It all started before I moved to Egypt to start my career.
I was a very young, curious, dancer who traveled to the Land of the Pyramids, first with Shokry Mohamed, my first Egyptian Dance teacher, and then by myself, to rediscover the Sacred Art of “Raks Sharki”.
As I´ve researched, took classes, attended shows – from the cheapest to the 5 star nightclubs -, participated in family celebrations, and observed, I realized Egyptian Dance was more about what WE CANNOT SEE, BUT FEEL, THAN THE MATERIAL, PALPABLE, VISIBLE MOVEMENT.
At first, the prominence of the soul over the physical stroke me as odd. I´d been educated, as a Classical Dancer, to believe Dance was essentially a physical activity and, therefore, to be oriented by its visual aspect.
The focus was on what the eyes could see – how each movement is executed, the beauty of the lines, the drawing of patterns, the physical tricks, and the technical details.
My first trips to Egypt showed me there is another side of Dance, the Invisible Realm, where The Magic resides.
I was reintroduced to an whole other concept of Dance and Life.
Instead of asking:
How does it look? (Focus on the external/skills´exhibition)
I started asking:
How does it feel? (Focus on the internal/feeling)
Yes, the visual side of the dance is important; yes, physical fitness, the correct execution of movements, what I call “clarity of speech”, are important and my students will confirm how demanding I am on that level. But what I call “The Invisible Dance” – a term I introduced in my book “The Secrets of Egypt – Dance, Life & Beyond” – is the most important side of Egyptian Dance.
More often than not, the best Oriental Dancers aren´t the ones who have the best technique, the sharper movements, or the most intricate choreographies. The best Oriental Dancers are the ones who are emotionally moved and are able to move the audience. They know about feeling, energy, aura, the “Duende” Flamenco dancers know so well; that which can only be perceived with the heart, beyond rational understanding. Those dancers move from their soul and, therefore, reach the soul of their audience.
They are Sacred Mirrors, Bridges, the offspring of Hermes Trismegistus, the Messenger who runs between the sky and the earth, delivering messages from humans to the Gods and vice-versa.
We live in a material world, ruled by competition, appearances, power, and money. In this world, the Invisible is a joke, a myth, something only crazy people believe in.
What authentic Egyptian Dance brings is the opposite of what we witness, nowadays. It´s Ancient Wisdom – eternal and more urgent than ever.
Soon, I´ll share a NEW VIDEO about The Invisible Dance at Joana Saahirah´s Youtube Channel. For now, I challenge you to stop for a minute and think about the following questions:
What is ENERGY?
What is LOVE?
How does THE INVISIBLE manifest itself in your dance and in your life?
Are you aware of your SOUL?
Do you dance from you SOUL?
What is more important: do you LIVE from your SOUL?