Backstage with Majnuun: An Homage to Gigi Dilsah! Live at Kozmik Zoo

by Majnuun Music & Dance on April 9, 2014, no comments

Do you get nervous before performance?

Who doesn’t! Right? But before this show, we were really nervous, like, “oh every inch of my body feels tense, and tips of my toes are so cold, and I just can’t wait for this performance to be over, so I don’t have to think about it any more and just sit back and enjoy other dancers perform up there….” type of nervous. And we were feeling like that for probably a good few days. So here is how we did (Thank you, Laura, for the video!):

So this was a show featuring the beautiful Gigi Dilsah, organized by a couple of also beautiful dancers in town in February. And they were so wonderful in asking us if we wanted to join them that evening. We felt so grateful and honoured, because the performers’ line-up was so rich and awesome, and we got to be part of it (I should keep that line-up as a good memory 😀 ). We were so excited, and the excitement turned into nervousness about a week before the show. The devil in my head started whispering to me, “Gosh, the line-up is so good, and do we belong there!?”

Overall, this is one of our most satisfactory performances, but we didn’t know it until we watched this video a few days ago. I still wonder why we were both so nervous. I’ve noticed I feel like that especially when I perform in front of other dancers. Do I fear that other dancers will judge me? Probably! But at the same time, I know so well that we have such an awesome community of belly dancers in Vancouver. So I really don’t know why that happens.

Funny thing to me is, Navid has been performing way longer than I have, and he still gets like that sometimes. He says that it’s because what we are doing as Majnuun is quite new to him.

True, his previous performances have been with other musicians, and he would sit down and play the Oud (or Santur or Mandolin or…the list goes on). So getting him to interact with me on the stage was a challenge, initially. But his positive, open-minded nature really helped him overcome it, I think. He is so good now that I have to warn him to be careful not to come too close to me or I might hit his precious Oud.

Back to this show. Another thing that makes us nervous is the sound equipment. We usually have an audio track that goes with Navid’s live music, and in order to be able to adjust timing and volume, we tend to hook up our mp3 player to our amplifier. For Navid, the sound quality is really important. So any technical issues can cause distress and poor performance for us. It’s like a costume malfunction for me. A disaster.

So to overcome our anxiety, we just told ourselves over and over that we are going to have fun on the stage, and nothing else matters. After the beautiful MC introduced us, and I got on the stage, Navid was still setting up the amplifier and mp3 player. I whispered to him, “Can I help?” but then how weird it would be for a dancer who was about to start her performance all of a sudden became a tech guy? So I just stayed there in my beginning pose, facing back (thank god), and collecting myself. About 10 seconds or so later (it felt like 3 awkward, long minutes), our music started, and what happened on the stage is all a blur now.

Gosh, and how good it felt to be finished! It was like all the weight that was on our shoulders was instantly gone! So happy to change into my regular clothes and treat myself to a glass of white wine. The show was really great, and other performers were spectacular! I think that was an amazing deal with just a $5 cover. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we couldn’t make ourselves leave there even though we had to. The ladies who organized the show did an amazing job. 🙂

Anyhow, we are planning to share our personal stories like this from time to time, so you can get to know us better. Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoyed it. And tell us in the comment section below: How do you deal with nervousness before performance?


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