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Dina's Interview with French Channel 3 in January 2011

 

Translated By Priscilla Adum

 

This article by Egyptian journalist Ashraf Sharaf was published January 20, 2011 in the Egyptian newspaper El Fagr. Sharaf was allowed to observe the taping of Dina's interview by French TV Channel 3 in Cairo. The interview by Channel 3 was timed to accompany the release of Dina's autobiography in France, Ma Liberté de Danser. In this article, Sharaf describes what was said in the interview. The original interview was published in Arabic. Here, Priscilla translates it into English.

Click on the photo to the right to see the original article. Or, click on this link to see it posted on another web site.

Article

 

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Dina mentions only El Baghoury in her interview with French TV Channel 3

Dina says that those who say that her book is called "The Men and I" are rude

"I've lived many romances that have failed because of society."

 

ASHRAF SHARAF: Dina is the last Egyptian dancer according to Newsweek Magazine. Newsweek wrote that in the last 10 years there have been no other belly dancers who can compete with her.

French Channel 3 decided to interview Dina at her apartment in El Douke, and to ask her about her artistic journey. Program director Raneau Blanc came [from France] with two assistants to conduct this interview. We were there with Dina to observe and to listen to the questions.

Raneau decided to begin filming Dina as she was putting on her makeup in the bathroom, and he asked her: "What is the difference between your dancing in nightclubs and your dancing at wedding celebrations?"

DINA: "When I dance at nightclubs I can dance with music or songs that have a feeling of melancholy. In contrast, when I dance at wedding celebrations it is mostly done to happy music and songs because my first priority at these parties it to make the bride and the groom feel happy. And as far as festivals [Editor's note: this refers to Oriental dance festivals such as Ahlan wa Sahlan], my dancing in those is very different because at festivals I dance in front of people who understand about dance. So I concentrate more on the technique of the dance." Dina then added: "We [Egyptians] are a respectable people and I have never felt harassed at any wedding party that I have danced at. When I dance I don't think about my personal life because I love the dance so much. If I did not love the dance, I would not be so successful at it."

ASHRAF SHARAF: Dina talked about her book My Freedom In Dance which will be out this month, Januray 2011, in French.

DINA: "I did not mention all my ex-husbands in this book because some of them were not important in my life and even if they had a passive effect on me I am accustomed to forgetting the passive things in my life."

Dina

The only man Dina talked about was her late husband Sameh El Baghoury, the father of her son. She said "He helped me a lot and supported me very much to help me achieve the success that I have now. The book is not related to my personal life; rather, it's mainly about dance and whoever says that my book's title should be The Men and I, is rude."

DINA: "The book does not talk about my two suicide attempts because that happened when I was very young and it was before I was in show business."

DINA: "In my book I talk about retired dancer Sahar Hamdy because she had a personal interaction with me, but her dance style did not have any influence on my dance style. I talked about all the dancers from the days of Samia Gamal and Taheya through Fifi Abdo and Lucy. I have a special fondness for Samia but I was also not influenced by her style because I have my own special style in dance."

DINA: "The French publisher who will print the book suggested many possible titles to me to choose from. I chose the title My Freedom in Dance. Freedom doesn't refer to absolute freedom but rather it refers to the fact that the dance liberates me."

DINA: "I have lived through many romances but they failed because Egyptian society has so many complicated customs. There is a strange relationship between the dancer and society. It's called a love/hate relationship. It means I love you but when the subject is marriage then it means I can't marry you because customs reject/prohibit this marriage."

DINA: "This is the opposite of European countries where only the man and the woman decide upon the marriage."

DINA: "Because of my love for Paris, I have decided to do a new program which will be called 'Moulin Rouge'. It's a talk show where I will invite two guests on every episode. The program will air on Egyptian Channel 'Modern Egypt'. I'm not afraid of being a talk show host because I've already done something much more difficult than that which is dancing in front of people every night. If something goes wrong on the program I can just say CUT!"

ASHRAF SHARAF: This was what occurred at the interview at Dina's house. The following day the TV channel accompanied Dina to a dance performance at a wedding party. They filmed her there and also interviewed the father of the bride who spoke about Dina and belly dance. They then accompanied Dina to the club where she dances, The Semiramis, where they filmed a large part of her dance show. The third day, the TV channel tagged along with Dina to the Media Production City here where they filmed Dina at one of the studios. Dina spoke in detail about her journey in dance. Then they filmed her on the streets at 6th of October just to show people that Egypt is a very safe country.

They then went with Dina to her home once more and Dina told them the story behind every single one of her bellydance costumes, especially the ones that she designed herself.

At the conclusion of these three days Dina travelled to Paris to do an interview with French Channel PULSE and also to be present at the book signing ceremony.

 

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About the Translator

Priscilla is a dancer of Lebanese heritage who enjoys researching the Golden Era of Egyptian dance. She owns a collection of more than one hundred classic black and white Egyptian films which is continually expanding.

Priscilla has also gathered a large library of dance related articles and clippings from Middle Eastern magazines and newspapers, many of which she has translated from the original Arabic to both English and Spanish.

Priscilla currently resides in Central America where she is a dance instructor. 

Priscilla

 

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