Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lorna in London!

Those of you who follow me on facebook; Lorna of Cairo (aka BellyLorna!)
or on Twitter; BellyLorna

......may have already seen my intentions for next week. For those of you that haven't; I was due to come home to UK for just over a week to do a family Christmas however today I have decided to change my flight and come to London early due to the current political situation. What has been going on in Cairo just now, and indeed the whole of Egypt, has had a noticeable effect in reducing the amount of work that is available here this week! People are either sitting by their TV's and internet this week, or they are out on the street protesting this constitution that Morsi wants people to vote on this coming Saturday. They are not going out for dinner cruises on the Nile!

so- Christmas is coming early-  I will arrive Friday 14th , Inshallah!

I will be in London, available for performances and private classes during that whole week 15th- 23rd Dec. (After that I will be in Edinburgh doing nothing but eating mince pies and partaking of the festive spirit with family, as it were- so you will have missed your chance by then!!!)

soooo.... fancy giving yourself, or a dance friend an early special Christmas present?

I have been told my prices are incredably reasonable for private classes and I am sure everyone who has had a class with me would be very happy to recommend it.... I have only ever had VERY good feedback anyway! Whether you have something specific you want to work on in your dance, or with a particular piece of music or just anything to do with Egyptian bellydance really... why not have an hour (or two!) with the only UK dancer currently performing in Cairo!

I am booking up the London week diary now- so get your request in quickly... I am free (at the moment) daytimes and evenings..... I am waiting for your emails.... Bellylorna@hotmail.com

.... and if i don't see you in London next week. MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!!!

Costume photoshoot

I though you might like to see some of the images that were taken at a photoshoot last month. The website is all in Japanese... http://www.egypt-4m.com/product-list/73 but you can see lots of photos there of lots and lots of costumes by a variety of designers too...

I have done two days of shoots for these people now... It is amazing how exhausting just putting on costumes and taking them off again can be... but we got through literally hundreds of costumes just between Luna and I alone... never mind the other days with other models! Fun, and interesting to try on costumes you would never normally pick off the shelf yourself- it was an eye opener to me ... some things I thought i would never suit actually look pretty good!!!

A fun, tiring day............. and good posing practice!!!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

100% me

Tartan and Bagpipes, Tabla and Bellydance.

It was all happening at the BCA club in Maadi last night!

I was so happy to do something I have wanted to do for a LONG time in Egypt. I performed Egyptian bellydance in a tartan costume alongside a Scottish bagpiper and an Egyptian Tabla player.

The audience was mainly British, with a few Egyptians there too.

I was in my element. A Comfortable environment, lovely audience and talented musicians. Who could ask for more?

But the joy of joys.... to be able to blend in the music and dance of my birth country into that of my chosen one.

It was like being able to be 100% honest and open about who I am.

A Scottish Bellydancer in Egypt.
.....................................................THE Scottish bellydancer in Egypt.

I have to thank Alan- for his talents on the pipes, and being prepared to take a risk in doing something new. He rose to the challenge perfectly and I suspect strongly there will be more collaboration in future!

I also have to take my hat off to my Tabal, SimSim. Before we arrived at the BCA, he hadn’t even heard any Scottish music and the only bagpipes he had heard were those often played here, by Egyptians, at Zeffas (the wedding procession). He really didn’t quite know what to expect.

Our ‘prova’ (rehearsal) consisted of Alan, SimSim and I standing in the bar, Alan with his chanter playing the songs I asked and me trying to explain what I wanted from the Tabla.

At first it was confusing. Partly because the whole thing was so new and partly because I was trying to explain things I really wasn’t sure how to talk about in Arabic! At first SimSim thought that if the song had a ¾ rhythm, then all he had to do was play a waltz rhythm beside it and that was what I wanted. It took a little time so explain that when we hear these songs on the pipes the rhythm is intrinsic with the melody, you just feel it- you don't have to hear it. It was interesting to see how it took him time to 'feel' the main beat. It reminded me of my first attempts at understanding Egyptian music and it's rhythms. Something that Egyptians 'just feel'. A eureka moment for me. I explained that his job was to add in the ornamentation, to follow my hips since the pipes would be carrying both the melody and the base rhythm. When he at last understood it was like seeing a light bulb switch on and the music just spilled out.

On stage we did many things, including mixing saaidi rhythms into Scotland the Brave where I mixed up hip droppy ‘pas de bas’ with saaidi horse step (anyone of my students from many moons will now be remembering the ‘dashing white pharaohs!!!). Dancing while brandishing a sword instead of stick. I even put the swords on the ground and danced over them in a highland sword dance style.

We performed maybe 45 minutes total over the course of the night and it was as exciting for us all as it was for the audience I think! We looked like we have worked together for a while; no-one watching could believe it was a first. I do hope we get the chance to work together again soon!!!

Thank you BCA for the opportunity ( I had wanted to do this at the St Andrews Ball my first year in Cairo and was told at the time it wasn't Scottish enough! Yeah right!)  and thank you my very talented musicians for being so open minded and enthusiastic.

100% me.