Wednesday, May 30, 2007
no way at all.......................
there are many jobs you can do after 12 hours vomiting and diarrhoea....... but Bellydancing on a boat is not one of them! The idea of having to run offstage straight to the loo..... no- just couldn't do it!
Thank god they were able to get a replacement for me tonight...... thats all I can say! Inshallah all will be well by tomorrow!
It was always my biggest fear about working here- that my stomach would play up when I was due to perform- well- the fear has been realsied and lets hope it doesn't resurface!!!!
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
and the bad thing tonight- landed on my backside in the middle of my performance............ my new costume's (black with chains- call it my 'cher costume'!) skirit was too long and I was doing the Dina style flat foot heavy walk going backwards- and ended up on the floor- HOW EMBARESSING!!!!!!!!! my back now hurts too - so fingers crossed THAT doesn't last!!!!!!!! Think I managed to save it - ie make it look like it was almost meant- sort of... almost.......
at least the second sail was all egyptians and arabs in the audience and they were fantastic- grown men stopping their forks half way between their plate and mouth to watch!!!!! and little girls coming up to me for autographs and to ask my name!
what else........ have my friend Sarannah staying with me for a couple of days and she was wonderful tonight- chopped me up a salad- so when I got home starving and opened the fridge it was sitting there waiting for me- I can't tell you how wonderful that is when you come home starving at 1.30am and then usually have to think about what to eat and start to prepare it! God bless her!
still loving my job- but hope I can stay healthy- it's really tiring doing ti 7 nights in a row!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
However, I know many of you, can't make it to that event- and i love dancing for my friends, family and students...... so I have decided to perform in Morocco Restaurant for 2 NIGHTS ONLY, before heading to blackpool.
WED 27th June
THURS 28th June
I hope a few of you can come along since it would be great to see you and catch up (and since I am only home for a few days it won't be possible to socialise as I'd like to!) Also- I'll be able to tell you all the stuff I can't put in my blog about dancing in Cairo!!!!!!!!!! (Plus the 29th is my birthday- and since I'll be in blackpool for it- then this is kinda my celebration for that too!!!!)
warning- book soon........ since this will be my only performances in Scotland before November,when i am home for a week or so, I suspect it may be rather busy these nights (hope so anyway!!!!) (0131 652 3764 to book!)
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Sara, Yasmina and Caroline came to see me- and I was really nervous. But it went really well and they all seemed to enjoy themselves... which was such a relief! Yasmina complimented my drum solo- which I was really chuffed about cos I do think it is good- we have such a good interaction and it is just getting better each time!
however- what made my night was that the lower deck was full with a private party. It was seemingly famous singers, actresses etc etc. and the paparazzi were there too (2 photographers) anyway- they were the best audience I have EVER had! Out of the approx 80 people, there were about 6 men (who were a lot of fun and also appreciative!!!)....... and I love dancing for a female crowd to start with, but these women were soooo appreciateive- clapping, cheering, dancing.... and they ALL wanted their photo taken with me! A few of them asked how they could contact me again too- so potentially more work from that one too!!!!!
It was so wonderful to be really appreciated by people who really do understand what its all about- not just egyptian women- but fellow artists, ok- not dancers- but people who understand music and the culture 100%!
Found out tonight that my pic will be going into a celeb magazine too (called cinema people- or something like that!) How exciting is that!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway- I was floating on a cloud all night after that I tell you..........
Saturday, May 19, 2007
very exciting- it was this first time for me to see the red sea (which isn't red- but is very salty!!!) Strange watching the huge oil tankers from suez glide along the horizon!
A group of us from the salsa crowd went to ein sokhna. It was a very relaxing day and just what I needed, and it was only about an hour and a half away by car. Wonderful. Its a common day out for people from Cairo who are 'better off' (it is a resort complex and you can only access the beach if you are stayiing in the hotel, or know someone who has a villa there and therefore a pass- which we did- thanks Moshira!)
No idea why that last pic has come out so small!!!!!
I also needed to remember to reapply suncream onto my back- which I didn't- so now I look like raspberry ripple ice cream- white-ish on the front- PINK on the back. Not quite sure what to do about that since I have work tonight- happy that I have a couple of costumes which have bolero jacket tops to them!!!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
what else..........? oh- got a couple of 'dancing boys'with sticks performing along side me tonight for the 1st time- so we'll see how that goes!!! The stage is very small so i am a bit concerned about sticks clashing- but hey- it'll be interesting!
oh- and to all my 'Morocco' Dancers- NOW I understand how you felt when i came to see you dance ................. I have Sara and Yasmina (and another dancer from liverpool, Caroline) coming to see me tonight- I am soo nervous!!!!!!!!! Mind you- I have a big group of friends coming to see me next weekend and I am just excited about that!
Need to go try to choose some more music........... if I am dancing EVERY day then the band , and I , are going to get pretty fed up of the same tracks over and over- off to search out some variety!!!!
Nile Pharaoh- wed 16th , thur 17th , thur 24th , fri 25th ,
mon 28th , tue 29th , wed 30th and thur 31st.
Golden Pharaoh- mon 21st, tues 22nd, sat 26th and sun 27th.
See- its a regular job- only 4 days off in 2 weeks!!! Hope to see some of you there!!!
Monday, May 14, 2007
Really- I have been in bed for a week with the most horrible tummy bug ever- but got back to work friday and saturday and feel like someone has pumped some happy pills into me. I hate not dancing.......its the only sure fire thing to get me down!
Saturday I danced 2 shows at lunchtime then a further 3 in the evening. It was a heck of a long day- but i feel I am still on such a huge learning curve. Ok, so I have dancing in restaurants for at least 9 years now..... but still - to be doing it here in Egypt, with most importantly- my own band! I love it.
