Om Kolthoum always kicks my a#%&$%.
It doesn´t matter how many times I´ve performed it, choreographed it and taught it. She manages to challenge me beyond everything I´ve ever heard.
It´s the quality of the music, the orchestration, the musicians, the poetry and the interpretations. She had the crème de la crème of the artists of her time working with her and a Government who supported her as much as she supported it. But there´s more.
It was her. Her presence, her voice, her soul whispered in every word. Tarab – ecstasy – in each note. She makes it impossible for a dancer to say/move anything less than authentic, raw, honest life. No babbling allowed, no mam. She demands you step up your game and play with her, on her level – the level of the best music ever produced on earth. Only Johann Sebastian Bach, in my opinion, can compete with her but I know he wouldn´t be interested in a competition. The same thing can´t be said of Om Kolthoum. She would compete.
The “fellaha” (peasant) who grew up reciting the Quran; the girl who turned into a lady with a rich, emotional, secret life that transpires in her songs; the fairly called Voice of Egypt. I´m a self-professed lover of Om Kolthoum. I´m also her eternal student.
“Siret il hob” is on the menu for Portland, Oregon, USA.
Highly emotional contents on the way.
In this video: me, performing “Awet´aeny” by Om Kolthoum with my orchestra in Cairo, Egypt.