Many things happened to me since I’m in Egypt, good things and bad things, which are part of the “living” and some others. It’s very difficult sometimes to separate the “Everyday self” from the “Artist”… But Artists are supposed to have this ability so when I change before go on stage all my problems stay in the jeans, in the shoes or whatever I’m wearing that day… I let it and wear something else: “Shiny dress, makeup and glamour”… But dance in general is not “glamorous”… The dancers, specially in Egypt, they know this… There is a lot of “backstage” that the viewer ignores.
The situation in Egypt is uncertain about the dance. Things are not like they were before the revolution… or this government. So it is often difficult to let “problems and ugly feelings” far from the stage.
With the possibility that from one moment to another “The dance can be banned”, I learned to dance every time like it’s the last. Although I always do. I’m not the best or trying to be… I just do my best every second… and more every second.
I learned to disguise and not reflect what happens inside me for the simple reason that, as an artist, it is my duty to dress the stage with light and not with dark emotions… Then at the end I will have enought time to sit and think, analyze or regret realities.
I have had to dance on days where horrible things happened: Dancing while people are being killed in demonstrations, knowing that many women were and are abused in Tahrir… Or after hearing the news of what happened in Luxor with this nineteen tourists on the “hot air balloon”. To name just a few… This things go further than an incident on stage as: The bra that breaks in the middle of the song, some splinter hurt your foot, badly and everything is so cheerful so there is no place for any expression of pain… Or some Egyptian women that, driven by their own “lack of self confidence”, they try to ruin your show roaring with laughter, pointing you with the finger and hoping for your reaction… They waste their time with me because not only I laugh with them, also I get close and I show them that I’m not one who moves “by inertia or by money”… I am an artist and there is no way to get me out of my role… whatever they do.
I learned to stay firmly on stage as never before I had done. And even although sometimes I feel like I’m dancing on broken glass, if feel pain I don’t show it… I can’t have that luxury: “The artists, we use a disguise and magically we wrap the viewers, we take them for a walk with the melody, the movement, the song lyrics, hugging them tightly, making them part of our feeling…” An Egyptian woman told me: “Thank’s! you made me forget so many problems and so much disaster, I never thought you were foreign because I saw the whole time you understood what you were doing”… In that moment I didn’t need anything more, my mission was complete.
Sometimes I feel like the Egypt that many people knew, the one where the air was a bit more free, it was a mirage… just that and nothing more… But the art, I think, has its ways to survive… In any arid landscape THE ART will always be and exquisite oasis where we can “refresh our soul.”
You don’t come with a smile on stage because you ignore the reality or you don’t care. It’s set aside the reality and all that for a moment so that the audience can do the same. It is not easy to transform the energy and dress in light in the middle of so much uncertainty but is a task and it’s worth trying. It is not easy to ignore the ugly feelings and “shine” but it’s possible… even on broken glass.