This is such a golden oldie that I’d completely forgotten I even had it, but what a gem it is! The dancer is Egyptian born Mona al Said and this is her taksim performance from one of the old ‘Shwaya Baladi’ VHS tapes. Despite Mona wearing the same black net costume, this clip is different from the long performance we all know where she starts with a veil trimmed with long gold fringe. LOL, if you don’t believe me: (1) The music is different. (2) Mona’s position in relation to the white staircase, on the right of screen, is different. In this clip the entire performance is on the same level as the staircase not on the level below as she is in the longer clip.
This clip may be old, grainy and blurry due to multiple recopying but do we care a bit? No we don’t, because it’s Soheir! The singer with her is a very young Katkot al Amir.
This is Egyptian dancer Hala al Safy (هالة الصافى) performing with the son of Metkal Kanawi who was also named Metkal Kanawi. To add to the confusion, Metkal (the elder) also performed with Hala al Safy. The audio quality isn’t too good in this clip so you’ll need to turn the volume up.
Hala al Safy had a long and successful career as a bellydancer, also appearing in many movies. Several of her movie performances can be seen here on TheCaroVan. In 1986 she renounced dance and public performances. Hala, whose real name is Suhayr Hasan Abdeen, now considers dance to be haram (forbidden) and describes her career as a dancer as the years she’d “…left my life in the hands of the Devil to play with.” She continues, “Hala al Safy died and buried her past with her.” To know more about Hala al Safy’s transition from bellydancer to ‘repentant artist’ you may like to look at a book titled ‘Music, Culture and Identity in the Muslim World: Performance, Politics and Piety’ edited by Kamal Salhi. There are also many websites in Arabic that deal with the topic of repentant artists both specifically and generally.
Luxor born Metkal Kanawi (the elder), is probably best known as a vocalist and rababa player in the genre of Saiidi music. His group’s music is known and loved by dancers worldwide and I saw Metkal and the Rababa Orchestra perform at the Sydney Opera House in Australia many years ago. Metkal Kanawi died in 2004 and one of his sons, Hijazi Metkal (حجازي متقال), has become a well known baladi singer in Egypt. Another son, Hamdi, has become a rababa player like his father. There’s a recording from many years ago of Hamdi accompanying his unnamed mother (who’s not Hala al Safy) as she sings a mawwal. Metkal’s son Metkal, who’s featured in this video, passed away in the 1980s.
Many, many thanks to Jalilah who’s cleared some of the fog of confusion.
Fifi Abdu does baladi! In this clip she performs at an outdoor show in Alexandria, Egypt wearing a silver dress.
I don’t know who the singer in this scene is, I’m told that it may have been an uncredited actress miming to a song performed by blind Egyptian singer Shafia Ahmed (شافية أحمد)(1923-1983). The dancer who wears a galabeya is possibly Fethiya Fouad (فتحية فؤاد). Does anyone know for sure? What I do know for sure is that the film is from 1946 and was titled ‘Dunia’ (دنيا). It starred Raqia Ibrahim, Soliman Naguib, Ahmad Salem and Faten Hamama (for many years Mrs Omar Sharif) in an early screen role.
Trivia: The star of the film, Raqia Ibrahim, was born as Rachel Abraham Levy . She left Egypt in 1955 and emigrated to the US.
The baladi dancer in this clip is Egyptian actress Hind Rostom (1929-2011) in a scene from the 1958 film ‘Touha’ (توحة). The man on the balcony is Mohsen Sarhan. Also starring were Mohamed Tawfik, Zahrat el Ola in the small role, Mahmoud Ismail and Kadria Kamel.
Nagwa Fouad also dances in this movie and the clip of her performance is also on TheCaroVan@Vimeo.
Actress Mervat Amin and actor Sayed Zayen dance together in a short baladi piece from the 1973 film “Madraset El Moshaghbeen” (School of Troublemakers مدرسة المشاغبين ) which starred Nour El Sherif, Mohamed Awad and Samir Ghanem. Shukran Salma Ben for the ID. The film tells the story of Afaf, a pretty teacher, who transforms five rebellious young men into model students. After being a successful play, usually identified with the actor Adel Eman, several film versions were made. In this film version the viewer is asked to suspend reality as the students are all played by actors who were in their 30s.
Trivia: This film also starred George Sidhum who retired from acting in 1997 following a stroke. Together with Samir Ghanem and El Deif Ahmed he formed the comedy trio known as “Tholathy Adwa’a El Masrah” who appeared in many films.