Egyptian Style?

Phoebedances

New member
There are several Egyptian movies I can recommend which are available with English subtitles. Some of them are sold under their Arabic-language titles, while others are sold under their English-language titles. Here is a list of my favorites, and I've used the title that the DVD is sold under:

  • Afrita Hanem. One of the five movies that Samia Gamal and Farid al-Atrache made together. I love this movie - it's an entertaining, light-hearted comedy about a mischievous genie! Look for it on Amazon.
  • Glass and a Cigarette. Stars Samia Gamal. Was made after her romance with Farid al-Atrache ended, so he's not in it. This one is a drama. In the plot, a famous dancer retires from public life when she marries a handsome young doctor. Look for it on Amazon.
  • Shore of Love. Stars Tahia Carioca as a nightclub dancer who is the mistress of a handsome rich bachelor. She's not happy when he falls in love with someone else! (Warning: near the very end of the movie, the English subtitles abruptly end. By this point, you can figure out how the movie ends even without the subtitles.) Also stars Leila Murad, a singer with a lovely voice. Look for it at FineArt Film!, Arabic DVD or Arabic DVD
  • Tamra Henna. Stars Naima Akef. Sort of an Egyptian interpretation of the plot of My Fair Lady. Look for it at enter.html or Arabic DVD

All of the above have excellent dance scenes.
Thank you for pointing me in the right direction. I've wanted to see more f Naima Akef's dancing for awhile now. She is so beautiful!
 

RaqsAda

New member
Very True ..... The Bollywood dance that the BDSS guys did in their Paris DVD was totally anything but bollywood .......... If you guys wanna see Bollywood dancing then you must see dances of Madhuri Dixit , Sri Devi etc .....that's true Bollywood !!!!!!!
 

Tammyraks

New member
These are all excellent movies:D, I have them in my collection of subtitled arabic dvds.

There are several Egyptian movies I can recommend which are available with English subtitles. Some of them are sold under their Arabic-language titles, while others are sold under their English-language titles. Here is a list of my favorites, and I've used the title that the DVD is sold under:

  • Afrita Hanem. One of the five movies that Samia Gamal and Farid al-Atrache made together. I love this movie - it's an entertaining, light-hearted comedy about a mischievous genie! Look for it on Amazon.
  • Glass and a Cigarette. Stars Samia Gamal. Was made after her romance with Farid al-Atrache ended, so he's not in it. This one is a drama. In the plot, a famous dancer retires from public life when she marries a handsome young doctor. Look for it on Amazon.
  • Shore of Love. Stars Tahia Carioca as a nightclub dancer who is the mistress of a handsome rich bachelor. She's not happy when he falls in love with someone else! (Warning: near the very end of the movie, the English subtitles abruptly end. By this point, you can figure out how the movie ends even without the subtitles.) Also stars Leila Murad, a singer with a lovely voice. Look for it at FineArt Film!, Arabic DVD or Arabic DVD
  • Tamra Henna. Stars Naima Akef. Sort of an Egyptian interpretation of the plot of My Fair Lady. Look for it at enter.html or Arabic DVD

All of the above have excellent dance scenes.
 

Aziyade

New member
I'm dredging this one up not because I care to comment on the original video from the OP, but because I'd like to get a conversation going about what is perceived as "Egyptian style" in your area.

(This is actually two threads -- when I think of "Egyptian Style" I think of performance style. When I think of "Egyptian Technique" I think of the technique only -- how the movement is generated. So that's how I'm defining the terms in this post.

We can all agree that some of what is presented or taught as "Egyptian style" simply is not. What is taught as "Egyptian technique" is sometimes not what any currently teaching Egyptian would recognize.

I have found in my region that often "Egyptian style" simply means dancing whatever to Egyptian music. Or I hear "Egyptian technique" defined as "small and contained moves."

Shira and I were discussing this on another forum, and I think one thing that we tend to do is discuss "Egyptian Style" not as what it is, but what it is NOT. We tend to contrast it to another style when we try to define it.

Because I spent a great deal of the past 8 years immersed in the Suhaila format, I feel like I'm always contrasting what I learn about Egyptian technique to what I have learned from her. My current teacher has shown me how Suhaila's format (and most of what I've learned from Americans) really comes more from the older Turkish style -- especially in regards to the posture and alignment, and how movement is generated. Contrasting that to what I've learned and continue to learn from Egyptians and true Egyptian-style teachers, I'm discovering a lot of what Egyptian technique "ISN'T" -- but I still feel like apart from a couple of concepts, I haven't been able to define for me what it actually IS, without the context of what it's not. Anybody else struggle with this?

My teacher is a big posture/alignment geek and we've been analyzing the alignment of the different styles to see how something as simple as where the dancer holds her weight or where she's holding her spine and torso affects the movement. It's wild! So there's one theory that Egyptian technique starts with posture and alignment, which is what Shareen el Safy (my first actual Egyptian style teacher) taught me. I never really considered how much that impacted the rest of the dance until now.

