Egyptian flag' costume, manmore than one person thought it was red, white and blue. I guess if you are not used the the Egyptian flag that makes more sense (since most of the people at the festival were British)- but still... i have looked again and it is DEFINITELY black, not blue! I figured the big Eagle necklace would have given the game away- but obviously not...
I was really sad to leave, the musicians, the new friends, the beautiful venue (5 star hotel with lovely large pool!), all of it in fact. There was a really nice balance of classes, talks, performances and chilling.... it felt like my idea of a perfect holiday- and I was working!!!
My first evening i joined the group outing to see the sound and light show at Karnak temple... you walk through the temple as it goes on... it was fabulous. Enjoyed it much more than the one at the Pyramids, although parts of it were just as corny!
I have to take my hat off to Sara and Kay- (and Sherif!!!) - you guys did a great job. Everything ran smoothly and the wonderful friendly atmosphere was largely down to the way you handled everything beautifully. well done.
Back to Cairo and awaiting a new house guest.... i have a packed home for the next 3 months... it's going to be lovely to be surrounded by all these dancers from all over the world! I've also been inspired to go on a search for more new music to dance to.... so i have been exploring my itunes all day today and discovered that I know an awful lot more Oum Kalsoum music than i know the names of!