Dina دينا

Egyptian bellydancer Dina in a dress that takes its inspiration from the now famous (or should that be infamous?) safety pin dress designed by Gianni Versace.

Nagwa Fouad (1961) فؤاد نجوى

Egyptian bellydancer Nagwa Fouad performs wearing a cocktail dress in a scene from the 1961 comedy film ‘Zawj bil ijar’ (‘Husband for Rent’ or ‘Husband by Proxy’ زوج بالإيجار ). The film starred comedian Ismail Yassin as a wealthy businessman named Murad who is facing bankruptcy. He also plays Murad’s lookalike named Filfil. The film also starred Zahrat al Ola, Wedad Hamdi and Hassan Fayek.

Bellydancers (1964)

A dance troupe performs in a scene from the 1964 Egyptian colour production ‘Emir al Dahaa’ (أمير الدهاء ) which starred Naima Akef, Shweiker and Farid Shawki. Naima Akef retired shortly after making this film to care for her child and sadly she died two years later while still in her mid-30s.
The film is known as ‘The Prince of Cunning’ aka ‘The Crafty One’ aka ‘The Artful Prince’ aka ‘The Prince of Savvy’ (well, you get the idea I’m sure) and is based on French writer Alexandre Dumas’ book, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’.
Background: The film is a colour remake, complete with the same dialogue, of a 1950 black and white film ‘Amir el Antikam’ (‘Prince of Revenge’) which starred Anwar Wagdy. The dance scenes in the earlier movie were performed by Samia Gamal.
Movie trivia: 1. Farid Shawki who was the star of this film, had a small part in the earlier production. 2. Both the 1950 and 1964 version of the story were directed by Henri Barakat. 3. The dubbed English language version of this film was released in the US with the grand title ‘Vengeance of the Desert’. (Thanks to Lynette of Serpentine.)

Khaleegi sword

Are these little girls fabulous or what?
This is Emirati singer Aitha el Menhali and the song is titled “Shams Al Mahaba”.  The filming was done in Al Ain in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. AD is one of the seven emirates that form the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Local friends who’ve watched the clip say the girls’ dance is more Indian style as there’s more stamping than would be seen in women’s dance here in the Gulf. What do you think?
Background 1: The seven emirates that make up the UAE are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai (probably the best known of the emirates), Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah (the name translates literally as ‘the top of the tent), Sharjah and Umm al Qwain.  Abu Dhabi serves as the capital of the UAE.
Background 2: This isn’t the entire clip.
Thanks Mark B. for the singer ID.

 

Katy (1953) كيتي

In this scene from the 1953 Egyptian film ‘Ibn Thawat’ (ابن ذوات) Katy’s performance starts just inches from burlesque. This is followed by a rhumba, then Spanish, melaya, baladi, cane and finally she puts on a bedlah for a short piece of raks sharki. Katy (her name is also spelt Kitty, Keti and Katie) was born in Alexandria to a Greek father and Egyptian mother. She appeared in many movies from the 1950s through to the mid-1960s but left Egypt in mysterious circumstances after being implicated in a spy plot.
The film’s title is also spelt ‘Ibn Zawat’ and means ‘Son of the Privileged’ though some sites call it ‘Gilded Youth’ or ‘Son of Nobles’ but anyway you get the gist I’m sure. The film starred Ismail Yassin who’s the man singing in this clip and, like many of Yassin’s movies, it was written by Abo el Seoud el Ebiary. Ismail Yassin plays a wealthy single man living the high life in Cairo. His uncle decides he should marry and chooses a suitable girl to be the young man’s bride. When the uncle asks the girl to marry his nephew she tells him she can’t because she’s already in love with another man. The complication is that her father refuses to let her marry her intended. Eventually the uncle finds out that the young man in question is his nephew. The girl’s father relents and everyone lives happily ever after.
Trivia: The term ‘ibn zawat’ is used by awlad baladi almost as an insult, meaning a person who is soft and cares only about outward appearances.

Fifi Abdu (1990) عبده‎ فيفى

Fifi Abdu dances in a scene from the 1990 film ‘Moulid We Sahbo Ghaib’ ( مولد وصاحبه غايب). The film also starred Youssef Shabaan, Mohsen Sarhan (on the floor on the right), Magda Nour El Din and Nabil Elhagrasy.

Naima Akef (1949) نعيمة عاكف

Naema Akef is the dancer in this scene from the 1949 Egyptian film ‘Sitt al Beit’ (Lady of the House ست البيت). The singer with her is Mahmoud Abdel Aziz. Three women sitting on a couch watching her. Zeinab Sedki who plays the groom’s mother is on the left and Faten Hamama on the right.
Hosna Solomon, who was a talented dancer in her own right, plays Qeshta the maid. She’s dancing on the stairs and later she’s joined by Mohamed Kamal for more dancing in the kitchen.
Trivia: The expression ‘Sitt al Beit’ (usually said ‘sitti beit)’ is used to describe a person who’s a housewife or a stay-at-home mum.