Tulay Karaca (Turkey)

This is Turkish bellydancer Tulay Karaca performing with live music provided by a group of musicians. Tulay was famous not only for her tiny, gravity defying costumes but also for her incredible zill playing. In another clip she performs a solo piece accompanying herself only with her zills. This piece is also on the Carovan though there are clearer versions about. Tulay has long retired and is the aunt (not mother) of Turkish dancer Zinnur Karaca. The clip is taken from what was originally a VHS tape which was played a lot then eventually converted to digital so there is a loss of quality.

Vered Goldberg

This clip is from the early 1990s and features Israeli dancer Vered Goldberg with Iraqi/Israeli singer George Bar. The blue bedlah that Vered is wearing is a classic old-school design by Egyptian ‘costumier to the stars’, Madame Abla. The pink (or red) bedlah may be from the same source. Sadly, Vered Goldberg was only 23 years old when she was killed in a car crash on her way to perform a show.
Many thanks to Amoura Latif and Meital Sassi for their background information on this clip. Amoura says that this clip is from Israeli tv and that the signal could have been picked up easily in parts of Lebanon which is where this tape comes from originally. This clip is from a VHS cassette that’s has been played dozens of times and has now been converted to digital. Back then, these VHS tapes were all we had and we were grateful for them, However, as a result, the sound and picture quality is not what we would expect nowadays. But what the heck, this is history.

Katy (1958) كيتي

This is dancer/actress Katy (كيتي aka Keti, Kitty, Katie etc) performing in a scene from the 1951 Egyptian musical ‘Leilet al Henna’ (ليلة الحنة Henna Night ). The film starred Shadia, Kamal al Shinnawi, Mary Munib, Fardous Mohamed and Seraj Mounir. The film was directed by Anwar Wajdi. Katy was born in Alexandria, Egypt, to a Greek father and Egyptian mother. She acted and danced in many Egyptian movies from the 1950s through to the mid-1960s but returned to Athens in 1965 after being implicated in a spy plot which apparently involved Egyptian/Israeli double agent Refaat el Gammal رأفت الهجّان known as Refaat al Hagan in Egypt and Jack Beton in Israel. Katy appeared in at least two Greek language films following her return to Greece. She also speaks Greek in one of her earlier Egyptian films where she plays the daughter of the local Greek barber.  Just as a bit of background, Refaat al Gammal loved acting and appeared in small roles in several Egyptian movies.
‘Leilet al Henna’ (henna night) is a female only gathering which takes place one or two days before the actual celebration of the marriage. On the henna night the bride and her friends gather, a henna artist comes to the house, and the henna designs are applied. The choice of designs can be very intricate. Henna always looks better the following day once the design has ‘set’ and the dried off henna has been removed.  I usually rub olive oil on to seal the design, I don’t know if that makes a difference or not though 🙂
Trivia: The director of this film, famous actor Anwar Wajdi, married and divorced singer/actress Leila Murad on three separate occasions. His other wives were Elham Hussein and actress Leila Fawzy.

Nagwa Fouad (1963) فؤاد نجوى

This is Egyptian dancer Nagwa Fouad performing with a shamadan (candelabra) in a scene from the 1963 film ‘Al Qahira fel Lel‘ (Cairo by Night النادر القاهرة فى الليل). The film starred just about anyone-who-was-anyone in Egyptian movie comedy at the time: Shadia, Fouad al Mohandes, Sabah, Nadia Lotfi, The Three Stagelights (Messrs Sidhom, Ghanem and Ahmed), Hassan Fayek, Fayza Ahmed, Maha Sabry, the list goes on….