Cairo Nights Workshops & Gala

Tokyo, Japan September 22 - 24, 2018

Track 2 Hoshy Ya'Amma (Keep Him Away): A very fast tempo piece with vocals by Hamada, Rehab, and female chorus. This Shaabi style piece would be an excellent piece for parties with a Middle Eastern audience. It would be important to get a translation and dance the song with pantomime. This piece can be danced with a Melaya Lef.

Cairo Nights Volume 4   Music by Dr. Samy Farag
CD Review by Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan

Track 1 Masyrat Raks (Egyptian Dance): Entrance works to build excitement and leads into the central piece with a fast tabla solo. The piece would be excellent for a large proscenium stage with traveling movement. A very fast tempo piece – excellent for displaying shimmy overlays to dance movement. Sadie is filming a video for this song. Beautiful accents of orchestra with call and answer between the orchestra and the accordion; then the orchestra and nai. The piece slows dramatically into an accordion taqsim; then segues into another lively melodic danceable section featuring nai, then accordion. A short quick stop in the piece for drama, then moving on to a section with kanun. There is a Khaliji section with violin and Turkish kanun. The finale is a reprise of the entrance melody that builds to an exciting end.

Track 3 El Helwa (Pretty): This piece starts with a distinctive entrance with a Karachy rhythm that moves along for a nice traveling entrance. Then, the orchestra ends, transitioning to Kanun, and then into Khalegi rhythm. A taqasim section with Turkish Kanun draws out emotion – then shifts into music that adds drama before transitioning again to Beledi style dancing with a cane or Assaya. A short drum solo with Waheda at moderate pace gives the dancer challenging riffs to dance to. An excellent piece for a nice cane dance to meet the five minute festival show time limit. Arielle Tyson performs this piece on the Cairo Nights Vol 4 video.

Track 4 Eddyny Albak (Give me your heart) Vocal by Hamada. This is a piece that every Arab audience will enjoy. The singing is interspersed with brief drum solos that create dancing interest. This song brings to mind typical nightclub scenes in Egyptian movies with interplay between the dancer and the singer. On the Cairo Nights Vol 4 video Arielle Tyson performs a fun Shabbi style dance. Souk El Raks (The Dancer’s Market): The entrance is dramatic and excellent for starting your performance with a closed curtain opening. This music is ideal for a performance with choreography that repeats to a distinctive melody. The piece starts with Malfuf and transitions to a slower tempo Masmoudi Kabir with kanun and strings and a grand sound for large dramatic movements and traveling across the stage. A nai is introduced into the mix giving this section a different flavor. The musical theme and tempo changes with the Maksum that highlights the accordion for a taxsim with flow, qasila accents, and tahweel modulation in the maqamat. A very short hot drum solo with Hagalla pattern and dramatic riffs ensues – then a reprise of the main musical theme as a finale to the end. The superstar dancer Stephanya dances to this piece in the Cairo Nights 4 video. Excellent piece for the accomplished dancer to display their knowledge, creativity, and skill in body dynamics for a star performance.

Track 5 Samy Ya Samy A very interesting piece with a fast Bambi rhythm with call and answer among the instruments. This piece was composed by Dr. Farag; I hear Dr. Farag’s violin setting the flow of the music which is mirrored by the orchestra. Beautiful and very melodious vocal by Rehab Saleh works as an emotional background with tarab for the dancer’s beautiful solo movements. To properly dance this piece, one needs to learn the words and meaning of this song. Maryam, a dancer who communicates the meaning of the songs she performs, dances this piece on Cairo Nights Vol 4 video. This piece celebrates Dr. Farag’s musical accomplishments and how his music is received with joy all over the world. Nagham (Melody) This piece gives the dancers the opportunity to experience movement and performance to create tarab. What a gentle flowing piece that could be danced as a dramatic entrance with fan veils or a long 4 yard veil. Teachers, this would be an excellent piece to introduce your students to the dance concepts of flow, musicality, and decorative accents in Arabic music (qafla, sillam, tarjama, tahweel, and leit motifs). Nice strong but gentle Turkish Kanun solo in the middle of this piece is perfect for teaching and practicing taqsim movement and tarab emotions. Then, the piece moves into a happy accordion and orchestra section highlighted by snappy drum riffs. There is a very short drum solo at the end with lots of pops for locks and riffs with syncopation that you will likely see in Sadie’s masterful performance to this music. The drum solo moves right into a moderate Ayub good for hair swinging.

Track 6 Medley: A fun musical entrance introduces the singer Rehab Saleh. This piece has a lively tabla in the background providing challenging riffs to capture in shimmies and locks. This song has three parts: “Esmaouni” by Warda, “Karet el Fengan” by Halim, and ends with one verse of the great Oum Kulthoum’s “Enta Omri” who sang with such passion. The medley of songs is well arranged by Dr. Farag making this an excellent piece for parties. Arielle Tayson performs to this song in the Cairo Nights 4 video.

