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Arabesque Nights- the long show!

The performance running order for Arabesque Nights tonight was LONG! And a lot of the pieces were not short ones!

The theme was Strictly Egyptian. How could I not be the first one to sign up for this one?

I'm not sure how to review this. I would normally do a blow-by-blow account, but it could end up being very dull. So I think it's a case of not critiquing student performers, only the professionals. So this is not a complete running order...

Sofeya opened the show, and she was lovely to watch, a very sweet stage persona, and seeming to be astonished when we liked her!
Firuza, one of the Resident dancers, managed to ignore the theme altogether and went Turkish. Although, to be honest, she dances Firuza-style, whatever music she's working with.
Alyah was next. She was using the Min Hobbi Fik Ya Gari/Taht il Shebbak mix from one of the Leila CDs. Which I love, and which I've danced myself. And I have a serious issue with her performance: her costuming. Underwear is NOT costume. If you want to make your own costumes, then COVER THE BRA! And line the skirt!
There were a couple of student performances, and then it was Aqila Farashah, doing Nebtidi Menin el Hikaya, which she did well, although I'd perhaps have liked to see a bit more power in the more emphatic parts of the music. Good rapport with the audience, and expressiveness.

Then it was me, dancing to Ansak. My technique was a bit dull, but for me, the point about this piece of music is the emotion of it. I hope that I put that across.

After me was another student performer, then Jennie dancing Akteb Aleik. I was singing along to that one! I wasn't the only one! I liked her interpretation, it was different from how I read that song, but it was quite cute.
Then it was Shams (Tracey Jones) and her troupe, Shamooza. They were doing a drum solo. I'm afraid I'm not a big fan of drum solos. I was also disappointed that they were basically dancing the same thing at the same time, with no changes of formation. That's what you do with a student choreography. When you are dancing and working as a professional troupe, then you should be doing something a bit more creative, and interesting for an audience to watch.
Another student (new short term residency dancer), was followed by Zana, looking stunning as ever. She danced to a piece of music that really suited her style, smooth and flowing.
Roxana did Hadouni, Hadouni, which sounded more Lebanese & dabke-ish than Egyptian. But what do I know? Again, there was more underwear being worn in place of costuming. I was not happy about this.
There was another student performance, and then it was the wonderful Yasmina. I love how her dancing has developped in recent years, how expressive, and yet still strongly technical, her dancing is. She really is a delight to watch. She's got me all inspired!

The second act started with one of the Short Term Residency dancers, Amy, followed by Sabrynah, doing a Baladi progression. I just wanted to slow her down a bit, and tell her: it's ok, you don't have to hit each note in a taqsim, you can relax into it!
There were a couple more student performances, and then Melanie did a very different Nebtiti, very sweeping and swooshy.
Firuza did a frankly incomprehensible piece as her second dance.

After a couple more student pieces, it was Zafirah, doing a lovely Baateriflek, very sweet and expressive. I couldn't watch it all, because I was on next.

My second piece was Habibi we Anaya, a gorgeous Baladi trumpet piece. It just really speaks to me, at a really deep level, and I love dancing to it.

Then it was Yasmina again, doing a song from her new cd. I am in love with her all over again!

The show was closed by Aqila and then Shems. I have to confess, it was really late by then, and I was thinking about getting changed and getting home, more than really appreciating their performances. And when Shems' piece went into another drum solo, I snuck off to get back into civvies, while there was space in the tiny dark changing area.

It was a lovely evening! And almost all LOVELY EGYPTIAN MUSIC AND DANCE- my fave!

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