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  1. #1
    V.I.P. Maria_Aya's Avatar
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    Default Interview with Dr. Mo

    Hi all
    Just read the very interesting interview Salome took from Dr. Mo.
    What hit me was this:

    I'd like to relate the following story in order to make readers aware of the facts, truth and ethics of dance. At a dance event I attended, in the capacity of a principal teacher, participants told me that another dance teacher taught them the Milaya as women dance it in the streets of Alexandria. I was shocked to hear this and tried not to loose my temper in order to avoid offending a colleague. I told the participants that they probably misunderstood the teacher because there is no 'Milaya dance', which women do in the streets. Milaya is the national dress of lower middle class Egyptian women in big cities like Cairo and Alexandria. A Milaya dance is a choreographic interpretation of the movement behavior of women wearing the milaya. A good choreographer will reflect this movement behavior and character of women wearing the milaya to look real.

    And I'm furrious !!!
    Recent I had discovered that many of the things I've learned from Egyptian teachers, and have notes from them, are not accurate and I'm sad...
    Or in other way, there is so much difference in the same subject from arab teachers that what can we do us, as westerns to do the right thing?

    Anyway this is just a rant... maybe I need cofee lol

    Kisses
    Maria Aya

    p.s. Salome, thanks for all the good work and the interviews you are providing to us

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maria_Aya View Post
    And I'm furrious !!!
    Recent I had discovered that many of the things I've learned from Egyptian teachers, and have notes from them, are not accurate and I'm sad...
    Or in other way, there is so much difference in the same subject from arab teachers that what can we do us, as westerns to do the right thing?

    Anyway this is just a rant... maybe I need cofee lol

    Kisses
    Maria Aya
    I once attended a lecture by a prominent Egyptian teacher and it was mostly (if not all) supposition and theory that it's impossible to prove one way or another. A complete waste of time! Some Egyptians are just as prone to fantasy as westerners, it would seem...

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Dance etc.

    Dear Aya,
    As with all things, no matter who we study with, we still have to use common sense. Fortunately, I have never been told that women dance in the streets in Alexandria, and if I had been told that, I would just go and ask my friends from Alexandria because it would sound wrong. Personally, I would also take with a grain of salt Mr. Gadawi's statement that the dance a "choreographic interpretation" of the way that women move in the streets in their melayas.
    He may have put it that way because of not knowing the exact English. Rather than mimicing the movement, I would say the dance combines stronger Beledi movements with concepts of flirtation and a LITTLE bit of what might be natural movement for wearing melaya. And mostly, women would not have just been walking around in melaya for fun, they would wear them because they were outside and it is like their coat, and they would probably be doing something, like carrying the baby, or food, or doing some kind of work. They certainly would not swing them around or do other movements that Reda Troupe and others seem to do.
    Like much of what Reda does, Melaya is theatre and fun dance, not to be taken as a reality of the culture in action, but of the fundamental feeling of the culture, if that makes sense. I do think that Mr. Gadawi hit the nail on the head when he talked about it being culturally representative, because it is TOTALLY representative of how the Egyptians would stage their own dances for theatre, and in this the cultural essence is retained.


    Dear Suheir,
    I would say that 9/10ths of what we hear is impossible to prove one way or the other, and most Arabs like a good, romantic story as well as they like the "truth" if there is such a thing.
    Yhey would not consider themselves to be lying, but merely making the "facts" a little more interesting. In there somewhere is the meaning and that is more important than dry facts in the Arab mind. It's a very different approach to what we are used to and it does take awhile to appreciate it as another way to pass down what is the real "truth". Perhaps the truth, then, lies in the feeling behind the story, rather than the story itself, if you get my meaning...???


    Regards,
    A'isha
    Last edited by Aisha Azar; 04-01-2008 at 03:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Member Mark_Balahadia's Avatar
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    Women dancing on the streets of Iskandriya? That's what I'd call Ra's Sharmeet!

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Maria_Aya's Avatar
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    Well since this week on Thusday I was at Alexandria and walked around I really cant think of even moving a hip without getting the attention of 100 guys (well we get it anyway lol)


    Maria Aya

    p.s. loved your definition Mark !!!!!!

  6. #6
    V.I.P. chryssanthi sahar's Avatar
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    Hey Maria, in my almost 24 year experience with Oriental Dance and Arabian teachers and musicians, I can tell you one thing: there are so many different interpretations among the Arabs of what is "proper" and "authentic" and what not. Each teacher has her/his own idea about proper techniques and interpretations of music, but there are things in which all agree. So I consider only those things to be the "real" Arabian stuff and I suborder the rest to the teacher who proclaims it, the dancer who dances it, or the area and time it is danced. For example: Dr. Mo Gedawi Arabian basic step, (which is definitely different of what you learn from Momo Kadous, Prof. Hassan Khalil and most of the other Egyptian teachers). Or Dina butt-half circle (I think you know what I mean ). Or modern Cairo knee-shimmy, etc. So don't be surprised if you get confronted with contradictions. This is why I am telling you, that the Egyptian Oriental Dance is a science and you are not going to really understand what is going on, if you haven't dealt in depth with it for at least 15-20 years!

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