Sunday, August 29, 2010

The amazing improvised drum solo in Leeds

I really enjoyed myself in this dance...

we have only worked together twice before- and i didn't warn him about anything I was hoping or planning to do (as if i ever plan anything anyway!!!) and i just LOVED it! Well done 'Rhythmic Ginger' for keeping up with me and making it such a pleasure!!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

more photos from London!

This lovely pink costume is by Amera el Kattan of pharonix costumes. Thanks again to Maani for the wonderful shots. I especially love the interplay between myself and Medhat, the drummer for The Nile Band.

Photos from London Performance

Thanks to Maani for these fabulous shots of my performance at Saqarah, London, 2 weeks ago. The blue and green rather funky design costume is by Eman Zaki.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Memorable moments.....

It seems my beloved blog has been used mainly as a marketing tool as of late. Hmm- that's not what it was set up for....!!!

so here's some waffle!

So far i have danced my way around England.... London (with live band), Leeds (with live drummer) and Birmingham (with live.... IPOD player!).

Its been fun and exhausting. I always get super nervous every time I come back to UK in case i don't live up to people expectations of me. I guess maybe there are some cases where i don't- but thankfully in the vast majority of cases, everyone seems to be wow'd and happy. Phew... not really sure what I am doing right... but something anyway it would seem. You'd think after dancing professionally for 13 years, not to mention in Cairo for the last 4 and half, all this stupid nerves stuff would just stop- well, it hasn't. I guess the higher I climb, then further there is to fall!

Highlights for me of my UK trip so far (in the order i think of them, not in order of preference!):

- Landing in Edinburgh to sunshine (it didn't last long- but it lifted my spirits after flying in from Hot and sunny Cairo)

- That drum solo in Leeds- where Rhythmic Ginger and i had such a laugh and really connected well on stage... as if we had rehearsed it all- but actually i had told him we'll start with a roll and just play from then on... poor boy- he did comment on my 'Egyptian' attitude to it all and compare to his more British one of wanting a little planning. Anyway- It was so much fun i did encore after encore....

- Talking of Leeds- the Enta Omri- where, mid dance, i found tears running down my cheeks! I wasn't the only sap in the crowd... and I got hugged by a few tearful women that night... It was incrediably powerful, all that emotion!

- A day spent with my little nephew (now 4 and a half!) born just a couple of weeks before i moved to Cairo I hardly get any quality time with him... that whole day: seeing shrek, going to soft play, reading stories..a special day in my life. just fabulous.

- Shopping in Primark in Birmingham. Why oh why do i love that place so much???? fab stuff dirt cheap!

- and on the shopping topic- Buying a new hair piece, also in Birmingham.... i sweat so much when i dance that although my hair is long enough without anything added... i tend to look like I have just stepped out the shower after a couple of songs unless i use extensions to bulk up the volume!

- fasting for Ramadan... ok so it was only 2 days... but I made the effort. Going without water all those hours was VERY difficult- i cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like in Cairo just now in 45 deg temperatures!!! Breaking the fast with muslims in UK, for the 1st time in my life... felt strange listening to the call to prayer played over the TV, in Birmingham!

- A bottle of Crabbies ginger ale in the sunshine in clapham common. Followed by a chicken shawerma from local kebab place!!!

- Missing the London flight (not a highlight of the trip!) but then getting out the bad mood by driving around the lovely countryside with fabulous tunes pumping out loud (including 'Mr Bombastic' and' i like to move it move it! )!!!!!!

- A comedy show in the fringe, with a good friend, where we saw 7, i think it was, stand up comedians in an hour.

- salsa with old friends... even it is have bruises and cuts on my feet to prove it!

- long phone calls with old friends- normally it's too expensive to catch up properly from Egypt!

- The feeling of power on stage in London... not for every song- but by the end it was feeling really good. I felt like I was really in 'my place' !!

- walking along portobello beach, in the sunshine!

- being the cause of burnt chickpeas..then being thanked for it!!!...... the chef was trying on costumes at the time!

- driving in my car , with my music blarring...

- time with good friends, and their families.... so many children growing up so fast!

...................... I think this is going to be a long list... I'll save some for another blog!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

An intimate evening in Edinburgh with Lorna - oh er!!!

Very excited...

as If I already didn't have enough dates on my Ramadan Revelry tour this month- I have now added a NEW date!!!

