"When You Think of Fotia, You Remember Egypt"
By Soraya, International Arabic Belly Dance Artist,
Global Entertainment Entrepreneur, Booking Agent,
Philanthropist, Anthropologist and Global Traveler
(successfully changing the world, one shimmy at a time).
When I first saw Fotia perform while in Chicago I thought she had to be from the shores of the Mediterranean in Egypt or the Aegean sea in Greece. Upon first glance her exotic beauty captivates you which makes the viewer conjure up images of the beautiful Cleopatra or Queen Nefertiti. As her music starts, her innate talent comes to life and quickly becomes apparent to all. From her deep emotional connection to the music, her beautifully tasteful costuming dripping with fringe and her delightful interpretation of many styles, her work is that of a TRUE professional. In a day and age where the deep Middle Eastern musical connection seems to get lost or blurred beyond recognition, Fotia emotes both the melody and the rhythm from her heart when she belly dances.
Fotia IS EGYPT. She is truly an incredible artist to behold. If you are looking for the perfect dancer that will bring your party to the next level, she is your girl. It is refreshing to see a Middle Eastern dancer who dares to stay true to what belly dancing is and not taking the easy approach which can debase Oriental dance on so many levels. She pays homage to the Arabic world while never losing the real flavor and soul of Raks Sharki. Her costumes are always gorgeous and authentic which is so nice especially in a time where costuming doesn't really seem to resemble belly dancing anymore which turns off many upscale clients. She stays away from watering down this dance and turning it into something it is not. She knows what works on the stages and she is simply a terrific performer and I am proud to endorse her. Fotia shimmies to the beat of her own drum and keeps it the viewers attention.
When you watch Fotia perform, you quickly notice her vast range of motion, creative approach and flawless, feminine style. She encompasses a natural fluidity of movement and creative flair that is rare. Only the timeless, Egyptian greats such as Fifi Abdo, Sohair Zaki, Samia Gamal and Lucy (to name a few) embodies the soul of Egypt at it's core and Fotia's work reminds us the real belly dance stars in the modern era. I highly recommend Fotia to clients in Chicago and beyond.
Another aspect to Fotia's dancing is that she knows how and when to use certain props in her work. She does not overuse props ad nauseam or incorporate what I like to call - culturally insignificant props - where the actual belly dancing becomes secondary. She utilizes the Sagat or the Zills (finger cymbals), veil, Egyptian cape, the cane for Raks Assaya or Tahtib (stick) dancing and other facets. I love how she is not afraid to just dance, which is what the more refined Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean/Arabic clientele expect to see. Too many "tricks" can distract the viewer which can make the show look more like a carnival than a real belly dance performance. When Fotia dances nothing is overdone or predictable, it is just right, personal, elegant, tasteful, classy and authentic.
Fotia has a delicate, graceful yet powerfully artistic way of engaging a crowd. To watch her dance is a magical experience for the client, audience and viewer. I speak not only from own personal experiences as both a professional Arabic dancer of Middle Eastern heritage and entertainment booking agent, but a person who quickly recognizes natural ability. She has a very special quality that I search for in an ethnic dance talent, she feels the rhythm and absorbs it. I enjoy how she can either choreograph a routine or flow naturally to the music with gorgeous Egyptian improvisation and impeccable timing. In the Middle East, we know Improvisation is the core of what Egyptian dance is and is a skill that is difficult to learn in a classroom. A lot of Western and European dancers struggle with this concept no matter how many classes they have. Belly dancing comes from the heart and soul.