Image of my shadow taken at Planet Egypt whilst curating a monthly show, courtesy of Kristina West .
I started teaching in the mid 1990s and as my practice grew to 10 classes a week I had a sizeable data base to draw upon.
Prior to launching Planet Egypt I would have live music parties on a regular basis for my students
When I organised class parties with live music. I would more often use the musicians from the Cave de Roi:
Taha, Emad Shaker, Emile Bassili, Ali Ahmed Ali and Josef Iskander.
I worked when I could also with my favourite Baladi/Shaabi singer Samir Idik
I also worked with the Nile Band and of course Ibrahim Minyawi!
Here is Ibrahim Minyawi at one of the parties (RIP dear friend)
From parties I then expanded to Theatre productions.
Higher level at first with my associates
And then at Jacksons Lane for my Performance class
From these early experiences I learned a lot-especially from my mistakes.....
These events were crucial in terms of learning all the skills and "crisis management" needed to stage sucessful productions.
To Future generations of dancers who are now in a different era with social media interraction and instant publicity (videos and photos) I would proffer the following advice- should they intend to provide large community dance events
- Develop, nurture and expand your student base
- Target productions just for them before you widen your scope and involve the general dance community-this gives you invaluable experience and plenty of "breathing time"
- In this time you will learn a lot but will not be overwhelmed with the minutae
- Be professional. Honour your commitments. Act with integrity
- Network - you will meet people with skills and talents that could be cultivated and reciprocated in the future
- Trust your instincts, be courageous. Delegate. Plan well, Respect your colleagues
- Volunteer to support others in their productions. You will learn a lot
- Be authoratitive but also considerate
- Identify and learn skills that you need to better stage your events
One of my all time favourite photos....
Our first Planet Egypt Big Party with live music occurred around 2004/2005 with a full band on stage at Sahara Nights. It was exhilerating to be part of but I had never worked so hard in my life. It was a packed night and we were so full I had to cover additional Security costs of £600 which rather dismayed me at the time
I staged monthly shows with Planet Egypt for just under 10 years
I had a brilliant team and without them it would never happened
Our archives only go back to 2005 though, and you can see them here
Outside of Planet Egypt I have collaborated with many others, see here
It meant learning new skills
I had never spoken with a microphone before I hosted Planet Egypt
I resisted working with information technology for as long as I could
I have had to embrace many challenges along the way but I had faith
I had the privilege to have a column in the Nafoura magazine and you can read my my reviews of the monthly shows here (if you have time...)
Read my monthly columns from Nafoura here
And should you have time you are most welcome to read other people's reviews of Planet Egypt on the same page
The skills I learned have stood me in very good stead and now I intend to emabark on other journeys. I hope that you will be able to share them wtih me
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