EDITION: June - August '08


The story of a star dancer and a musician on Ibiza…
In the 70s a young traveller of Italian-Egyptian origin comes to Ibiza with her two year-old daughter. She falls in love with the “magical island”, that she has heard about on her travels. Nur Banu is enthusiastic about the flair of the young hippies, the hopeful air and the authenticity of the locals. She has her oriental dance to offer and on a boat tour to Valencia she gets to know “this beautiful, impressive juggler and musician”: Yaron. The two fall in love. They have now been a couple for 28 years, supporting each other in many facets of life. Their two sons (17 and 27 years old) are an important link between them. But also their collective Arabic roots, Yaron’s music and Nur’s dancing have allowed their beings to melt into each other.

“Yaron is not just my husband, but also on a professional level he’s my motivator and my supporter.” In many dance shows he plays percussion and the “Oud” (a traditional Arabic string instrument). The oldest son sometimes replaces his father as percussionist. The dancer Nur today works mainly as a teacher of oriental dance, but she also performs in theatres and shows. It is important to her to highlight the cultural values of oriental dance and not just the entertainment aspect. In Ibiza she can be seen on stage for e.g. in the organised festivals of Las Dalias.
Yaron builds instruments in his workshop, works as a “drum doctor” and takes his music to schools.

Thanks to his special talent for communicating music, the children and youths get infected and enthusiastically play all the instruments at the end of the workshop. Yaron, the “Man of a 1000 sounds” owns a collection of 350 instruments and records sessions with other musicians.

Dance as a path
Oriental dance, as it exists today in Egypt, is made up of dance elements from local folklore mixed with the influence of classical ballet. It is generally understood that this dance originated as a fertility ritual and belongs to the oldest forms of dance in the world. But Nur Banu has her own personal story about how she discovered oriental dance...

Brought up in Italy, Nur began a modelling career aged 16 and so travelled to many countries around the world .That was a good occasion to try different dance styles. By the mid 70s it was clear to Nur that dancing was her calling. As Yaron and Nur fell in love, an inspiring relationship began for them both. The fusion of her dancing with his music meant her love for dancing increased. She was able to a-rive more and more at her centre.

In the 80’s Nur Banu travelled for the first time to her mother’s country of origin: Egypt. “It was magical – I immediately felt at home as if I’d always lived in Egypt.” This is when Nur began her professional training as a dancer. She was lucky to be able to take lessons with a teacher of the Egyptian National Ballet. Because she already carried within her the necessary feeling of rhythm and soul of the music, Nur learnt fast and already two years later she was teaching.

Then the first offers came from Germany – the beginning of her “superstar” career. Since then Nur has danced all over the world for politicians, princes, show business people, etc. She’s well-known for introducing oriental dance to western theatres, not only as a form of entertainment but also as a cultural event.

Since the last five years Nur works mainly in Spain. She has revived the Arabic-Spanish form that was danced during the time of the Andalusian Empire. The dancer raves about her teaching work, where she often witnesses the transformation of women. Many women start their dancing lessons with mixed feelings about their own body. Through soft movements, attention to your own body and accentuation of the feminine force, a new physical awareness develops. “It is wonderful to see how such women open like flowers thanks to oriental dance,” says Nur Banu.

For Nur and Yaron, Ibiza was always a place of inspiration. Today the couple live in the hills between San Rafael and San Antonio together with their 17 year-old son. Nur is performing in Ibiza this summer at private parties and she is also organising several festivals like the popular “Belly dance & Bollywood” (this year 20th July, 10th August in Las Dalias, San Carlos). She is presenting a programme with her dancing troupe that includes an Arabic repertoire (veil dances, candlesticks and more) and the Bollywood show, which with its Indian influence is very successful.

The “Lady of Light” – as is the meaning of her name – can thus share her love of dance after 25 years on the stage. She can’t imagine ever stopping dancing.

For more information on Nur Banu’s courses and dance show see:
Tel. 971 187 497 – Móvil 608 636 911