Or the Mystery of the Magic Powder
Location: Tijuana, Mexico
Local time: 1.30 a.m.
Venue: a popular – kind of underground – Salsa Club in a part of Tijuana where God forgets to show up
Characters: impossible to describe
It all started innocently as most crime stories do. A group of Oriental Dancers – aka bellydancers (hhmmm…it´s warming up) – was searching for a fun girls´night out in the town. Joana suggested they´d go to a $%%Xd($#D club (don´t ask!) or to a salsa club.
The van, filled with red lipstick, perfume and girlie laughter, made a round to see what was open. We passed Abraham Lincoln statue, the famous president who seems to be the patron of Tijuana (then again, don´t ask!) and we moved into the wild side of existence. In the end, we found a salsa club, only one, open.
-Here we go! Salsa it is.
You know how fame and reality rarely match – Oriental Dancers are supposed to be always confident, outgoing, never shy, all over the place. I can tell you there´s nothing more distant from the truth, particularly in that part of Tijuana, and even more particularly in that particular salsa club.
There they went, those beautiful dancers, holding hands, ready to enter a truly Mexican Ali Baba cave. The thieves were nowhere to be found but the the treasure certainly was: the variety of characters, dance steps and shenanigans left them open-mouthed. Joana thought she´d seen it all until she entered that salsa club. Then she knew: there´s so much more life than the one we can catch within two eyes and a life time.
Heads were turned, indecipherable comments were whispered between tables; drunk men suffered (enJOYed) creative fits, getting looser and looser on the dance floor. One man was putting up a post-post-post-post modernist dance show on a stage he owned like a king.
-Now that´s the way we do it, hombre!
An old man pulled one of the Oriental Dancers – she followed him and danced. Sweet.
A gentleman dressed in white pulled Joana to dance. His manners were delicate; you could tell he was from the good old guard. They started to dance Salsa; things got warmer, just as they should be. Joana let her energy flow around her partner, doing her thing, being free and feeling happy.
At the height of the dance, the man had a stroke – out of emotion, out of excitement, out of what? everybody asked. Nobody knew.
Chaos was installed in the club. Those Oriental Dancers were nothing but trouble and the matron, that one called Joana, was the worst.
The police came to investigate. Oriental Dancers were interviewed, as witnesses, and Joana was put on the spot as the potencial murderess.
-What did you do to the man?
-Nothing. We were just dancing salsa…
-We asked his family – his health was the strongest. He wouldn´t have a heart attack just from dancing Salsa. You must have put something in his drink, in his blood, in his mind. You must.
-I didn´t. I danced with him – that´s all…and he was clearly enjoying himself.
The case grew into a national scandal; newpapers, national television, embassies, everybody who was somebody got involved in the strange case of the Oriental Dancer Murderess of Tijuana.
The mention of a Magic Powder being thrown on the man didn´t help Joana´s claim of innocence.
-Well, I may have thrown some Magic Powder on him while we were dancing.
–Magic powder? What is she talking about? Pero que rayo es ese polvo magico?
The Mexican authorities had heard about every sort of drug but never about the so called Magic Powder. Who was the provider, the dealer, the net that made the trafficking possible? Joana couldn´t – or wouldn´t – answer those questions. They tortured her by taking away her guacamole and bringing Jude Law into the room without allowing her to touch him (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!) but she wouldn´t reveal her sources or alliances. She resisted, except for the revelation:
The effects of the Magic Powder drug were joy, to start with; then enchantment, light dizziness; awakening of the heart, extreme excitement; a series of Oprah Ah-Ah moments; ecstasy and, eventually (if resistance is offered), death.
Joana and her sponsor were taken into further investigation – the authorities wanted to know everything about the damned Magic Powder that had been thrown on the victim, the one that caused him a heart attack.
-She brought it from Egypt – some said, correctly so.
-I heard she spreads it among dancers all over the world. She´s a very dangerous woman…- Others added, half scared and half fascinated.
Joana finally opened up but to no avail: the police couldn´t believe that drug was produced by one´s own heart and thrown into another person´s heart. No remains of the product, no proofs, no Pablo Escobar operations, no plantations hidden in the Colombian jungle; no drug lord, dealers or buyers. How was that possible? An invisible drug?
-Así es: invisible. – Joana answered, ready to throw the towel and quit defending herself from a crime she wasn´t sure she had committed.
The police could have never understood what she was talking about. Only Oriental Dancers do.
Note: It was an honour to perform, teach and lecture in Mexico by the hands of Desireé. Every moment was covered in fairy dust.
Oriental Dance, and the spirit that makes it magical, was respected, understood and amplified by every person involved in the event. There are very few pleasures higher than this: having the Art I know and love received with the soul of an whole country, a country like Mexico with an exceptional spiritual tradition, a brother from Egypt for all I know (Giza Pyramids Versus Chichen Itza Pyramid).
Thank you, Desireé, for our fantastic BellyRaks Mexico; thank you for receiving me like family (hermana) in your gorgeous, magical (powder) country; thank you, above everything, for catching a glimpse of the Magic and spreading it, like a true dealer, all over your country.