In my hometown, Edinburgh. An unoffical fringe show , if you like!

Hope you can make it along....

when?- 25 August · 19:30 - 22:00

where?- Kitsch Coffee Bar, Bernard Street, Leith

"A special chance to enjoy the dancing of the fabulous Lorna of Cairo, plus support, in Edinburgh. Tickets £10 including nibbles.

This is a very small venue for an informal and intimate evening.

Move fast to avoid disappointment! For tickets, contact Elspeth SwishandHips on 07748 183171 or on . You can paypal if you have a verified paypal account, or post a cheque first class! "

This WILL sellout fast!

so............ Leeds and Birmingham this weekend.... Edinburgh mid week then Glasgow next weekend...

Lorna is officially DOING UK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and LOVING IT !!!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Workshops in Edinburgh 4th sept 2010

Swish and Hips: Workshops with Lorna of Cairo: "Well, it's Ramadan and that means that the very wonderful, super-talented amazing dancer Lorna of Cairo is back in the UK for a few weeks! ..."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More video!!!

Yet another video of my emergance (entrance dance), wearing yet another Eman Zaki costume... a black one this time! I have been filmed dancing to this piece of music more than any other.... but I figured I'd add it here anyway- since its a very recent recording! I love that these had their titles in Chinese (or japanese??) and a dancer discovered them and sent them to me (thanks Barbara!!) Scary what might be on youtube and you never know about it!!!

Funky pink

somebody recently found this of me... dancing in my funky pink Eman Zaki trouser costume- which I LOVE- possibly my favourite costume to dance in ever! Wearing it I feel like I go a little crazy... see what you think!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Saqarah Show last Saturday... Lorna does London

Last Saturday night in London was the start of my Ramadan UK tour..... and it was a fabulous night...... Here is a snippet of most of the dancers who performed that night... only a tiny clip of me in there unfortunatly (because his camera battery died before my final set- grrr) but you get to see a rather nice wee impro oud takasim... with a lot of shimmy in it. Some of the cream of London dancers are in there too- check it out!

Dancing to a band other than my own was interesting... and I really missed my tabal especially... but overall i think it went ok... and the atmosphere was fabulous. Of course the time keeping wasn't, so many people missed my last dance... but that is pretty much what you expect working with Egyptian musicians!

Fingers crossed we can get some more video online soon from this event, especially that last set? - not to mention the workshop photos! I really enjoyed the workshops- The Place is such a lovely dance venue! We covered a lot and the brains sweated more than the bodies... but i think it went well!!!

Next weekend Leeds and Birmingham!!!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Confused audience

My last blog (that wasn't advertising for my upcoming tour!) was all about unappreciative audiences.... I just realised that I should write also about the good stuff too- cos it is way too easy to focus on the negative!

Tonight I had three seperate tables of people all come up to speak to me after my show... all of them (mixed groups from Egypt, Lebanon and Dubai) all asking where i was from because by looking at my face they were sure I was foreign, but then watching my show they were convinced i was Egyptian. Thank God! I can't do much about my face, well, I could but frankly the 'lets all get so much plastic so we all look like Nancy Agram' doesn't really do it for me! So I will stay looking non-Egyptian and confusing people by dancing Egyptian!

I love my job. I love dancing, even when my body hurts and my brain can't string a sentence together because I am so tired from shows every day... I still, when I am up on that stage, love it.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

more dates for my ramadan revelry tour!

I am very happy to be able to announce a performance date in Scotland this tour...

Friday 27th August

Nur restaurant, Glasgow
( 22 bridge st, Glasgow, tel 0141 418 0990 )

from 7.30pm

A night of dance with me, Lorna, and a couple of local guest dancers too.

A chance to see all my lovely new costumes and eat fabulous Egyptian food too. It's a BYOB with no corkage too.... All that for only £22.50 if you buy your ticket in advance (£25 if you buy on the night- but since the restaurant only seats 50, there is a good chance it might sell out- so don't leave it til then!)

to book, collect your ticket from Nur, or call them on the number above and they can take payment by debit card.

check out their website;

Thursday, August 05, 2010


I have just this second realised that my reduced number of blog entries over the last year directly corresponds to my increased use of facebook. I blurt out my news quickly there in a one line status, rather than using the experience to write a whole wee story about it! hmm- Will try to start putting MORE into the blog although the juicy stuff is usually here anyway. (If you want to join the facebook craze I'm there as 'Lorna of Cairo aka Bellylorna' )

So,I am currently sitting with my feet in a basin of iodine.... yet agian the floor at work has ripped my feet open .. and this seems to work calming down the infection quicker than anything else. It's not an ideal situation, but still better than dancing with shoes. i hate that.

