October 11, 2009

Bellydance Congress

Congress 09 … It’s over and I’m back to my reality .. but how sweet it was while it lasted!!! Back to back workshops for the duration, the opportunity for endless shopping, shows galore and of course burning the floor (Abdel Kader Saadoun & Band were absolutely sizzling). This 2 yearly gathering of top bellydancers, teachers and rising stars from all 4 corners of the world was this time round graced and lead by the legendary (drum rolls please) the one, the only, the inimitable Madame Fifi Abdou - this woman God bless her could teach us westerners a thing or two or three about Diva-esque behaviour but who cares? She’s earned her stripes, has written the book so I’m certainly not going to argue - long may she reign. For the first time, I had the opportunity to see Sadie dance, and on that particular night, she was just ahead of Randa Kamel. The differing styles triggered a whole discussion on the range and direction of bellydancing, from the American locking to the more fluid, original and emotive Arabic style. Khaled Mahmoud was on form and performed the best I’d seen him dance in a long time, Anasma (pictured right) took my breath away - I hadn’t had the pleasure before and she was simply mesmerising. So many headlining dancers, so many groups and a greater tribal presence as well - I cannot possibly name them all, but every single solitary one contributed in such a unique way to an absolutely memorable event......
Report by Rita

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