Alexandra’s love for Eastern culture stems from the period of her childhood spent in Casablanca marked by travel and exoticism.
In Morocco, Alexandra experienced her first artistic emotions. She has recollections of the landscapes, the architecture, and the blue hues of the sky and the reds of the Atlas Mountains, the scents, the sounds, the language and the music.
Dancing (classical, then jazz and contemporary) gained a foothold early on in Alexandra’s life teaching her discipline, posture and humility. Above and beyond the physical activity, she discovered a philosophy that she adopted as her own: one of freedom in overcoming constraints and the elegance of invisible effort. She also discovered an extraordinary means, through body language, of saying the unspeakable and delving into the deepest of hidden emotions.
Egyptian belly dancing came later on in life, replacing all other forms of dance. It carries a tremendously liberating and benevolent message for women, legitimizing body shapes and caressing curves.
Alexandra was fortunate enough to benefit from the teaching and expertise of the best ambassadors of Egyptian belly dancing in its golden age. She owes the foundations of her knowledge to Sandra Kahloun (Nice, France) and to many renowned international dancers such as: Tito (Sharm el Sheikh), Nour (Cairo), Magdy El Leisy (Germany), Freiz (Cairo), Khaled Mahmoud (London), Oussama Eman (Cairo), Zeina (Stockholm), Aida Nour (Cairo), Raqqia Hassan (Cairo), Mona Kadous (Munich), Hayet el Helwa (Sao Paolo), Sorraya (Cairo), Mahsoub (Luxor), Yousri Sherif (NY).
In 2003 Alexandra left Nice for Belgrade where she opened the first oriental dance school named Nedjma. The sophistication of her style and her knowledge of the Arab-Muslim culture opened the door to embassy and cultural events.
Many dancers gained their independence thanks to her method and approach based on the understanding of musical rules (instrumental and vocal) on the one hand, and the expression of their own personality on the other. An interpretation cannot be fixed, because in order to be fair, it depends on the emotion of the dancer at the time of the performance. Improvisation is one of the pillars of Alexandra’s teaching.
Alexandra’s singularity is expressed in her passion for mix-matching various artistic forms. Dance, live music, painting, fashion, video projection and theatre co-exist in Alexandra’s and her dance company’s performances which both seduce and incite people to question.
Alexandra Gruden – belly dance instructor and choreographer
Les Jasmins – belly dance troupe