Interviews mit internationalen Tänzerinnen und Tänzern für Orientalischen Tanz/ Bauchtanz

Randa Kamel (Kairo)

Bewegendes Interview mit einer der Top Tänzerinnen in Kairo. Randas Tanzstil ist weltweit kopiert und nachgeahmt.

Suhaila Salimpour (USA)

Tochter der Bellydance Pionierin Jamila Salimpour, die verschiedene Bewegungen des Orientalischen Tanzes benannte: Drop, Maya, Schimmie etc.!! Suhaila hat ein strukturiertes System für Bellydance Technik entwickelt, das sie international unterrichtet und das weltweit getanzt und weiter unterrichtet wird.

Oscar Flores (Argentinien)

1. How long have you been dancing?

“I have danced for 18 years.”

2. How did you get into belly dancing?
“I started studying theater, and then Flamenco. My sister danced in the Arab community in my hometown, which is in the south of Argentina. She invited me to start dancing traditional dances. My approach to Arab dance over time, made me begin to investigate, and study bellydance and Arab culture.”

3. How often do you teach?
“I teach dance every day, I have a very hard routine, danced between 4 and 10 hours per day, because I train and take classes in different dance styles, to improve and incorporate new things.”

4. How often do you perform?
“I dance in shows every week, I have an extensive agenda, sometimes 3 or 4 shows a week, sometimes just a show at some big festival or theater.”

5. Argentina has a very distinct style of belly dancing, can you describe it?
“The Argentine style in bellydance is refined here and evolved differently. It works from the steps and technique, and incorporated forms and steps of ballet and jazz. It has choreographic structures. It is different oriental or Egyptian style, because there is so much interpretation. In this style, my style is different. I’m very passionate, I cannot dance tied to a choreographic structure. I can teach it, but I prefer that my dancers work with energy, and with the sentiment. I think if you have studied well, and you give him time, and dedication to your technique, you can dance freely, with good technique and feeling.”

6. What inspires your style of belly dancing?
“When I hear a song, I try to connect my feelings, and find meaning in the melodies. I try through my body to translate sound into movement that every part of my body speaks. With a person who does not listen, they can see the music translated into movement. There are different patterns, I also know Dirigo a project in Argentina, which leads the Eastern musical style, then trains the dancers to not only dance, but also sing and act. It is a wonderful experience. Sometimes I am inspired by a character, then that character must tell a story.”

7. You have an undeniable love and passion for belly dance, what is it about this dance form that draws you to it?
“The dance, gives me liberty, dance has given me the opportunity to see the world, to meet people who live thousands of miles, to receive the love of people who had never known any other way. However, in my life beyond public dance is my shaft, is my ying yang. I dance for me, I spend much of my day listening to music, understanding what happens in my body when worked, opening inside me, and trying to improve as a person and to cure my penalties to dance, dance encounter a site, because, and desire to face everything.”

8. Do you have any advice for our male belly dancer readers out there?
“My advice is, you find this form of expression, it is sometimes difficult, because there are taboos. Many people think it is a dance for women, but in modern society there are no things things for women and for men. Man has evolved, we have to be driven by the things we do well, belly dancing, has great benefits that come from your percussion, his ancestral roots, our body responds to these musical stimuli, releasing and making us grow.”

9. How did belly dance affect and/or change your life?
“My life changed a lot, especially in the last 10 years. As I said, I lived in a small town in southern Argentina, 10 years ago, I was summoned by the great Amir Thaleb, to be part of his dance company. In that moment I knew I had the opportunity to go after my dreams. I left behind everything, friends, family, work, and come to a big city all alone, not knowing anyone. It was tough, but my dreams were close. Work hard to achieve them, study hard, finish 4 different races, study at the University, work in an international company, and become one of the top executives. At one point I had to take one decision, and my decision was the dance, four years ago I left my job, I played my letter, and I smiled at life. Since then, my career today, has opened internationally, and I book work a year in advance.”