I love the excitment of not knowing exactly what you will be dancing to. We, of course, have a playlist of songs I normally use but sometimes the mood just won't fit the people who are in that night or I needed to do more to fill in time or whatever, and the freedom of just chatting with the band mid set and saying- ok- lets try this....... and then just doing it. WOW. Life on the edge!
Then of course there is the Tabla Solo- which is just so much fun. We really do have a giggle on stage- and it is really different every time- mainly because my drummer is a live wire and loves improvising- which means I have to be 100% on the ball to keep up with him! Sometimes of course I put my foot down and refuse to play his game- usually this ends up with a mock fight of some sort (between my hips and his drum!) and the audience laughing.
The feeling of achievement at the end of one of these sets is like nothing else............. when I do my finali and shimmy my way to the end of the music I feel so proud and strong and happy- 'I got to the end'........ 'people are enjoying this'...... 'I am performing in Cairo'!
I also get a huge buzz standing in the changing room , about to go on stage hearing myself being introduced..... 'il Fanana........ Lorna' !!!! (the 'artist' , which here implies the 'star' ) Such a huge ego trip- and I think I get the buzz cos I STILL can't believe its really happening! I feel like a small child on christmas morning every time I go to work!
I wonder how long this feeling will continue- I really hope forever, its better than any drug! (although by the time I am dancing at least 5 shows per day in the busy summer season- who knows? I'll just have to pray for the energy to keep fit enough through it all!!!!)
Thursday, May 10, 2007
'Sham el Nessim' is a festival and holiday celebrated by all people in Egypt, and seemingly goes back to the time of the pharaohs (4500 years ago!). It is basically their celebration of the coming of spring (the scent of the breeze) and is celebrated on the Monday directly after the Coptic Easter day.(i.e. this year it was 9th April- so only a month late writing up about it!!!!) People have the day off work and usually go for a picnic- and eat Fiseekh (a raw salted fish) it is very smelly!!! Unfortunately often it smells funny because it is bad and many people end up in hospital round sham el Nessim from fish food poisoning! People often boil and colour eggs (coloured eggs also date back to pharonics times and are the direct root of our 'Easter eggs'. They were believed to symbolize regeneration of life. Spring onions were once used to cure the son of a pharaoh and so nowadays are also on the spring menu!
This is a festival for all- and is one of the few big public holidays which are non-Islamic.
Around the time of this celebration there are always sandstorms (khamaseen). We had a pretty major one (photo below taken from my living room window!) but I heard that it actually did kill people- not to mention causing severe road accidents out of town where you couldn't even see the road- far worse than fog!!!
Fatima (of the Marriot hotel) danced is as tiny costumes as always- lovely figure and nice dance- she has improved since last year. I promise that although Fatima's make up looks very scary in this picture- in reality she looked not bad!!!!!
Hanadi (of the Grand Hyatt boat) did a long set- the highlight of which was the 'african' dancers she had with her!!!- great fun. She got Tito up on stage with her too- they interacted really well with each other which was a pleasure to watch.
Then a woman I don't know- again Egyptian- Safwa, and she is a famous actress now seemingly. Very good dancer- tons of attitude and never boring- but horrific costume well, the first one was, where she was reveling far more flesh than appropriate- a mini skirt should at least cover your backside in my view! It was a shame- because I really wanted to watch her dance- but I was cringing too much on her behalf to start with.
They also had a giant 'birthday' cake for all at the festival and all the teachers got up on stage and sang and danced around the cake- see how many you can recognise!...............
However- Whatever I could complain about- right now I am soooo glad I dont live in Iran. I read this on the BBC news today about the crackdown on dress code of women over there....
"Since we came out this morning many people we met have continuously warned us to be careful about our headscarves and to wear them further forward because they are arresting women who are dressed like this," she says.
Boutique owners are furious. Some shops have been sealed - others warned not to sell tight revealing clothing.
One shopkeeper selling evening dresses told us the moral police had ordered him to saw off the breasts of his mannequins because they were too revealing.
Did you get that- saw off the breasts of his mannequins !!!!!
I couldn't believe it when I read that (there's a picture too!!!) What 'sad' 'so and so' in the moral police in Iran felt that a mannequin in a shop window was too tempting to be left whole? How sick is he? And whats next? being covered not enough? they going to insist women bind their chest (or worse????)
Thank god Egypt is not like that!!!
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
I have had many teachers in the years I have been dancing. Most of the technique I have has been inspired from lessons with Raqia, Rhanda, Dina, and other notable and famous teachers and dancers.
However- Sara is the one I come back to over and over again. She is fabulous at helping me get into the heads of my Egyptian audiences, and really understand what the songs and music are about. As a professional actress she has a huge wealth of ideas and advice about performance skills, how to manage your audience- how to put suspense and flavour into your performance. She is able to explain everything in a very clear, straight manner.
When I organise holidays to Cairo I usually get Sara to teach a workshop with my 'girls' and every time she has evoked an emotional response.... usually ' ahhhhhhhh- NOW i understand what its all about!'. Dance is about feeling and Sara is the best teacher I have found who can explain how to best demonstrate this 'feeling' in my dance.
So why all this building up of her? partly as a 'thank you' to her from me- she has been my major support and guidence here in Cairo. Personally I would love to keep her to myself.... of course... but I feel her talents should be more widely recognised. She lives in Cairo, but she does occasionally visit UK to do workshops..... in fact If you are going to Raqs Britannia in June this year she will be teaching there too...... I recommend you go to her workshop if you are going to be there!!!!!!!!!
Nile Pharoah- 9th and 15th May.
Golden Pharoah- 11th, 12th and 14th May.