1. Why did you start Raqs Sharqi?
I began to learn dancing when I was 5 years old, and I joined in an oriental dancing class when I was 17 years old after I came back from North Africa. It was first time for me to listen to oriental music when I was in Tunisia. I could listen to Fairuz or Abdel Halim Hafez when I walked through the shop street. I really fell in love with Fairuz. Arabic music attracts me everytime, and it was a trigger that I was interested in oriental culture and Raqs Sharqi.
2. What is the most important thing to do when we dance in public?
There are two important things.
Where do you perform? Do you perform at a restaurant, in a cabaret, or on a stage? A professional dancer should not perform on a stage as if you were the center of the attraction. You have to care about the relationship between you and the audience when you dance in public. Of course, you can communicate with the audience because you are supposed to give them the emotion, dreams, and other feelings.
Moreover, I consider about the settings. When you are on stage in a theater, you need to think about staging, the spaces, lights, entries, and exits.
3. Could you tell about your Raqs Sharqi style?
My style is synonymous with elegance and creativity. The Arabic music is generally very rich. Therefore, I try to master impeccable techniques to show the rhythm and story of the music with Raqs Sharqi.
4. Could you tell about the relationship between Raqs Sharqi and your background?
I studied rhythmic dance at first, when I was a child. Then I had been studying playing the violin in conservatory for 8 years. This background brought a certain rigor in my works and the research of musicality in my dancing. Later, I studied in graduate school of arts. Therefore, I can show a pictorial approach in Raqs Sharqi. When I create choreography, I need to visualize it as a canvas.
5. Could you give some advices or comments for Raqs Sharqi dancers?
Work out! Work out! Work out!
Humility is a quality and it is necessary for many dancers who dream more shine on stage rather than produce an artistic work.
6. Who is your ideal dancer? Why do you like the dancer?
I admire many different artists, as they are sincere and devoted to dance. I have a deep admiration for Yousry Sharif as a choreographer because I have never had the opportunity to see him on stage. Yousry Sharif manages to combine modernity and a real Egyptian soul in his creative work.
7. What is your future plan with Raqs Sharqi?
I want to be an artist who transmits the pure essence of Raqs Sharqi as a teacher and as a dancer. I think Raqs Sharqi must be seen as an ART in itself. I do not practice my profession in Egypt today as if many dancers start to learn Raqs Sharqi in your own country. Therefore, my goal is to put the Raqs Sharqi on stage through performances, and show the value of ART. I have already created a show that is titled “Hourriya”, which is evolving over the performances that take place in Paris when I lived in. In this regard, the next performance of “Hourriya” is going to be on show in April 2, 2011 in Paris. Another project is producing new CD. The first one, “Orientally, the Dance Collection, Vol.1” has been composed by the great Mohamed Ali and contains 12 exclusive music with very high quality. This project is very important for me because any beautiful dances could not exist without music that has a high value.
8. What is the most important thing to create choreography?
The recipe for a good choreography is: “Do not go to easiness, seek to surprising the audience, not with something spectacular, but with subtlety and musicality, take the space, let the dance breathe, because it is not necessary for the audience to remark too much of technique: the technique should serve the dance, not the contrary.” We all share the same love and the same passion for Raqs Sharqi. Let’s do our best for the ART of Raqs Sharqi to keep on growing up without losing the soul.
Lolie said “Raqs Sharqi –The Joy of Dance- offers a wonderful opportunity for sharing our different points of view and make as the things keep on evolving more and more.”