10. Any plans for the future?
“Many projects ahead. This year will premiere in Argentina, Mata Hari, The Musical. A large project that I worked on in Italy, and in December a new musical about Pricipe of Persia, many festivals, get to know new countries, such as Bolivia and Mexico, and then next year my calendar has dates with shows until December! Many many new countries. Europe opens its doors today to me, and a huge amount of festivals are calling me. I am very excited, as the work of so long, today is paying off.

Thank you for this interview, it is a chance that more people know my work, a kiss to all readers.” – http://www.oscarbellydance.com.ar/

~ Thank you Oscar, your interview is such an inspiring tale. You have been such an inspiration to me. I have grown so much as a dancer and a person through the short time I was able to study with you. Anyone who gets the opportunity to be around you is so fortunate, and I am glad to have been able to be one of those people! Thank you for such warmth and welcoming to your school. Sending much love and wrath to you and your students in Buenos Aires! -Taka

Interview with Dina, Egypt’s top belly dancer

As the country’s best belly dancer, Dina is one of the most famous women in Egypt. Yet the Egyptian press have regularly enjoyed the eruptions of her personal life. In 2002, a video appeared of the dancer in bed with her third husband. She fled the country, vowing never to dance again. She returned, however, to sue him, eventually also sending the editor of a national newspaper to jail. Six months later she returned to dancing – commanding fees higher than ever.

“Last year happened like a bang. Oh my god. I just stopped everything. It was written in all the magazines. Somebody called and told me. My first reaction was to get out of here so I went abroad. I kind of hid.

A week later I felt less shocked. I closed everything. I stayed at home for two months. Then I started to go outside a bit. After six months I started to act. But I missed dancing. My friends helped me. They said that this has happened and that if you meet any bad guy he can do this. You have to be strong. You have to continue your career, you have to be strong everyday.

And I still have to be strong – but now I feel like I didn’t do anything wrong. Everybody eats, drinks, has sex. I have to tell myself this all the time. He was my husband and one day he’ll come out of jail, but I don’t want to see him. I didn’t just have it all in public – I lost my husband too.”

You studied philosophy of theatre at university. What did you enjoy about that? 
“I liked the Sufistayeen (a philosophy based on the sufi mystical sect). When you say yes, they say no. When you say go out, they say stay in. I really love them. I also like Freud. How women can take care of her child. He put sex in the world. I like the way he talked about how to handle children. I respect him very much.”

How does philosophy of theatre help a dancer?
“Philosophy gives you an experience of people. When I’m on stage I know what the audience is like. Then I can adjust my performance to suit the audience – this is very important for a belly dancer. I don’t just do what I want – I do what they want.”

How has the press coverage of the video affected your life?
“I don’t hear what people say about me. I’m a dancer – I do it because I love it. When I began I was full of power to do what I like: I didn’t hear anyone. I love dancing. I’m not looking to my reputation, I love dancing. I don’t care what people say. ”

What advice would you give to a dancer just starting out?
“Belly dancing makes women feel like they’re feminine. That it’s good to be a woman: that women are very beautiful. It’s in the dress and the movement. For professionals though, they must train, train, train. I train three days a week, another three days in the gym and another one for different dancing – like jazz, like cha, cha. They must take the ballet bar, for hands, for the head, the have to do yoga. They have to keep smiling in the mirror.”

How do you see the future of belly dancing in Egypt?
“Things have been going downhill for the last four years. Bars are changing to different styles and there aren’t many Egpytian belly dancers coming up. That’s what has allowed foreigners to come in. This year I’ve seen in video clips that they’re belly dancing, but they’re called singers. It’s more acceptable like that.

Actually, I’m not seeing anything new. We need ten or twenty good dancers but there’s not even five. It’s very bad. If it stays like this then the future is outside – in Europe. In Finland I did a workshop – I was standing on stage and in front of me 800 women were practicing in a hall. And from that thousand some good dancers will come.”

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© Tanz Oase Bielefeld - Oriental Dance Art - Bauchtanz, Bellydance, Orientalischer Tanz. Bilder: Claudia Sassen & André Elbing. *Tanzräume: Tanzschmiede Deppermann