A trio of bellydancers (1940) الباشمقاول

A trio of bellydancers performing in a scene from the 1940 film ‘El Bashmikawaal’ (حلق حوش ) which starred Mimi Shakib, Hassan Fayek and Bishara Wakim. Also starring are father and daughter comedians Fawzi and Ehsane el Gazayerly.  The film was directed by Togo Misrahi with camera work by one of the legends of Egyptian cinematography, Abdel Halim Nasr.

Samara Part 2

This is the second part of a really old clip of bellydancer Samara. Born in Iraq, Samara made her name in Lebanon being most popular during the 1980s.  This clip is Part 2 of her performance at an LBC party held on a boat.  Fabulous costume!

The Fanoos website is unabashed in describing Samara as ‘…an average dancer with boring tableaux’. The site continues with a bit of background, “In 1986, she (Samara) became a mother and had to shortly stop dancing or making appearances. Because of problems with her spouse Tarek Osman which ended up in a divorce, her career was also put on hold and she disappeared for a long while before making a weak come-back in 2008.  Samara was however busy giving private dance classes and opening belly dance institutes in all countries of the Gulf, and in 1997 she opened her first Academy in Brazil.”  Does anyone know whether the Tarek Osman referred to is the Egyptian writer or whether its just the same name?

Samara’s rise to fame seems to have been thanks to her connection with Simon Asmar, I guess you could say he was the Lebanese Simon Cowell of the time. Asmar developed talented artists, not only bellydancers but singers too, and showcased them via his tv talent show ‘Studio el Fann’. He also either directed or produced many of the Lebanese tv game shows where bellydancers or singers performed. The tradition continues as Asmar’s son Bashir has worked as a producer’s assistant on the Lebanese tv bellydance competition called ‘Hezzi Ya Nawaem’. For those who’ve never seen the show, its like ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ but with bellydancers only.

Samara Part 1

This is a really old clip of bellydancer Samara. Born in Iraq, she made her name in Lebanon being most popular during the 1980s.  This clip is Part 1 of her performance at an LBC party held on a boat.  Fabulous costume!

The Fanoos website is unabashed in describing Samara as ‘…an average dancer with boring tableaux’. The site continues with a bit of background, “In 1986, she (Samara) became a mother and had to shortly stop dancing or making appearances. Because of problems with her spouse Tarek Osman which ended up in a divorce, her career was also put on hold and she disappeared for a long while before making a weak come-back in 2008.  Samara was however busy giving private dance classes and opening belly dance institutes in all countries of the Gulf and in 1997 she opened her first Academy in Brazil.”  (Does anyone know whether the Tarek Osman referred to is the Egyptian writer or whether its a man with the same name?)

Samara’s rise to fame seems to have been thanks to her connection with Simon Asmar, I guess you could say he was the Lebanese Simon Cowell of the time. Asmar developed talented artists, not only bellydancers but singers too, and showcased them via his tv talent show ‘Studio el Fann’. He also either directed or produced many of the Lebanese tv game shows where bellydancers or singers performed. The tradition continues as Asmar’s son Bashir has worked as a producer’s assistant on the Lebanese tv bellydance competition called ‘Hezzi Ya Nawaem’. For those who’ve never seen the show, its like ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ but with bellydancers only.

 

Soheir Zaki (1982) سهير زكي

Soheir Zaki dances in a scene from the 1982 Egyptian film ‘Aroussa Wa Gouz Ersan’ (A Bride and Two Grooms’ عروسة وجوز عرسان). The film starred Samir Ghanem as Essam who goes missing after the ship he’s on sinks. Many years go by and his widow eventually marries Essam’s friend Shaker….then Essam returns unaware that his wife has remarried. The film also starred Waheed Seif, Younes Shalabi, Maali Zayed and Essad Younis. There’s a cameo appearance by Mohamed Reza as himself.

Nadia al Jundi (1983) نادية الجندي

Nadia al Jundi is an Egyptian actress who often danced and sang in her movie appearances. She frequently plays roles that involve seduction, temptation and languid eyes. This is the second of her performances in the 1983 film ‘Widad al Gaziyah’ (Widad the Dancer وداد الغازية ). She plays the title role in the film which also starred Adel Adham, Tawfik al Deqn and Mahmoud Yasine.
Oh, if I had a dollar for every different way her surname is written in English I’d be rich!

Nadia al Jundi (1983)

Nadia al Jundi is an Egyptian actress who often danced and sang in her movie appearances. This is a scene from the 1983 film ‘Widad al Gaziyah’ (Widad the Dancer وداد الغازية ). She plays the title role in the film which also starred Adel Adham, Tawfik al Deqn and Mahmoud Yasine.
Oh, if I had a dollar for every different way her surname is written in English I’d be rich!

Hala al Safy هالة الصافى

Top of my list – Hala al Safy and her husband Melkal Kanawi.  In 1986 Hala al Safy, (whose birth name is Suhayr Hasan Abdeen) renounced dance and performing. She now considers it haram (forbidden) and describes her career as a dancer as a time when “…I left my life in the hands of the Devil to play with…”
If you’re interested in knowing more may I recommend:
– ‘Performing Piety: Singers and Actors in Egypt’s Islamic Revival’ by Karin van Nieuwkerk
– ‘Music, Culture and Identity in the Muslim World: Performance, Politics and Piety’ edited by Kamal Salhi.

Nagwa Fouad (1961) فؤاد نجوى

Egyptian bellydance legend Nagwa Fuad dancing in a scene from the 1961 Egyptian film ‘Al Azwaj w’al Saif’ (Husbands & Summer
الأزواج والصيف ) which starred Kamal al Shennawi, Samira Ahmed and Nagwa Salem.