For the past week my friends and I had been contemplating going to the Cairo Opera house to watch a broadway show called,  ‘Take The Floor’. The flyer and the poster advertised that the show was a fund-raising event organized by  The Rotary Club of Giza Metropolitan and that the dancers were coming all the way from Broadway.

Since and early age my Mother instilled an appreciation for the Arts in my sister and I. If there was a museum or a show that was open or performance she would take us to it. She even encouraged us to take part in theatre and dance. Little did I know at the time that quite a few members of our Irish clan were talented singer, actors and worked in the entertainment industry.

What person in their right mind would walk away from an opportunity of seeing a broadway dance troop … ?     I wouldn’t!

Thursday, I got home from work excited and anxious to go watch Broadway dancers perform on a stage in Egypt’s capital. I chose my wardrobe carefully. Purple dress, lilac suede shoes, and simple accessories to go with the ensemble. My friends and I felt and looked as though we were going to a  Broadway show.

The Opera house’s parking lot  was jam-packed full of cars, and the foyer of the Opera was filled with people dressed to the nines. We took our balcony seats with an excellent view of the stage and waited with anticipation for the show to begin.

When the curtain was drawn open, my heart sank. The stage was bare and bland. There was no back drop to create a mood or a setting. There was no scenery or props to help the audience visuals the ambiance. I was utterly disappointed. The music was superb, but the lack of visual setting wasn’t there to complete the picture. It went down hill from there for me and my friends.

The dancers were talented and clearly have been studying dance for years and have ample of experience but they were definitely not the ‘Star’ performers from BROADWAY. The ticket price of 200 Le for the seats should have been a big enough hint for me to realise, what I should expect. Not all of the dancers were of the build you would expect, some had tummies and were a bit on the heavy side.  They had good lines but they didn’t have that flowing grace that contestants on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ have. It was very obvious when the male dancers had to pick up their  female partners in to a lift. It looked as though they were struggling. Some of their costumes looked as though they were too tight too. There were times during the performance when their steps were off beat and out of sync. Above all they all seemed to lack that certain je ne sais quoi…? When I asked one of my friends if it was me or if their performance was lacking something, he answered ‘I don’t feel the passion or their enjoyment’. I think he hit the nail on the head.

During the intermission a lot of people considered leaving and not staying for the second half. While others were more optimistic and thought it would get better.

When the dancers took the stage again after the intermission they kicked of the second half of their performance with a dance tribute to Michael Jackson’s mix of songs, our mood was up lifted, especially when one of the dancers did a smooth and perfect moon walk across the stage floor, but the rest of the routine was ‘amaturish’ I over heard someone say and I hate to say this, but I had to agree with them.

The remainder of the second half was better, I enjoyed the latin dance routines more. The dancers, seemed to be enjoying themselves more as did the audience. The lively latin beat had people tapping their hands on the arms of the chair and  smiles spread across their faces too.

At the end of the performance the entire hall was in shock. Egypt’s well-known singer and performer was singing live to the final dance. When Hicham Abbas took the stage the audience  cheered and gave a standing ovation.

At dinner we continued to discuss the performance and compare it to other shows that we had seen at the Opera House and we came to a unanimous decision that ‘S.T.O.M.P’ , ‘Lord Of The Dance’, and ‘Fire Of Anatolia’ were formidable performance compared to what we had just been to see. We also came to the conclusion that the troop that had performed most probably were chorus line dancers from broadway shows. Although it wasn’t the caliber performance I had expected, I did enjoy the evening.

Before we left the venue, I saw that the Opera House will have La Boheme performing next week, perhaps I will be lucky enough to go and catch the performance. I had seen AIDA last year and was blown away by the Cairo Opera House Company’s  performance.

I’ll keep you posted and give you a review if I do get the chance to go and watch it.

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