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STAR INTERVIEWS


Interview with belly dancer Aisha AliInterview with Belly dance star Aisha Ali
"As a performer, I became addicted to the higher status that I enjoyed in the Middle East, and as a field worker, I formed a bond with the folk musicians and dancers that I filmed and recorded, and felt impelled to learn more about them..."

Interview with Algerian dancer Amel TafsoutInterview with Algerian dance star Amel Tafsout
"The movements are, first of all, earthy and strong as Berber-Amazigh dances are all fertility dances. Strong hip and belly movements such as hip drops and belly drops, more syncopated chest movements and many shoulder shimmies. Facial expression is also important..."

Interview with belly dancer AnsuyaInterview with Belly dance star Ansuya
"I chose to call myself a "Cabaret Belly Dancer" because I approach my dance in the same free, progressive way that they did. This means that my style is ever changing and personally distinct. I encourage this approach in my students as well. If you take ten students..."

Interview with belly dancer ArtemisInterview with Belly dance star Artemis
"I prefer to call this genre "Vintage Orientale" as it is based on genuine Pan Arabic and Turkish Oriental dance material and it is an endangered dance form. I then specialized in Turkish Oriental and its mother dance the Turkish Rromany dance and that is where my true..."

Belly dance Interview with Beata and Horacio CifuentesInterview with Belly dance stars Beata and Horacio Cifuentes
"The same happened with a Spanish/Arabic dance which I perform with castanets. I played the little beasts for an entire year every day for 30 minutes and at times I would go inside our car alone so that I would not drive Beata crazy. To be honest, when we were making..."

Belly dance Interview with Dr. Mo GeddawiInterview with Oriental dance star Dr. Mo Geddawi
"It was a particularly new era for dance because it was being performed for the first time on stage in music halls. This required the dancers to choreograph or at least to plan their dances in advance before performing them. Also there were dance pioneers like Badia Masabni..."

Interview with belly dancer BozenkaInterview with Belly dance star Bozenka
"To choreograph for a star (or anyone else for that matter) is very different than choreographing for students or for yourself. I kept pulling out ideas and steps and things until it was perfect for her. It kept me on my toes! It helped that she was tremendously humble..."

Interview with belly dancer FahtiemInterview with Belly dance star Fahtiem
"I did not choose Oriental Dance to be my life's work. Oriental Dance chose me. It seems like there was no thinking or planning of how Oriental Dance would be part of my life. It was as if avenues opened up and I just followed the path. As a small child, I always loved to dance..."

Interview with belly dancer HadiaInterview with Belly dance star Hadia
"However, as oriental dance is a very accessible dance form, it is common place that a dancer can become "professional" i.e. is hired to perform in public, with one year, six months, two months of training or no training at all. A nice body, a pretty face, youth and..."

Interview with belly dancer JillinaInterview with Belly dance star Jillina
"Then I started my own company a couple of years later, the Sahlala dancers. I wanted to take belly dancing to another level and I was inspired by some of the big shows that I had seen in Egypt and I created a dance company of my own and performed with them..."

Interview with belly dancer Lulu SabongiInterview with Belly dance star Lulu Sabongi
"When the dance started here you could only find performances at restaurants or special situations, for example, when a group of Lebanese would meet. For many years, those were the only times a dancer could be seen. Everything was very limited..."

Interview with Egyptian dancer Mohamed ShahinInterview with Egyptian dancer Mohamed Shahin
"I hope that everyone in the world who does Oriental dance will know what the real dance is because this is our tradition. I have seen, in a lot of countries, many people who are dancing but they don't really understand the dance. They just play some music and do some..."

Interview with belly dancer MoroccoInterview with Belly dance star Morocco
"My aspirations continue to be the same: to get the world to recognize the inherent beauty of & skill required for Raks Sharki & the other marvelous folk dances from these regions of the world... How to achieve them?? Keep doing what I have been doing & hope for many..."

