Tag Archive: Egyptian Cabaret


Dream it, do it

I have been really, really busy lately. my Saturdays are booked clear through April and into May.
It’s really an honor to be part of the performance troupe. I mean, I know I still have a LONG way to go to be as good as Tasha, but I really do feel validated.

I’ve been dancing for almost 8 years, though the majority of that has been Orientale.
I love cabaret. It’s graceful and sinewy and gooey.
And I love ATS (r). It’s folky and earthy and, well, tribal.
Which is not to say that each style doesn’t have aspects of the other in it, because they certainly do; they are sister dances, after all. Um… maybe more like cousins. Similar, but very different in some ways.

My focus lately, though, has definitely been on the tribal style dance. I have classes on Wednesday and Friday and performances Saturdays. We fit in rehearsal time on Mondays and Tuesdays if we can. Thursday nights are my cabaret class. Sundays I get to sleep – thankfully. 🙂

And I can truly see the progress I’ve made in tribal. With Orientale, I’ve sort of hit a plateu – but let me note that I am not bored at all. I enjoy the classes, the teacher is phenomenal  and the other students are amazing.

I know part of it is a time thing, too. I’ve been doing traditional for so long, and tribal for just over a year. Early on, I know, it is easier to see progression. So far in, it’s less about learning new stuff, but more about honing and developing.

I’m really trying to avoid burning out, too.  My schedule has changed so dramatically since I started tribal classes. First, I doubled my class nights, then it tripled. Now, I have clases AND performances. And workshops.

::Deep breath::

I love dancing. It keeps me grounded and I can feel the Earth under my feet – it sounds so simple that way, but it’s not that simple.
I feel…. connected.

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Truth

Dance for yourself, if someone understands good. If not then no matter, go right on doing what you love.

–Lois Hurst

“Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is no mere translation or abstraction from life; it is life itself.”
Havelock Ellis


Tonight was the Summer Stars  Spectacular Hafla.

I danced with 2 of my fellow level 3 students – who are both amazing women. We did a veil piece to Georges Lammam’s “Sand in Flames“. It was super pretty. And I feel very confident in our performance as a group and my performance as an individual. That’s actually saying a lot, for me, because I am usually not overly impressed with my own dancing.

Practice for the veil piece. I’m the blonde.

I tend to pick apart all of my mistakes. But tonight… tonight that wasn’t an issue. I guess I finally learned how to relax. That makes me feel wonderful!

I got a basic choli/vest pattern from Simplicity a while ago. We modified it to be backless and I altered it to fit my top a bit better. Panne velvet is one of the best fabrics for this top.

I should be getting a DVD of the evening eventually.
Hopefully I can get some stills of the performance; I’m pretty happy with my costume and makeup.
I made a cute new choli; it’s the first time I’ve tried a drop-sleeve.

In related news:
Al-Bahira Dance Theatre is putting on a big production soon. If you’re in the Twin Cities area at the end of June (the 21st-24th), you should come see it.

Ifrita Helwa” is an original dance-play based in traditional Egyptian and American stories and inspired by the 1949 Egyptian film, “Afrita Hanem”. Featuring contemporary and theatrical dances derived from traditional dance and classical music of Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, and Iran (Persia), with collaboration between Mirah Ammal, Al-Bahira artists, guest artist Derek Phillips, and guest choreographer Laurel Victoria Gray.

Click the link above to get the details on how and where to see it, as well as how to donate.