I am experiencing an overwhelming sense of gratitude as I prepare for Rak the Casbah this Friday night in Madrid. This is only the second event I’ve produced on my own since arriving in Spain, the first being Raks Arabi Cabaret last November that featured my dance company Raks Arabi from California and included a variety of dancers Madrileñas.
For this event, we are trying to bring an “old-time” feel to the stage with a classical belly dance and cabaret fusion show. We want to take a detour from electronic music and have an evening that blends the music of old with fresh modern faces and training. I’m excited to present a number of my students here as soloists as well as several of my dances performed in duos and trios. We also have a number of talented guest performers that are guaranteed to rak your socks off!
In my previous blogs I touched on the deep gratitude that I was feeling for the dance community at home and internationally. For the coming together of this show, I am blown away by the amount of supporters that have offered their time, talents and special skills to make our event something extraordinary. In addition to all the personal upheaval that accompanies moving abroad, with it comes a tragic loss of networks. In California I had the women I knew who could make my costume ideas come alive, the people who could edit and mix my music, camera people etc. Upon arriving in Spain it wasn’t only the task of starting over as a teacher and a dancer that faced me, but also how to recreate those invaluable networks. I can really see with the organization of this event how spectacular the artist community in Madrid is. I can’t deny that my skill set is limited to primarily dance, choreography and instruction. The team that has come out of the ether to manifest all those other vital elements of producing a show has astounded me. From the creation of the event flyer (yes my boyfriend kicks ass) to cameras for photos (Miguel Angel), videos (JM Rye), audio controlar (Richard del Olmo) – all of these incredibly talented artists have stepped up to be a part of this special evening. I am eternally grateful for their participation and artistic expertise.
We will donate 50% of all ticket sales to UNICEF to aid in the effort to bring vital medical supplies to the earthquake victims of Nepal.
Thanks again to all the magnificent dancers and to the Madrid community at large for your participation in this event. Countdown of 5 days ’til we Rak the Casbah!