Since I have been taking Belly Dance courses lately, I have been interested to it as an Oriental art and I was amazed to see that it has a lot of benefits on our bodies.
First, I decided to take Belly Dance courses not some other kind of dance, because me being a Lebanese and wanting to learn something part of my culture.
Dunno if you agree with me, but in my opinion in Lebanon we tend to learn things that aren't related to our country and culture, we search for the things happening in the West and forget about ours. So I wanted to learn something more about my lovely country
I will review with you some of the famous belly dancers that marked the history:
also known as Fifi abdo is a famous egptian dancer. Fifi has the heart and style of an authentic woman
"Bint Al Balad".
Fifi Abdou has a very special style in dancing based on being provocative and powerful while dancing.
In addition to dancing Fifi Addo, is a well known and popular Egyptian actor, who appeared in many movies.
"To be a dancer, a respected, famous dancer: this was my dream since I was about six, when I started dancing, anytime and anywhere."
Awatef Mohammed El Agamy was born in Alexandria Palestinian family. Nagwa later moved to Kaitoon maternal side, and began a dancer 15 years of age. Nagwa had the chance to dance at the Nelly Mazloum Dance School and join the National Dance Troupe to study folklore with Russian teachers. Nagwa dance style is theatrical and it may include background dancers, and other programs. Dance, in addition to Nagwa has appeared in countless movies. She stopped dancing officially in 1992, but may occasionally continue to dance in special events.
The legendary dancer and film star Suhair Zaki doesn't need to be introduced anymore in fact. Suhair Zaki may have
retired, but she hasn't lost her aura of glamour. Suhair Zaki epitomizes the natural baladi dancer. The late Anwar Sadat once called her "the Oum Kolthoum of dance." "As she sings with her voice,
you sing with your body," he told her once. Old US President Nixon named her "Zagharit," when he learned that the word referred to the shrill yelling as an expression of joy. Sohair received
expressions of honour from the Shah of Iran, the Tunisian president and Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Suhair Zaki was born in Mansoura, where she and her family lived until she was nine, before moving to the mediterranean city of Alexandria. Suhair fell in love with music and dance from an early age. As much that she taught herself to dance, listening to the radio. Natural talent showed itself young, and before long she was being noticed at the birthday and wedding parties of friends and family. Later on Zaki moved to Cairo, the capital of the Egyptian entertainment world, where she began to entertain weddings. Later she did nightclub performances from early in the evening and going on throughout the night. Just like any other dancer did... Soheir Zaki failed an audition as a presenter but it turned out to be only the beginning of her career on television. The rest is history as they say.
Declared by King Farouk as "the national dancer of Egypt" in 1949, Samia Gamal is one of the world's most famous belly dancers.
Born in 1924 in the small Egyptian town of Wana, Samia Gamal moved to cairo when she was a few months old. It was there that she met Badia Masabni, who invited her to join her dance company. As a soloist, Samia developed an improvisational style that incorporated techniques from both ballet and Latin dances. Her real-life romance with actor Farid Al Atrache thrilled her fans who saw the couple together in such films as I Love You in 1949 and Afrita Hanem in 1950. Still dancing at the age of sixty, Samia Gamal's charismatic film performances helped the art of belly dancing gain worldwide recognition.
Considered to be the Ginger Rogers of the Middle East, Samia Gamal was also the first to perform with high-heeled shoes on stage!
Tahia was born on the 22nd of Febuary,1919, in Manzala, with the name Badaweya Mohamed Kareem Al Nirani. Shortly after her birth, her family moved to Ismailia. In her teens she began dancing. Like most dancers she initially suffered criticism from her family, this for her, came mostly from her overprotective brothers. To escape her brothers Tahia, by herself, moved to Cairo, to live by an old neighbour of hers she knew from Ismailia. Tahia, when in Cairo went to Dancing School. She became quite well know for being a good dancer by the school and by the friends of the neighbour, who was in the entertainment business.
She joined the Badeia’s troupe of dancers. This is when Tahia's name was changed from Badaweya to her stage name Tahia.
Tahia was always open to new ideas, she's danced with candles and swords in the past.
What she was most renowned for and what increased her popularity at the night club was her incorporation of Brazilian dancing and music with her Egyptian style. This Brazilian-Egyptian combo was her original, own individual style. She become so renowned for this that she was named after the Brazilian dance The CARIOCA changing her stage name to how we know and love her today; Tahia Carioca.
Badia's life story reads like the plot of a film, infact it has been made into one and was the inspiration for TV series starring Nagwa Fouad. Sometimes described as Syrian , sometimes as Lebanese she was the person who has had the most profound effect on the dance. Without her we would not have the dance as it is today
She became a dancer after a tough early life and came to work in Cairo. In 1926 she opened the
Casino Badia nightclub in Cairo. It was very successful and she later opened another club Casino Opera in the 1940s
At her nightclub, customers were mainly upper class and Western visitors, and Badia
created an entirely new kind of elegant dance combining traditional oriental dance choreography and movements. Many things in todays dance are credited to her influence-the costume, use of
space and arms, the shamadan, the dancer not playing sagat because she always used to.
Naima Akef started her career young. Born 7th october 1932. She was a member of the famous Akef circus family and did all kinds of acrobatics. She became one of the stars of the show. She was discovered by famous film director Hussein Fawzy who directed her in her films. They got married. Her career went from strength to strength and soon she was one of the most famous actress and dancers in the country. She was fired from Badia Masabni’s nightclub for fighting with another jealous rival dancer but was known for her kindness. She greatly preferred to do film work rather than nightclub performances She gave up work in 1964 to look after her son by her second marriage. She died of cancer in 1966 aged 34.
Queen of the current scene. No stranger to controversy. She has revolutionised both the dance and the costume and inspired many copies. There is only only Dina. See her live she is fabulous. She is also a good teacher. Born in 1966 she has a masters degree. She has cleverly manipulated her own image. She has pionered the new look of little or no fringing on the costume and tiny tight movements. She dances at the Semi Ramis hotel in Cairo. One of the best DVDs to see her on is the documentary Bellydancers of Cairo where she is dancing for a wedding-you get to see her leading a Zeffa procession as well as giving her views on the dance scene. She speaks good English,is intelligent and articulate.