Thursday, July 9, 2009


I have just returned from Cairo..after a 20 + hour trip and another 12-18 hours passed out sleeping, I am almost-but not quite- human.
As soon as I get it together, I will post a full report on the Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival ( which was mind-boggling) and all the incredible perfomances, including full sets by Dina, Randa Kamel, Katia, Jillina, Dalila, Dahlia and all the workshops, including master classes by Mona El Said, Azza Sheriff, Raqia Hassan, Mo Geddawi, Katia, Doaa Salam and many more.

Will also be posting articles about Cairo and Egypt in general, including more reports from sleazy balady nightclubs, Asmahan's show on the Nile Maxim, up and coming dancers Lorna and Cherine, Tannoura/dervish shows and more. I hung out a lot with Morocco, Katia, Sarah Farouk, Fahtiem, Angelika Nemeth, Caroline Of Cairo, and many more- and oh the fun we had. Spent a lot of time with my pal Aleya ( who has been living in Cairo the past seven months, her roomate Diana, a Harvard Grad who is studying and dancing in Cairo, and Mohamed Shaheen who was not only tons of fun but helped me out a lot, by getting me an Egyptian cell-phone, doing translations and making sure I ate!

I also did an extensive interview with Eman Zaki, who has just started teaching again- her class was amazing- yes, Eman, the famous costumer, who used to be a dancer- is back in the dance arena, she taught Golden Age style at the Festival and we yakked up a storm!

I met and worked with legendary dance photographer Andre Elbing- he took live pix of my performances and we did a "studio" session at the Mena House with all the gorgeous antiques and pyramids as our back-drop!

My class at Ahlan Wa Sahlan was very well-attended- I taught women from Korea, China,France, Italy, Morocco, Japan, Taiwan, Spain and Portugal...and only four of them spoke English! Teaching was like a game of Oriental Dance charades!

I performed twice at the festival with Khemis Henkesh and his full band, including a great singer- it was goose-bump inducing to dance to Om Kalthoum in Egypt- the band sounded so amazing!

Full report soon!

Live photos from Ahlan Wa Sahlan by Andre Elbing


  1. Sounds wonderfully exciting.

  2. And exhausting all at the same time.

  3. I am sooooooo jealous and I can't wait to read all the fun stuff you encountered!