Interview with belly dancer Nataliya StrelchenkoInterview with Belly dance star Nataliya Strelchenko
"At the first Championship of the World competition where I won first place there were not a lot of dancers from abroad. And there were no dancers from Arab countries at all. So I don't feel that I am a Champion of the World. For me it was just a regular contest..."

Interview with belly dancer NourInterview with Belly dance star Nour
"Egyptian weddings in hotels are unique, and I work only for such weddings. Dancing-halls of hotels are ordered beforehand and sometimes some months before. The decoration of the hall, buffet (wedding hall), video, DJ and artists are discussed and ordered..."

Interview with belly dancer Princess BanuInterview with Belly dance star Princess Banu
"Dancing had more quality, now it seems it is easy. Your physically appearance was not the only criteria at that time, dance knowledge was also necessary. Now I find that physical appearance seems to be enough. But it is like that all over the world now, even in Egypt..."

Interview with belly dancer Princess FarhanaInterview with Belly dance star Princess Farhana
"I danced for Jude Law. Usually, the waiters clue me in if there's a famous person in the place, but this time I think they didn't want to tell me he was there, because they probably thought I'd lose it - I am a big Jude Law fan (whose not, huh?). For months, we were..."

Interview with tribal fusion Rachel BriceInterview with American Tribal dancer Rachel Brice
"Since newness is one of the things I require to feel passionate about my dancing, I am afraid that I'm lacking direction sometimes. In fact, just the other night I had a dream that I was given amazing powers, and a guide to show me how to use them, but the guide was killed..."

Interview with Oriental Dance Star Sema YildezInterview with Oriental Dance Star Sema Yildez
"In 1967 I entered a Turkish belly dancing competition. I was only 16 years old and I remember I had bleached blond hair because that was the style at that time in Turkey. I placed number 3 in the competition and I will never forget the pleasure I had..."

Interview with belly dancer Suhaila SalimpourInterview with Belly dance star Suhaila Salimpour
"By the time I was 12 years old I had learned everything. I wanted more and felt that there had to be more. I didn't want to just keep doing different choreographies over and over again. I felt stuck. When I was in high school (the 80's) the music began..."

Interview with belly dancer Suzanna Del VecchioInterview with Belly dance star Suzanna Del Vecchio
"I hope that students come away from my retreats inspired to improve their dance skills especially if they want to dance in public, and to recognize how rewarding this dance is just dancing for yourself and friends. It is so healing on a lot of levels and so very much fun..."

Interview with belly dancer Tamalyn DallalInterview with Belly dance star Tamalyn Dallal
"Belly dance is such an expression of individuality and each woman's unique beauty, so I think the question of how to translate our dance form to theatrical settings as opposed to intimate settings where there is an exchange of energy that moves the dancer and her audience.."

Interview with belly dancer Tarik SultanInterview with Belly dance star Tarik Sultan
"In 1988 I traveled to Egypt and Morocco for the first time. That experience totally changed my understanding of the dance, myself and the culture the dance comes from. In the States, many dancers were still portraying the harem girl fantasy stereotype, or they were overly..."

Interview with Turkish dancer Tayyar AkdenizInterview with Turkish dancer Tayyar Akdeniz
"They called the neighborhood Cin Cin because there was nothing there! Nothing! Some poor people from the outside villages from East Turkey, Kurdish people and Alevi (Sufi) people came there and started building houses. My mother built our house herself! Some..."

Interview with belly dancer Yasmina RamzyInterview with Belly dance star Yasmina Ramzy
"When I fell in love with Middle Eastern dance, I never understood why this beautiful and rich art form was not held in the same regard as ballet and modern dance. It was my goal from the beginning to establish Belly dance as high art..."


Belly dance Interview with Zahra ZuhairInterview with Belly dance star Zahra Zuhair
" I love Egyptian oriental dance the most. The music is very inspiring to me, and I find that I can be the most creative when doing that style. The movements feel good on my body, it's natural to me..."