Travelling for work is about many things and knowing myself is definetely one of them. The Other – the one who´s apparently different or even the opposite of what you believe in – brings you closer to yourself. Sharing my Vision of Oriental Dance with the world is a privilege in itself but the perks that come with you are endless. Professional and personal wise.
I was dreaming about it and I bet it was dreaming about me – the Turkish hammam. Me and this pal go way back in my personal history. I´ve been over there in past lives which return to me in dreams, visions and certainties no rationality can prove. I feel at home at the centre of that circle, finally free from the old chains that got rusty and rotten with the passing of time.
As I finished my work at TARAZADE FESTIVAL – in Istanbul – there was nowhere else I dreamt of being. I took the train and checked myself in Cemberlitas hammam (public bath), near from the famous Grand Bazar. As soon as I was delivered to my prescribed caretaker (a kind of borrowed, temporary mum), the woman who would wash my body and hair, I fell asleep. Literally. Naked and completely vulnerable. She put me on the marble circle, as you would to your dearest doll, and told me to relax. That I did. And then some. Minutes later – no idea how many – she woke me up and got me ready for the bath. My body and mind were completely lose, abandoned in trust and pleasure. This kind of female body familiarity is not a stranger to me – my years in Egypt showed me what it meant to be with women as if I was with myself (what a gift).
I dreamt; I had an idea for a new choreography; I smiled in pure delight. I let the woman take care of me, returning to a childhood that never abandoned me. The receptiveness – from both sides – was astounding. It almost made me cry of joy.
This is so me; my thing; my place; the return to the womb. The men also go to the Turkish hammam but I believe this is a FEMININE place. It´s a womb, a maternal and a sisterhood chapel. Let them go to the mosques and coffee-shops and let the women pray (or dance) in the hammam. Nothing ever seemed so clear.