Shamadan (1985)

A wedding procession featuring a shamadan dancer from the 1985 film ‘Sa7eb al edara bawab al 3emara’ (His Highness the Building Supervisor). The bride and groom in this scene are the film’s stars, Nadia al Jundi and Adel Adham.

Ellen Diato (1956) ايلين دياتو

This is actress/dancer Ellen Diato dancing in a scene from the 1956 Egyptian film ‘Sahibat al Azama’ (The Great Lady صاحبة العصمة ). The man rolling off the stage at the end of the scene is comedian Ismail Yassin.
Ellen Diato was born in Cairo of Greek descent and appeared in a number of Egyptian movies in the 1950s either as a dancer or in small acting roles. Her films included ‘Delilah’ which starred Abdel Halim Hafez (she dances while Mary Ezzeldine sings), several films with Ismail Yassin and also with Nelly Mazloum.

Nadia al Jundi (1985)

Alexandria born actress Nadia al Jundi dances in a scene from the 1985 film ‘Sa7eb al Edara Bawab al 3emara’  (His Highness, the Building Supervisor’ صاحب الإدارة بواب العمارة).
In this film, veteran Egyptian actor Adel Adham plays a hired killer who’s in hiding and working as a building caretaker (the bawab of the the title).  He marries Zaida the bellydancer (el Jundi) and they proceed to make money from renting out apartments for gambling and prostitution. They climb the social ladder while hiding behind the guise of a charity.  The film also starred Safiya Omari and Nagah el Mogy.

Inci Adali (Turkey)

A blast from the past from Turkey. This is Inci Adali who was a popular Turkish belly dancer back in the 1980s. In this clip you’ll see her performing karshlima, Romani and Turkish style earthy belly dance. Inci Adali’s performance is part of a soap opera shown on Turkish tv about a girl who works in the nightclub but who wants to be a belly dancer. Inci Adali plays the star dancer who gives the girl a big break and the restaurant girl dances with her to the Rabhani Brothers’ well known ‘Spectacular Rhythms’ no less. However, I’ve cut those bits out to concentrate on Inci Adali’s performance.

Taheya Karioka (1959) كاريوكا تحية

If you ever wanted a film that stirs up fond memories and has so many Arabic people saying ‘Oh, I remember seeing that…’, then this is the one. Taheya Karioka dances in a scene from the 1959 Egyptian drama ‘Hob Hatta Alibeh’ ( حب حتى العبادة). The film’s title is translated as ‘Sublime Amour’ which even for 1959, is rather archaic language. ‘Sublime Amour’ sounds like the name of a cheap perfume. The words used in the title could mean ‘Love even (or until) Worship’. The film centres around union activity in a factory but there’s a love story too. Taheya Karioka starred along with Salah Zulfikar, Zizi al Badrawi, Riad Hussain, Omar Hariri and Zuzu Nabil. The music she dances to was written by Fouad al Zahery (فؤاد الظاهرى1915-1988) whose compositions can be heard in many Egyptian films.

Dance from the Silk Road (5)

This is a solo performance by a member of the Bukhorcha Ensemble from Bukhara, Uzbekistan.  The aim of the Bukhorcha Ensemble is to ‘…study and disseminate national classical vocal and instrumental music, dance art, and folkloric melodies and songs…’.
All performances by the ensemble are accompanied by live music using national music instruments including the tanbur, nay, saz, rabab, and oud.

Dances from the Silk Road (4)

This is the Bukhorcha Ensemble performing in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. The aim of the Ensemble which includes dancers, singers and musicians is to study and disseminate national classical vocal and instrumental music, dance art, and folkloric melodies and songs. All performances are accompanied by traditional Uzbeki musical instruments.

Dance from the Silk Road (3) (Spoon Dance)

This is the Bukhorcha Ensemble performing in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. The description of the Bukhorcha Ensemble from the Katara* website here in Doha, Qatar is: “The main purpose of “Bukhorcha” ensemble is to study and disseminate national classical vocal – instrumental music, dance art, and folkloric melodies and songs performed in certain traditional ceremonies. The ensemble’s repertoire includes music and dance samples typical to Bukhara and those representing Khorezm, Fergana, and the Muslim Orient. Such music and dance works as “Women Embroiderers,” “The Spring of Bukhara,” “Takhayyul,” “Tanovor,” “Sallamno,” “Javoniy,” “Karashma,” “Nozanin,” “Orazibon,” and “Musiqiy Guldasta (The Musical Bouquet)” are also part of the ensemble’s repertoire. Intricate dance movements, for example, “Charkh (Rotation),” “Charkhi Du Zonu (Rotation on Knees),” “Mor Pechon (dance form resembling a snake),” and “Bedona Qadam (Quail Walk)” make single dance composition of ancient Bukhara’s folkloric art.
All performances in the ensemble are accompanied with national music instruments: doira, tanbur, nay, ghijjak, saz, Qashqar rubab, Bukharan rubab, and ud. “The Musical Bouquet” suite, the ensemble’s one of the exemplifying programs, demonstrate all niceties and possibilities of each traditional music instrument.”
Meanwhile, back in the Middle East: “Katara” referred to above, is the purpose built cultural area of Doha, Qatar. There are art galleries, restaurants and performing spaces including a spectacular outdoor auditorium.

Dances from the Silk Road (2)

This is the Bukhorcha Dance and Music Ensemble performing at the Nadir Divanbegi Madraasa in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. The Ensemble put on a great show which lasted about an hour or so with stunning costumes, beautiful dance and fabulous musicians.
The building was initially constructed in the 1620s for use as a caravansari. However at its opening ceremony the Imam declared that the building must be a madraasa (school) and many changes and additions then had to be made.