A few weeks back I posted a video of the most charming and talented Mahafsoun performing belly dance to The Agonist.
I have since inquired if it would be possible to do an interview with Mahafsoun and now I am delighted to tell you, she agreed and this is the interview:
Traveler: Hello Mahafsoun, thanks for the interview. The usual for starters: Just tell us a few facts about yourself, background, are you studying, that kind of thing.
Hello Traveler! Starting off with simple questions, I see. I like that!
Well, I am a bellydancer, and make art one of the priorities in my life, but on the side I am a student and have a day job to support my art and its continuity.
When did you start belly dancing? Is it a family tradition or how did you discover it?
I started in mid 2007. It is not in my family to bellydance, although a few people from my mother’s side do it as a hobby, but then again my mother’s side are all lovers of dance. I fell in love with this particular form of dance through my love for Ancient Egyptian spirituality and history.
Are you self-taught or who taught you? Do they have a website?
I am self-taught. I have tried a few classes, but ended up finding out that I learn far more, and far more creatively, when I aim to learn by myself. It helped me develop my own style and have freedom. However, I’m completely supportive of learning this art form with a teacher or a class. In fact, I hope to some day find a dancer that inspires me enough, for me to learn from them.
And here is another video of Mahafsoun’s self-taught belly dance:
And now on with the interview:
Do you do still or have you at any time performed to traditional belly dance music?
Absolutely! I started off dancing to traditional Arabic music. I strongly believe that one cannot truly bellydance unless they embrace the roots of this art form, and learn the traditional moves. Only then one can change the moves, add to them, and make it their own. I still bellydance to traditional music, and love it.
How did you get into heavy metal?
I fell in love with metal music during the same time that I fell in love with belly dance. So, I thought “why not mix both things that I love?”. Metal music moves me in a different way than traditional music does. It inspires me in a different way.
What are your favourite bands?
I have so many! I will try to list some of them.
A Perfect Circle
I basically just went down my iTunes “Most Played” list and listed some of the many bands that are there.
Has your taste in metal become harder over time?
Harder as in “heavier”?
I don’t think so. I am a fan of both heavy metal bands, and bands whose music is lighter. I like to keep that balance in the music that I listen to.
Do you have any idea how many belly dancers you have inspired to pick up heavy metal or maybe other unconventional music for their dancing?
I’m honoured to say that during the past near-2 years that I have been online and actively sharing what I do, I had countless women tell me that after seeing what I do, it inspired them to give it a try. To add metal to their routines. A few people even started taking up bellydance after seeing my videos and talking to me about this artform. I felt and still feel honoured that I could do something positive simply through expressing myself and putting it out there.
You are going to perform life with Epica this year, congratulations. If you had free choice of three additional bands to perform with, which would they be?
Thank you so much!
I would just love to perform with Orphaned Land, Nightwish or Within Temptation.
There are so many bands that I can mention, but I mentioned the 3 that first popped up in my head.
Could you imagine to go touring with a band?
Absolutely! I’m still young, extremely inspired, and have the energy to do such a thing.
You also do a decent amount of modelling. How much time do you spend modelling compared to dancing?
I dance almost every day. It has become a need now. I do some modelling only when I collaborate with a photographer, or get inspired with my camera alone, which is not that often. The photography/modelling that I do is simply a light hobby. I don’t take it as seriously as I take dancing.
Thank you for this interview! It was lovely having this talk with you and I hope that this interview gave a slightly better idea of the person behind the dance. 🙂
The pleasure was all mine. Thank you!
Thus ends the interview, and if you want to know more about Mahafsoun, look here: