The International Clone Factory*

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Egyptian Dance legend: Samia Gamal.

Oriental Dance has become a widespread and (almost) mainstream commercial & cultural enterprise. Schools, teachers and pseudo-teachers sprout like mushrooms on damp days all over the world and the big Western/Eastern salad is creared and ready to serve.

From Portugal to Egypt; from Egypt to the world: I´ve seen a LOT of what has been done in this field and have consciounsly decided to drop criticism and finger pointing at the things I dislike. It´s just a waste of time and energy – I rather focus on DOING what I do like and simply ignore what I don´t. Still…most of the dancers I meet throughout the world have been clearly taught according to what I call the International Clone Factory – places where copies of copies of copies are made. People aren´t trained to discover who they are in the dance (their own language within the Sacred Dance Language) but to be walking advertisements of their teachers (who have a stroke if any of their students dares to be or dance differently from what they teach them to do). Being an Artist as opposed to being a Commercial dealer: this is the point most tend to ignore. An Artist appreciates art and artists – he/she will help others to discover their creative flame and identity instead of imposing mannerisms, phoney poses and their own feeling of the dance on their students.

Naima Akef

My favourite dancer from the Golden Age in Egypt: Naima Akef, from the Akef circus family (she wasn´t a dancer to start with but an acrobat!)

Nothing is more rewarding (for me) as a teacher than watching people flourish (dance & life: heart, mind, body and soul) under my guidance. This is what Egyptian Dance is all about: discovering who you are and sharing it with the world in a state of absolute freedom/love. No clones, no copies, no silly divas: individuals who are empowered to be their BEST (creative) selves in dance as in life. Anything less than that is not on my menu as a teacher. Names come and go and copies of my dance give me the creeps – what really matters is how many people I´ve inspired, empowered, guided towards their own star and allowed to GROW – everything else is a bag of cheap potatoes.

2 thoughts on “The International Clone Factory*

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