You´ve heard me saying it´s not only what you do that matters but HOW you do it, your motivation, intention and true purpose.
I´ve just returned from Istanbul – where I was performing and teaching at Tarazade Festival – and my heart is overflowing with love and inspirations. What makes this festival special is above everything the REASON why it was created. Tara, the sweet and super professional organizer, is a lady of good taste with an obvious respect for the Art of Oriental Dance. The spirit of the event she created is immersed in that respect. They say God is in the details. Indeed.
Training with the Stars – where I was accompanied by the unique Prof. Hassan Khalil and Aziza from Canada – was one of those details that elevates the event to a higher standard. We watched and commented on a group of brave dancers who performed for us. Subjects like how to build a “awadi” (baladi progression) or how to dance on Om Kolthoum were brought to the table; there were smiles and tears; moments of silence, speechless miracles shared.
There was the Turkish orchestra performing with/for the dancers, the care in every workshop, the careful selection of artists and teachers involved, the genuine willingness to put this art where it has always belonged: at the throne of Art.
I met old friends and made new ones; I´ve taught and learnt even more; I´ve received inspirations I wasn´t expecting (at Prof Hassan Khalil workshops, at the “Cemberlitas” Turkish hammam, at the Grand Bazar, at the backstage); I´ve seen light and darkness and embraced both. There was nothing of this work/pleasure trip I would exclude. All I want is for this spirit to move ahead, grow and expand in every direction. Our Dance deserves it. Deserves us, united, high, open hearted, kind to each other.
I´ll have to thank Tara, once more, for trusting my work and I hope the purpose that created this amazing event will never change. We need more love and less commercial/diva ambitious projects; more art and less Clone Machine factories; more friendship between dancers and less competition; more DEVELOPMENT and less comparison; more focus on ELEVATING the art and less focus on elevating our egos.
Cheers to Istanbul and to Tarazade – hope to meet you again. Soon.