“There is only one type of dancing: that of expression, emotion and translation of one’s unconscious self”
Whatever body language you use, it remains a language. My cultural “diversity” has obliged and allowed me to create links, to obtain a certain stability and to identify milestones, whatever their shape.
An atypical career
Rakiya is eight when she discovers ballet, music lessons and piano. She soon displays a distinct taste for dancing. In a few years, she concludes the academic programme of the time. Her exam grades are telling: she will be a ballet dancer. In her adolescence, she gets to discover the Brussels ballet school, where she studies for two years. Yet before she turns twenty, her world collapses. Forced to become financially independent, she gives up dancing to find a job. On one lucky day, a family friend asks her to dance for a charity event. Without any other experience in belly dancing than her memories of her travels to Morroco, she agrees, goes on stage and eventually realizes where her futures lies. One week later, on her father’s advice, she flies to Cairo, homeland of the ancestral art of belly dancing. She decides to go back there every month to train with Yasmina of Cairo. It’s at that time that she designs her first outfits with Cairo seamstresses. Eager to learn et seduced by her other cultural half, she learns flamenco in Brussels, in Spain and in the Canary Islands. Then she learns Indian dancing styles: Bollywood in London and Paris, and then discovers the basics of Barata Natyam.
Diversity and freedom
« With time, I left behind the concept of one dance style to embrace an identity independent diversity, aiming at a multifaceted identity without barriers. The more I discovered new moves, emotions and musics, the more my body and my mind merged to form a one and only movement freed from any real or dreamt constraints. Of course, to catch a glimpse of this freedom of the body, you have to feed your body and your mind with all imaginable ingredients, to consume dance and movement in all their expressions, from the tree branch shaking in the wind to this bunch of youngsters crossing the street. Everything is movement, all you have to do is try and feel it. When I dance, I use all the information I gathered. »Rakiya
Improvisation and family heritage
« As well as experience, my family history and my ancestors are real anchor points in my art and career. That’s why in my eyes, improvisation (the present moment) is an actual philosophy. Nothing is predictable, so I’m not either when I’m on stage. I can’t anticipate, there is no planned conclusion, because at that precise moment, a conclusion doesn’t exist. »