Pedralta World Fusion®

Dance Queens of the Nile

The first Dance Queens of the Nile show took place at the Bloomsbury Theatre London in 2007. Hossam and Serena contacted me with an idea for a show that would showcase the best of Middle Eastern dance within the context of the great Egyptian women, queens and dancers, both ancient and modern. From Nerfertari to Samaya Gamal, from Isis to tribal women of India and North Africa.

Serena and her dance company had been working on choreographies and Pedralta were to compliment the sets with improvised ATS and of course their own brand of World Fusion.

Pedralta Dance

Pedralta and Morai are cast as the Invaders, causing mayhem and fear, challenging the queens' authority. We loved this and rose to the challenge. Derwood Green sees the tribal dancers, dressed in dark robes, faces covered with turbans, zaghareeting loudly while they chase the Ramzy dancers from the stage with their huge scimitars. The dance becomes more menacing as the swords are brandished before balancing.

Pedralta Dance

Nefertari's Dream features a beautiful solo performance by Serena as Nefertari while four members of Pedralta and two from Morai feature as her hand maidens, complimenting Serena's choreography with a completely improvised tribal style backdrop. The contrast in styles works well and the improvised element creates dynamism. We really enjoyed this.

Serena with Pedralta and Morai

It's a testament to the great versatility of improvisational dance that the tribal dancers were able to achieve this following one rehearsal with Serena and Hossam before each show. Recordings were made of the first rehearsal with Lez and Donna leaving spaces for Morai to slot in later. The disc was then sent to Morai prior to the show, so they could get an idea of Serena's choreography. It worked! We were able to repeat this piece in 2011 with three new dancers, six in all.

In the 2011 show Pedralta showcase their unique improvised tribal dance, using sticks, while Morai support with zils. The music is Habbetik B'Jnoon form Hossam's Bedouin Tribal Dance. Pedralta fuse elements from both male and female forms of stick dance (originating from Tahteeb, a martial art practised in upper Egypt). The dance is sometimes playful and coquettish like the female versions so often seen in Egyptian cabaret styles or it can be powerful and dynamic. The improvisational element of Pedralta's style adds to the excitement. Sticks come very close to crashing!

Stick Dance

The second half sees Pedralta and Morai in full colour, Jaipur skirts, coin bras, veils and pantaloons whirling and twirling to the live orchestra, playing El Ataba Gazaz from Hossam's Egyptian Rai, a beautiful fast paced piece. Once again the improvisational quality of ATS allows us to lose ourselves in the music, responding in a very immediate way to the orchestra and to each other. It's always such a pleasure to dance to the Hossam Ramzy Orchestra and this time was no exception. They are wonderful musicians and always so appreciative of the dancing - such gentlemen!

Pedralta, Morai and the band

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