Well, that was stressful and enjoyable and kind of weird.
Stressful - It's been so darn long since I performed, I was doubting everything. My costume cupboard is a complete shambles and I wasn't sure what costumes would even fit without needing a fettle. In the end I went with a reliable plain white galabeya (I say "plain", it's glittery fabric, the sort of glitter that sheds wherever you go) with a silver belt. I had to hunt around to remember where my hairpieces were, then work out which one needed the least work! I was totally bricking over the possible journey by train, and in the end I decided to drive, even though it meant I would have to do my make up when I got there rather than en route. Actually that turned out to be a great option, because it gave me an hour of downtime, after teaching, where I could just play my music, and drive, and do my choreography in my head. Fortunately at that time of the evening the traffic was reasonably clear and I got to Dar Marrakesh in good time.
Enjoyable - Oh, I've missed performing! I've missed that lovely feeling of standing in front of a bunch of people and knowing I'm going to entertain them! It's a special kind of confidence and self-awareness. I was bowled over with the response I got, while I was dancing. It was so supportive and happy-making. And I really had the Mezag, it was all flowing brilliantly.
RA has a strong Arab following, and there are a lot of Egyptians in the audience, which makes it extra special. Right at the very end of Akteb Aleik the music cut out and there was a lovely quiet but clearly audible "Ya Habi-i-i-ibi" coming from the audience, who were singing along.
One of the Egyptian guys came up to me afterwards and said I was amazing! He repeated it several times, so I think he really meant it.
Kind of weird - Nobody knew me. Well, no, that's not quite right, I'd say maybe 4 people knew me, half of them from my Raqs Sharqi/Suraya Hilal days. Plus Alyah and Sureyah from Arabesque Nights days.
All my nice post-performance happy got a bit weed upon when a girl came up to me afterwards and basically said "Well done", in a way that I could only interpret as having left out the words "for going out there when you're clearly so old and fat". She didn't *say* those words, and English was not her first language, so possibly she didn't intend that meaning, but that was the meaning that I received, that I was to be applauded for encouraging anyone, however old and fat they might be, to get up and perform. I'm sure she didn't mean to be rude or mean, but after a good performance I ended up just feeling a bit shit about myself, for the rest of the night, instead of being on an adrenaline high.