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  1. #1
    Member Khaira's Avatar
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    Default Inside the Egyptian Moonlight!

    Hello all oriental dancers!

    I'm back and with plenty to tell you

    The first thing I must start with is I did meet our own Antiseteph! She fortunatly recognized me and came up to me at class. Great to meet You

    So first the choice for the festival, Littlehampton, was perfect. Small and nice, quiet and clean and picturesque. All the facilities (theater for gala shows ans school for workshops) was within walking distance.

    I attended Asmahan's muscle technique and Cairo baladi workshops, also Mohamed Khazafy's drum solo and Lubna Enam's saidi.


    Day one at Egyptian Moonlight

    The start of the festival was the gala concert at the theater. Many performers from UK and abroad. If I would start talking about all the fantastic dancer I witnessed, it would take hours. Im glad to have meet them and to share enthusiasm towards the event. I participated is a group dance called the Boys and Girls Gruoup. It was Oxana with Ozgan, Angela with Steve and me with Khaled. The first part was Aida Nour's andalusian old style beauty and the next (after we tore each other costumes off one was a cheeky shaaby by Khaled Mahmoud. It was a cheerful one by Saad el Sogheir.
    At the end of the show there were the quest teachers: Asmahan, Lubna, Khazafy, Khaled of course and Yasser Al-Swery! They were all so different jet so similarly wonderful. Asmahan mature, sexy and powerful, Lubna fully Egyptian and with her unique emotions, Khazafy representing Reda style folklore and real male strength on stage, Khaled elegant and with amazing golden technique, Yasser with great stage personality and the hypnotizing voice. Yasser was also one of the hosts for the concerts.



    Day two at Egyptian Moonlight.

    I have never taken Asmahan's classes before. Her teaching technique is of another kind. She always danced facing us (we had no mirrors), but within time we all got used to this. Also her workshops left not with a fixed choreography, but with much more! I left the classes with new ideas, for choreography, for the Egyptian styles, for dance in general. It's the feeling and the attitude she tries to provoke in her students.
    In muscle control class we really worked our muscles, the internal ones, did many isolations. I indeed discovered I can move my upper-abdominal separately. I usually tend to use the lower ones in isolations , now she came to me and put her hand on the upper part and told me to kick her hand
    We also trained our shimmies. She made us come out from our comfort zone and try different kinds (Asmahan style) shimmies.
    At one point the whole class was upside down (bottoms up and hands on floor) trying new positions for shimmies))
    This workshop I left with her quote "Don't trust the mirror in front of You, look to the inner one"

    Cairo Baladi was a very educational one. No choreography. We talked about baladi itself and the styles. Asmahan gave us examples of steps and combinations(mostly traditional baladi and Alexandrian style) using different music every time. Then we all tried to improvise with the knowledge just given. And of course THE ATTITUDE! Everyone opened up at her class, became more daring, brave and sexy.
    In the end we formed a circle and performed to each other. Lots of fun! Ozgan and Steve had a duet with the Alexandrian props))


    In the evening another the last gala concert. Many performers were the same and many new. Galit for example came and I had the pleasure of meeting her. She's one of the artists who's videos You watch and love in Youtube, and finally get to meet them!
    I also want to greet the Littlehampton Group, Khaled's students, who did a great job with Khaled's tabla-khaleegy dance. They are all lovely and funny punch of ladies! Kisses!
    This evening I had a historical moment, in addition of dancing with Khaled in the group dance, I also did a duet with Yasser! The previous evening I got a call from Khaled telling me Yasser wants a duet with a dancer. I was delighted! I got the music from Yasser, a very classic style sad song about missing the one You love. There are no word to describe the feeling of dancing on the stage next to Yasser, who is singing the song for You.
    The best way of performing - partly fixed, partly improvised. Thank You Yasser!

    After the show we head to The Silk Road Restaurant for delicious oriental food and music and Hafla!


    Day three of Egyptian Moonlight.
    Everybody looked tired......until they got to class with Khazafy

    Khazafy's drum woke every student up! Powerful music and powerful choreography. I have never known any Reda style drum solo until now. Its a mixture of Reda style folklore (saidi parts and even using the assaya) and modern oriental style and Latin beats.
    I have always loved male choreographies. Happy I attended his class!

    And finally it was time for Lubna, the queen of Saidi. She looked really exhausted in the beginning of the class, but soon got her smile on for everybody. Khaled told me later, many dancers fuse saidi and shaaby, but Lubna always stays clean and authentic. So I learned a clean saidi and boy what a sAidi it was, an unfamiliar one for me. It was a long choreography with small repetition. Every verse a lovely saidi phrase. At many ponts I caught myself thinking, wow, THIS is what saidi is actually about. The vocabulary is so much wider then we imagine. Thank You Lubna!


    Well, this is almost it. In my opinion the festival was a success. Most of the classes were well attended. Everyone was happy and enthusiastic! Khaled and Sheila went through so much to put this festival together. Great Job! Everything went smoothly.

    Kisses to everyone!

    Khaira
    Last edited by Khaira; 04-03-2008 at 07:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    YAY!

    Your group performances were a *huge* hit, from what I hear from Melissa! The shows and the workshops sound absolutely wonderful. Were the shows videoed, do you know?

    Congratulations on your performances, Melissa said you danced beautifully, I'm so sorry I didn't see the shows.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    Wow! sounds amazing, Congratulations on your performance with Yasser, what a buzz!
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip.
    ~Mosaic

  4. #4
    V.I.P. adiemus's Avatar
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    I'm green with envy - what a great time! And your post is so detailed and descriptive. Thank you soooo much!

  5. #5
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    This evening I had a historical moment, in addition of dancing with Khaled in the group dance, I also did a duet with Yasser! The previous evening I got a call from Khaled telling me Yasser wants a duet with a dancer. I was delighted! I got the music from Yasser, a very classic style sad song about missing the one You love. There are no word to describe the feeling of dancing on the stage next to Yasser, who is singing the song for You.
    Have to say, this was one of the highlights of the Saturday show for me. Absolutely beautiful - lovely elegant dancing, gorgeous costume, lots of feeling. Star quality all over, IMHO.

    I'm kicking myself that I could only make the one workshop.

  6. #6
    Senior Member taheya's Avatar
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    Wonderful summary Khaira! Thankyou for sharing, sounded great and congrats on your dance with Yasser...wow!

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