Here´s how it all started: me, falling in love with Egyptian Oriental Dance. Should I say love, lust, orgasm, passion, karma, what (exactly)? Well: it was certainly full of fire and purpose, so much that it took me to Egypt (and the rest is History).
Then came KNOWLEDGE (and wisdom – some of it, at least): building my career and name in Egypt was more than a professional ambition: it was the rescue of my past, a mission, a passion that was never shaken by numerous obstacles, tragedies (personal and others) and a mentality that kept yelling at my face: “if you´re a free woman and a dancer you MUST be a bitch who deserves to pay very high for your shameless and daring existence”. Nothing made me quiver; nothing scared me enough to quit my dream and so I DID IT*********************
Then came reality – not only the harsh egyptian reality but beyond it. I´ve seen my career expanding and felt wonder*ful and grateful about it – it made all sense to share all the treasures I´d gathered with the whole world but what I saw wasn´t always pleasant. Most people – in the so called civilized, educated, mentally open and developed countries – still see Oriental Dance as a kind of poor, men eating, cheap, exotic strip-tease. The patience to clarify, show the other side of the coin, justify myself (and my work) and keep swimming against the tide seems to have been lost. Furthermore: the way Oriental Dance is seen, understood, practiced, performed and taught in most countries doesn´t excite me, to say the least. We´re still mostly on the “aerobics/cirque du soleil” phase and VERY distant from the soul of egyptian dance.
My first, second and third reactions were: “get me out of this movie!” I couldn´t take it anymore – it seems that I´ve been struggling against this monster for centuries (and maybe I have). Lack of interest; boredom; absolute impatience and intolerance towards idiotic comments related to Oriental Dance; a general desinterest in the whole matter (nothing new over here).
My notions about Love and Passion had to be re-evaluated. Just because the subject is not new anymore (in fact, it´s so familiar as breathing), it doesn´t mean it has nothing to teach me anymore. I suffer from the Gipsy Syndrome: once I´ve achieved and learnt all I had to achieve and learn from a place/circumstance/relationship, I´m off to more exciting, new, challenging horizons. This has always been who I am but I realized that was not only a sign of COURAGE and CURIOSITY but also an escape: I never allowed myself to LOVE; I´ve confused excitement of passion, infatuation, romance with LOVE. Love means COMPROMISE, planting seeds in your own garden and watching them grow, ROOTS´establishing, CHOOSING – even without the fire of passion in full blast – to remain in a situation, career, subject, relationship that´s not new anymore; it requires patience you didn´t know you had; it often pisses you off; it offers you the challenge you never wanted to take: STAY PUT: KEEP YOUR WORD: PRACTICE COMPASSION TOWARDS IGNORANCE (yours included): STAY: GO BACK TO THAT GARDEN YOU PLANTED AND LEARN THERE ARE UNEXPECTED GIFTS IN THE COURAGE OF COMPROMISE.
Building a place I can call home (and growing up, I guess). Wings to fly and feet to caress my home´s garden, no matter how wet, dry, sterile, beautiful or ugly it may be. SO – I mean: SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO – out of my comfort zone.
Me, my first published book “The Secrets of Egypt – Dance, Life & Beyond” and the LOVE (more than the Knowledge) I carry with me when I travel to teach, perform and lecture make more sense than ever. LOVE -not only that passion which has led me until now – are in the order of the day. Growing is so uncomfortable and yet so AMAZING*********************