Track 7 (Memories): A nice moderate tempo entrance with flowing accordion – good for entrance with a four-yard veil or Isis Wings – making this an excellent performance piece for the large proscenium stage. The lovely Maryam does indeed perform to this piece on Cairo Nights Vol 4 video. Enjoy her beautiful Raqs Sharqi with traveling steps along with decorative undulations, hip accents, and combinations to match the musicality of the violin, accordion, and kanun. The music has a beautiful section where I envision dancing with signature steps by great Raqs Sharqi stars. Traveling steps accented with arabesques ala Mona Said. And, also the styling of Sohair Zaki with her beautiful tiny hip accents as she lightly danced on toes. A tabla solo accents the piece and continues with a flowing musical section.

Track 8 Men Galo (Who Told Him): Interesting piece with the sound of the mizmar and mizwig. A good Saidi piece with vocal by Hamada and male chorus. With a moderate tempo this is a good piece for a troupe cane dance. Nathalie and Dancers by the Sea perform this piece with canes on the Cairo Nights Vol 4 video. Teachers, with the moderate tempo this is a great piece for teaching students basic dance steps.

Track 9 Elena Dance: A beautiful flowing entrance with moderate tempo Ayub rhythm for a dreamy Magensee opening with solo kanun, nai, and saxophone with interplay between the solo instruments and the orchestra. Saxophone provides soulful sound for plenty of tarab emotion to display while dancing with some Armenian melodies. In the Cairo Nights Vol 4 video you will see Jayna perform to this piece with a double veil. Syncopated rhythm sets this piece apart as the drum is highlighted in a section. Then, the tempo increases and the musical theme at the beginning is reprised for the finale.

Track 10 Wahshany Ya Beladi (I Miss My Country) This piece has the same melody as the well known Oriental dance piece “Lailet Hob”. True to its musical structure – this piece develops and has many sections that differ in tempo and feeling – making this an exciting piece for performance. Since Arab Spring this piece has emerged as the rally song for independence in Egypt. For the Cairo Nights 4 DVD Stefanya performs a gentle cane dance in the styling of legendary Sohair Zaki to this piece.

Track 11 Atlantis-Universe: Instrumental music composed by Dr. Samy Farag is dedicated to Atlantis, producer of the Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition (BDUC) in Long Beach, California, USA. This is music perfect for Atlantis’ dance styling. I envision her dynamic stage presence as this lively piece moves along with musical elements that befit her performance styling: e.g. syncopation, Sillam dynamic musical runs, sections with drum solo with pops and riffs, and musical passages with dramatic qafla stops that transition into a soulful keyboard solo. You hear a dramatic Chifte Telli with soft nai and orchestra interplay. The drum section moves right into accordion with triplet accents mirrored by the orchesta with exciting syncopated musical highlights. The finale reprises the main musical theme for an exciting end with a dramatic build-up to the end. Stephany dances to this piece on the upcoming Cairo Nights Vol 4 video with a light flowing dance style. Can’t wait to see Atlantis performing to this piece at BDUC 2016.

Track 12 Shaey (Naughty Boy): Composed by Dr. Samy Farag this piece has many interesting mini-sections for a stellar performance. Lyrics by Malak Nabil, and vocal by Rehab Saleh. It would be important to know the meaning of the lyrics to dance with appropriate demeanor and feeling. A dancer requires not only great dance technique but acting skills for this piece to be a great dance performance. I look forward to seeing a dancer like Maryam perform to this piece to display the emotions and story in this song. In a short YouTube video clip of the soon to be released Cairo Nights 4 DVD you can see Maryam’s beautiful performance with combinations and accents; and see emotions and tarab played out in her dancing.

Track 13 Techno Araby: An instrumental piece composed by Dr. Samy Farag. Dr. Farag composes music for the Miss Arab USA pageant, and thus he is always composing new Arabic music pieces with an upbeat and modern sound. Nathalie dances to this piece with a fresh take on traditional Raqs Sharqi. This piece would be perfect for entertaining at a party of young Arabs. Look for the next exciting Cairo Nights Show and workshops with Sadie coming to a city near you. June 2015, Seattle, Washington, August 2015, San Francisco and other Cairo Nights shows planned for Cancun, Mexico, November, 2015, Tokyo, Japan, and Sharm el Sheikh. Contact Dr. Farag if you are interested in bringing a Cairo Nights show to your city. Sources for the music and DVD:,, , and

Reviewer Bio: Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan has been performing, teaching, and coaching for over 42 years. Her Ma*Shuqa Method gives dancers a structure for developing improvised choreography while performing with individualized styling. Her workshop is perfect for teachers and dancers who want to enhance performance dynamics and styling. She has authored many articles on aspects of professionalism and performance in Middle Eastern dance – including a key work entitled “Raqs Sharqi Improvisational Taqasim Dance Part 2: The Performance Intersection of Music, Raqs Sharqi, and Tarab” found at Ma*Shuqa offers dancers extended study opportunity through her Diva Dancer Professional Development Workshops which offer dancers topics on cultural aspects of music, rhythm, and dance theory to enhance their weekly studies and performances. As a dance photographer – what she sees through the camera lens reflects a dancer’s professionalism. Her husband, Carl Sermon is well known for his festival and performance photography of Oriental dancers. Ma*Shuqa and her husband Carl work together to provide artistic direction and performance photography for photo sessions with Oriental dancers. See their work in The Belly Dance Chronicles magazine, The E-zine, and