Well, as you know, I’m a big fan of Egyptian dancer and actress Hayatim. Born as Suhair Hassan in Alexandria, Egypt in 1950, Hayatim first made her name as a dancer at weddings and parties. She moved to Cairo and became a very popular dancer eventually moving into movies. She’s appeared in numerous Egyptian films, initially as a bellydancer who did a bit of acting and later as an actress who did a bit of dancing. She was married for some years to Egyptian actor Mohamed Khairy.
Hayatim was a terrific dancer in her heyday, despite the eye searing ‘special effects’ that often featured in her videos. She was featured in a series of Egyptian bellydance VHS tapes that introduced many Westerners to famous Egyptian dancers such as Nagwa Fouad and Soheir Zaki. Hayatim oozes confidence but not the in-your-face aggressive confidence that we see from some of today’s dancers. Hayatim’s style is relaxed and fluid and she doesn’t attempt to beat the music to death.
In this scene we see dancing by an Egyptian dancer/actress named Hana Adel (هناء عادل). All I can find out about her was that she used to dance at local moulids and weddings and then moved to Cairo. It seems that she only appeared in this one movie.
This scene is from the 1954 movie “The Adventures of Ismail Yassin” (مغامرات اسماعيل يس Moghamarat Ismail Yassin) which starred Egyptian comedian Ismail Yassin and Kamal al Shinnawi who are the two men watching. The film also starred singer/actress Shadia.
Here’s another ‘golden oldie’ performance this time the dancer is Egyptian bellydancer Lucy (لوسى). Her performance is in two parts. In this clip she’s wearing a blue bedlah.
This is a digital conversion from an old video tape that’s been played many, many times so the visual quality is not the best.
The dancer in this scene from the 1959 Egyptian comedy ‘Arees Merati’ (‘My Wife’s Husband’ عريس مراتى) is one of the film’s stars, Cairo born actress, dancer and singer, Loula Sedki (1923-2001). The actor with her is Tawfik al Deqn.
This film starts with a logo that says ‘Loula Sedki Films’ so she must have had her own production company at some point. Cairo born Loula Sedki’s film career in Egypt started in the 1940s and seems to have ended in the mid-1960s when she went to Italy where she appeared in several Italian language films. She died in Rome in 2001.
Trivia: The three people in the audience also star in the film; Ismail Yassin who’s trying to hide his eyes, Zeinat Sedki and Abdel Salem al Nabulsi.
This is another scene from the 1953 Egyptian film ‘Ghaltet al Omr’ (Mistake of a Lifetime غلطة العمر) which starred the performers featured in this clip; dancer/actress Samiha Tawfik and singer/actress Hoda Sultan. Also starring were Zouzou Nabil and Hamdy Gheith. Fouad al Mohandes appears in this movie which is early in his film career.
This is Egyptian actress Hind Rostom performing in a scene from the 1971 Egyptian film ‘Modaresti al Hasnaa’ (My Fair (or Beautiful) Teacher مدرستى الحسناء). In this film she plays Nadia, a chemistry teacher who moves to Cairo with her sister played by Sanaa Mazhar. Nadia takes up a job as the teacher of a group of high school troublemakers. Viewers will need to suspend reality as leading the supposed ‘students’ are actors Hussein Fahmy, Helmy Abdel Wahab and Saeed Saleh who were all decidedly 25+. Also starring was Abdul Moneim Ibraheem.
Trivia: You may remember the same ‘dream’ sequence in the 1973 version of the film where the dancing was performed by actress Mervat Amin. The 1973 film was titled “Madraset El Moshaghbeen” (School of Troublemakers مدرسة المشاغبين ) and is in colour.
This is a brief retrospective of the career of Egyptian actress Hind Rostom ( هند رستم ). While it covers her long and sometimes controversial film career, she was also a good dancer and danced in many of her film roles. The retrospective also includes a “blink and you’ll miss it” shamadan scene from the 1963 Egyptian film ‘Shafika el Qebteya’ (Shafika the Copt شفيقة القبطية) where she played the title role. This film was about the dancer who’s credited with being the first to perform while balancing a shamadan (candelabra) on her head.
Hind Rostom (1929-2011) was an Egyptian actress who’s remembered mainly for her good looks and her many film roles as a seductress, which is a bit sad as she was a good actress when her range was tested. To quote Egyptian journalist Reem Ghazal, ‘Rostom was presented as an intoxicating mix of Rita Hayworth, Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe.’ And as you can see, Hind Rostom was also a good bellydancer. She retired in 1979 saying that she wanted the audiences to remember her at her best.
Hind Rostom’s second marriage to Dr Mohamed Fayad lasted nearly 50 years. Unfortunately at the time of her husband’s death which was shortly before hers, Dr Fayad’s family took legal action against her to reclaim assets they said were theirs.
This is a scene from the Egyptian film ‘Tahia al Rijjala’ (Long Live Men تحيا الرجالة) and the dancer is Samiha Tawfik. The film was released in 1954 and starred Karem Mahmoud, Sherifa Maher, Abdul Salem al Nabulsi and Zeinat Sedki.
Born in 1928, Samiha Tawfik had a long career as both an actress and an on-screen dancer. Her brother, El Toukhy Tawfiq, was also a well known film actor and fight scene arranger. They both started their careers working in a circus with their father. Samiha Tawfik retired from show business in 1987 and passed away in 2010.
Trivia: Lebanese dancer Gawaher also performs in the same film.
Actress Nadia al Gendi dances in a scene from the 1981 film ‘Ana al Magnoun’ (I’m the mad (as in crazy) one انا المجنون) which also starred Farid Shawki (the man in the suit watching her) and Adel Adham.