Last night I had a HORRIBLE night at work. Really... i was so close to just walking away and not doing last shows ( although granted just walking off isn't exactly possible when you are on a boat in the middle of the Nile!). Anyway, it started with a young girl there with her family, she was maybe 12 years old. I go round all the tables at work to see if anyone wants a photo, and usually i pick out most of the children for a little special attention- that makes EVERYONE happy, and even the most jealous of wives soften when i fuss over their little darlings. Anyway, this little darling, wasn't. She looked me up and down, made a sneer and using her hand in my face waved me on by... the hand signal when you tell someone 'imshi' i.e. 'go away'! I repeated the hand signal to her, to make sure I had understood what she meant and i gave her a look to kill. But for the life of me couldn't find the right words in arabic to tell her parents to teach their children respect for others and their elders. Especially one who is smiling and sweating all night for their entertainment! You have to blame the parents really.

Then... in the same audience ( and i had six shows yesterday, so it's amazing that the two horrible people were in the same one and unrelated!) a man decided that HE was the star attraction , not me. He got on stage in the middle of my entrance dance and wiggled about. Then throughout my entire show he heckled, non stop, as in barely taking a breath. I wish I could understand what he was saying, actually, maybe its better that I couldn't. Basically he had the entire room in fits of laughter, at my expense. The only reason i know what he was saying wasn't complimentary was the looks on my musicians faces- they all looked like they wanted to kill him. It's like having 6 fathers all seeing it as their job to protect you. Bless them. Anyway- the only comment I fully understood was that my body was from the devil. So I presume that rest of the comments, which were constant, were sexual too, especially since it was the men in the room who were enjoying it most and the women were trying to give me encouraging smiles - and filming my dance. I don't know what i should have done... but I felt horrible after... like I had been abused- i wanted more than anything to take a shower and wash his comments off me. Now I wish i had walked off stage towards him, and told him in English to please respect my show and respect himself then returned to the stage. But I didn't think of that at the never do , do you? ... I felt stuck, and humiliated. So much for my arabic being good, it's obviously rubbish, or he was intentionally pharsing things in a way so i couldn't understand. Somehow i had to regain enough confidence to perform two more shows last night after that. They probably weren't my best shows ever.

Anyway, today is another day and inshallah all my audiences tonight will be fabulous!

Monday, August 02, 2010

days off

What do most normal people do when they have a day off work? thats right, do something different than their job. Me? well... I dance!!! Hmmm

yesterday I went to a Zouk class (at Stilleto) . It's the 1st class I have ever done for this dance form, but it won't be my last. I LOVE it. The music is what motivates me.. I'd love to get really good at this purely becuase of the music! It's amazing, like a mix of salsa and african and r&b. Music to feed your soul.

so between sitting on friends balconies chatting about what might be the outcome in the country after Mubarak dies... i was swishing my hair around zouk style ( as much work as a khaleegy workshop I tell you!!!)

then today... another day off... and I have 2 private classes. One is for a friend who is shocked that she has lived in Cairo so long and never learned the dance- a taster session of the basic moves- that will be fun.. especially after a little drink first to loosen us up!!!
I also had a class this afternoon with a group of girls from Ukraine. (They had booked my studio to use it for a class with Donia, who is the sister of Amani Zaki, and when they discovered they were coming to my house decided to have a class from me too)
Wow those girls can dance! They were so good at following. In fact, was a very strange class... what they wanted , and what they got, was me dancing for the whole hour and them copying! I loved it- they loved it- and are coming back later in the week for more. For me it was an intensive hour of performance practise in front of the mirror, which I am way too lazy to ever do without an audience. For them they got to see how I interpret the music and how I dance, not just how I teach dance. One girl named me the 'master of improvisation' I was pretty chuffed with that title!!!

Anyway... for anyone who ever wondered what I do with my life when I am not dancing... the answer is obvious- I dance!!!!