So do you see posture/alignment as a prime factor in Egyptian technique? I'm not talking about musicality or performance style -- this is strictly how the movement is generated. Is anyone else familiar with Shareen el Safy and how she teaches?


I think a case can definitely be made that there are multiple "styles" of Egyptian style, depending possibly upon whether the dancer is Folkloric-trained (and then where and which one, and when), where the dancer comes from geographically (Alexandrians dance differently than Cairo natives. etc.) and whether they've achieved "superstar" prominence which forces them to be forever edgy and unconventional.

There are going to be differences in those styles -- and probably in those techniques as well. Has anybody noticed a big difference in technique between different Egyptian teachers?

Any comments on this?
 

Jane

New member
I'm dredging this one up not because I care to comment on the original video from the OP, but because I'd like to get a conversation going about what is perceived as "Egyptian style" in your area.
I don't think most dancers know what Egyptian style looks like here (Montana) besides "not Tribal."


We can all agree that some of what is presented or taught as "Egyptian style" simply is not. What is taught as "Egyptian technique" is sometimes not what any currently teaching Egyptian would recognize.

I have found in my region that often "Egyptian style" simply means dancing whatever to Egyptian music. Or I hear "Egyptian technique" defined as "small and contained moves."
Here it means dancing not Tribal in a sequin costume. Most stuff here that isn't some form of Tribal (mostly American belly dance) gets tossed in with Egyptian. Most dancers don't pay any attention to music genres and will happily dance to anything in 4/4 time: American/vaguely Middle Eastern/doesn't matter, but hardly anyone dances to actual Middle Eastern written and arranged for belly dance. Occasionally someone will branch out and say something along the "Egyptian container" lines, but usually it's out of context and misunderstood.

Shira and I were discussing this on another forum, and I think one thing that we tend to do is discuss "Egyptian Style" not as what it is, but what it is NOT. We tend to contrast it to another style when we try to define it.

Because I spent a great deal of the past 8 years immersed in the Suhaila format, I feel like I'm always contrasting what I learn about Egyptian technique to what I have learned from her. My current teacher has shown me how Suhaila's format (and most of what I've learned from Americans) really comes more from the older Turkish style -- especially in regards to the posture and alignment, and how movement is generated. Contrasting that to what I've learned and continue to learn from Egyptians and true Egyptian-style teachers, I'm discovering a lot of what Egyptian technique "ISN'T" -- but I still feel like apart from a couple of concepts, I haven't been able to define for me what it actually IS, without the context of what it's not. Anybody else struggle with this?
I moved from primarily Turkish influenced old school AmCab, into
Turkish, then into Egyptian. For me, Egyptian is a third each: movement vocabulary, music, the cultural aesthetic of how you put those two things together.

My teacher is a big posture/alignment geek and we've been analyzing the alignment of the different styles to see how something as simple as where the dancer holds her weight or where she's holding her spine and torso affects the movement. It's wild! So there's one theory that Egyptian technique starts with posture and alignment, which is what Shareen el Safy (my first actual Egyptian style teacher) taught me. I never really considered how much that impacted the rest of the dance until now.

So do you see posture/alignment as a prime factor in Egyptian technique? I'm not talking about musicality or performance style -- this is strictly how the movement is generated. Is anyone else familiar with Shareen el Safy and how she teaches?

I think a case can definitely be made that there are multiple "styles" of Egyptian style, depending possibly upon whether the dancer is Folkloric-trained (and then where and which one, and when), where the dancer comes from geographically (Alexandrians dance differently than Cairo natives. etc.) and whether they've achieved "superstar" prominence which forces them to be forever edgy and unconventional.

There are going to be differences in those styles -- and probably in those techniques as well. Has anybody noticed a big difference in technique between different Egyptian teachers?

Any comments on this?

I haven't had a chance to take with Shareen personally, but I do have quite a few of her instructional videos. I believe there is an Egyptian posture, but it varies from person to person and Egyptian style base. Reda lineage dancers don't have the same basic body positioning or aesthetic as a more baladi style or pre-Reda lineage. Plie or the modern straighter legs, etc. All are authentically Egyptian of course :) I would say musicality is more important than posture when looking to define Egyptian style. Aziyade, I know you're not trying to focus on musicality and more pure movement, but I just don't think they can be separated. They just can't exist without each other and still be Egyptian dance. The biggest across the board physical factor of Egyptian style is dancing with "the pelvic floor" Centering and dropping the movements fully into the (vagina for women/ perineum for men) body center. It's the low and centered feel. Secondary, physically I'd say an ebb and flow of movement energy. Pushing and pulling movements, out to share and then in to keep.
 
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