Watching Egyptian Master Teacher Mahmoud Reda, on Tour

Aug 24th 2010

I attended Mahmoud Reda’s two-day Connecticut workshop, sponsored by Riskalla Riyad, to sketch dancers at work, and to display some of my pictures. I met Mr. Reda for the first time in 2006 when a group of us fought our way through Cairo traffic and climbed what seemed to be a thousand stairs to his studio to attend a class that included dancers who were on Katia’s Egyptian tour. I was able to squeeze into a corner where I could ply my pencils and sketchbook while he taught them a new dance. It was so nice to see him again, this time in a bigger room with lots of time and space to practice.

The workshop was packed and everyone worked hard. The Master kept them moving at a steady but intense pace for two solid days with his graceful, complex and intelligent choreography. I was sitting down to sketch, and I got a workout just watching. Continue reading...

Sharing the Legacy

Aug 24th 2010

I was lucky enough to have danced during Boston’s Middle-Eastern heyday, when fabulous live music and outstanding performance was available somewhere almost every night. Armenian, Greek, Arabic, Turkish, was played in clubs by the best of the best. The dancers were proficient, varied and many; beginners had splendid examples to watch and grow from, fresh music everywhere on which to test themselves. And with no exceptions, we had to learn two important things: the finger cymbals and the terror and exhilaration of working with a live band.

I taught, took classes, made my own costumes, created my own dances, and practiced, practiced, practiced. A horseback riding accident suddenly and permanently took me offstage, but I never stopped drawing and painting.I hope to share some of these stories and pictures here because I believe it is important to remember them. And I would enjoy having some shared with me. Continue reading...

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