This CD is one of Amira's new favorites, compiled by the well known and respected International Performer/Instructor/Choreographer Leyla Amir!
Leyla Amir began her journey into music and dance as a young child. Her musical repertoire of study has included piano, accordion, flute, guitar, voice, and later tabla and sagat. In 1971 the lure of the Middle Eastern music pulled her into the "dance". She became a quick study with the dance movements and her interpretation of the music and by 1972 was performing professionally in local Arabic nightclubs, moving on eventually to Chicago, where ,with her husband, they owned two nightclubs. In 1974 she opened her dance studio "Egyptian Moods" and founded her troupe "El Masri Dancers".
In 1976 she started traveling to Egypt to continue her studies with the masters and had the incredible opportunity to study all the big names at the time.... first hand.... Sohair Zeki, Nagwa Fouad, Fi Fi Abdo, Lucy and Isa Sherif, just to name a few.
In 1981 , she fulfilled her dream of performing in Egypt. She had the honor of becoming one of the first American dancers to be licensed to dance with a 5 star rating, in Egypt's major 5 star hotels, weddings, high end night clubs of Cairo, Alexandria, and throughout Egypt.
Her first "gig" was performing for the wife and family of the Shah of Iran at a private showing in the night club at the then Holiday Inn Pyramids. She continued to perform in Egypt on a professional level in hotels and clubs until 1990.
Dancing on the stages of Egypt pushed her style to a new level, incorporating the Egyptian technique of interpreting music thru dance, into her fiery and emotional performance.
Although she loves all dance forms, she has chosen not to "study" any other form than Egyptian, fusing only enough modern or western dance movements for visual stage presence and aesthetics, thus keeping her "style" in it's more traditionally known or classic form.
Her love of the Egyptian music and dance is evident in her lyrical, energetic and entertaining, yet elegant, interpretation of the music from Classical Oriental, Modern Raks Sharqi , to Beledi, Shaabi and Saidi.
While living and performing in Egypt, Leyla's audiences have included Middle Eastern Royalty, Movie Stars, and some of the top officials of the Egyptian Government.
Her "Saidi" dance was filmed and broadcast on Egyptian T.V. and she has appeared in numerous magazine publications in Egypt, including having her portrait painted for the front cover of Sabah el Kheir, a still popular major magazine distributed throughout the entire Middle East and U.S.A.
Besides her performances, Leyla has done Egyptian TV commercials and a stage play in Cairo involving her dancing.
Leyla's world travels have taken her to Turkey, Morocco, Greece, Arab Emirates, Jordon, France, Spain, Italy, Costa Rica, Hungary, Holland, Mexico,and Malaysia, with more on the horizon.
Her experiences of performing in Egypt infused a vast knowledge of the Egyptian Dance that she shares today with students in her classes, workshops and performances.
She teaches the Egyptian classical, modern and folk movements, choreographed and free-style.
Her teaching places a strong emphasis on emotion, technique of movement and progression to the music with in the style, along with correct costuming and music choice for the style.
She continues to perform and teach on request, both in the US and Egypt, passing on her over 35 years of knowledge in the dance world, spending part of her year in Egypt and part in the USA.
Leyla also has her "Signature" Dancers Dream Tours to Egypt.
She, along with her husband have one of the oldest licensed original Egyptian owner tour companies in Egypt , with an office in Cairo and a base in the USA. One of the first to provide dancers with specialized tours, they also offer dancers with tour sponsorship opportunities, dance classes, sightseeing, education in history and culture, and have their Dreams come true in the............. "Motherland of Oriental Dance".
More about Leyla can be found at www.leylaamir.com