29 March 2010

ana misreya aktar min il misreen

I'm alive!  I'm in Cairo!  I'm going to a practica on Tuesday!  I will take pictures (insha'allah)!  I am sunburnt!

Right now I am in Arabica, one of my favourite cafes, and I just ate a wrap with bresaola and rocket (very Egyptian, yea).  Tomorrow I'm finally going to the Coptic Museum to see the Nag Hammadi texts, which I'm currently reading for a course.

Spent a day at ain sokhna, lounging with friends on the beach and having an adventure in a raft that drifted too far out to sea ("we're all going to be eaten by stingrays!!!") - let me tell you, Egypt is a crazy place, and Cairo is its old crazy self.  Because of my adventures at the beach I missed my favourite Saturday night milonga, but I was relaxing on a terrace, eating great food with great company, and devouring chocolate cake, wine, and mint tea.  I've been craving this type of evening forever, that exhausted feeling you have after spending the day in the sun, swimming, putting your clothes back on and having a meal, watching the sunset, the sea quiet in the background.  What could be nicer?  It's a damn good life.

Not so much other news, apart from finding strangely that my Arabic is better than it was in December.  I guess I've spent the last three months in a bored/meditative state, everyone says I seem more relaxed, less worried, but I think it's because in the states you don't have to worry about getting hit by a car every time you walk on the street, or jump over thousands of obstacles from broken sidewalks to weirdly-placed palm trees to cats.  

Here is something someone said to me the other day: "America is like a gourmet meal without any flavour.  In Egypt, the meal is not so fancy, but it sets your tongue on fire."  There are good and bad things about this statement (for instance, you could get terrible food poisoning - literally AND metaphorically) - but in general I agree with it.  On the other hand, one of the only benefits I've gotten in the states these last few months is super-clean laundry.  

So is the choice between "exciting life with food poisoning" and "boring life with clean clothes"??  Hm.  Maybe a little of both is necessary to keep one's feet on the ground. 

17 March 2010

dancing tango under the occupation

Paris, 1943;
(thus spoke youtube).
Black & white photographs of artists, France, and tango, and you have me hooked.  I notice that in France during the tango craze the trend is for women to sing & record tangos (in French of course), while absolutely none of the singers from Buenos Aires any time before the 70s are women... These could just be the recordings I have, but all the old Gardel, di Sarli, Pugliese, d'Arienzo, Canaro, Troilo songs that have words are all sung by men.

It seems only natural given the nature of the tango and tango lyrics ("oh i loved a woman, she forgot me, now all i do is drink wine and so i will probably die tomorrow" &etc)  ...So I wonder, who twisted tango in France into a woman's chanson?

14 March 2010

it's been so long

Lack of (s)inspiration in my life right now; tango trials making me want to hibernate, meditate, and return with a clear head.

I am choreographing (yes, oh la la, choreographing) a solo Borgesian tango for a university project.  I'm making a dance film.  Inspired by the Borges stories "The South" and "The Zahir." Ever mixed tango with sufi dancing and kabbalistic maps of the body?

I know it's probably extremely politically incorrect to 1) choreograph a tango 2) choreograph a tango in which there is no lead, but one follow following herself 3) make tango something that it's not,

but this thing is going to great, involving a red ribbon, a compass, a jaguar ring, sufi spinning, and death by planeo, all to the Gotan Project's "Vuelvo al Sur."

..any thoughts?

01 March 2010

miracle tango shoes found at local shoe store

After my bad milonga night, after being rescued by Egyptians at Starbucks, I woke up the next day to get my haircut.  I refuse despair at all times (at most times), even if it means doing something stupid like getting your haircut exactly 3.8 weeks after your last haircut.  

The miracle happened afterwards, when I was walking down the street running my hands through my salon styled hair, black scarf and big grey sweater making me confident à la 60s french film star (which I still have to consciously convince myself that I am NOT) and I decided to stop into a shoe store.  I thought, with a sigh, that maybe it's time for me to look for a practica shoe.  I started looking for flexible little flat sneakers that I could stand to wear on a dance floor.

I found these instead.

Gaga, oh la la...