Tulay Karaca (Turkey)

If we ever needed a lesson in Turkish dance or how to play zills or how to perform it all, well here it is! The dancer in this clip is Turkish performer Tulay Karaca.
If the rhythm is confusing here’s what Indrayu in Australia says ‘At a Karsilama workshop I attended, the teacher made the counting more accessible by “fruit salad” counting, app-le, app-le, app-le, ba-na-na (pea-ches pea-ches pea-ches straw-ber-ry) etc rather than 12-12-12-123. Worked a treat, especially at the end of a long weekend of concentration.’

Nabaweya Mustafa (1949) نبوية مصطفى

This is Egyptian dancer Nabaweya Mustafa performing in a scene from the 1949 Egyptian film ‘Eweaa al Mahfaza’ (اوعى المحفظة known in English as ‘Watch Out For Your Wallet’). The singers in this scene are Suad Mekkawi and Mahmoud Shekuku and the woman in the fur coat is Lola Sedky.  The movie starred Mahmoud Ismail (who also directed), Hassan Fayek and Taheya Karioka.

Nabaweya Mustafa (1946)

The dancer in this clip is of course the one and only Nabaweya Mustafa. The scene is from the 1946 Egyptian film ‘The Unknown Past’ (Al Madi al Maghool الماضي المجهول) which starred Laila Murad and Ahmed Salem. The female singer is Laila Murad and the song she’s singing, ‘Salam Alay’, is now well known to dancers worldwide.
The male star of this film, Ahmed Salem, was also the director. Born in 1910, he was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire in 1949 with a police officer following a violent argument with his then wife Asmahan (Amal al Atrache), the sister of Farid al Atrache.
Trivia: Ahmed Salam was one of Taheya Karioka’s many husbands.

Melaya Leff (Egypt)

This is a three part clip featuring dancers performing with a wrap known in Egypt as a melaya leff. The melaya itself is made of black fabric, usually reaching from the head down to the floor. Egyptian ladies once used the melaya leff to cover themselves modestly when they went outside the home. They wore their regular clothes underneath the melaya leff. The melaya leff used for performances has sequins or pailettes sewn on to it while the regular daywear version does not. The melaya leff was most popular up to the 1950s and is often worn in old time Egyptian movies. It can still be seen occasionally today being worn by older women in some more rural or conservative parts of Egypt. Dancers use the melaya leff as part of a ‘character piece’. Its become a prop usually combined with a floral ruffled dress, headscarf with pom poms, burqa and ship-ship.
In this clip we have:
(1) Naima Akef and singer Mohammad Abdel Mottaleb. This is part of a longer scene and in this melaya section Naima Akef is wearing ship-ship on her feet, these are backless mules or slip ons with a high heel. The word for the footwear is also written as shep-shep, it all depends on your Arabic accent 🙂
(2) A chorus line of melaya clad dancers.
(3) Fouad el Mohandes and Shweikar in the 1968 Egyptian film ‘Mutarada Gharamia’ (‘Chasing Passion’ مطاردة غرامية) which was based on the successful stage play ‘Boeing, Boeing’. Fouad el Mohandes and Shweikar were married in real life at the time this film was made.

The Great Unknown (1953)

This is a wedding scene from the 1953 Egyptian film ‘Aabid al Mal’ (‘Slaves of Money’ عبيد المال) featuring an uncredited dancer. If anyone can help me with a name for her, it’d be appreciated. The male singer is Mohamed Kandil. Other dancers in the film were Katy and Zeinat Olwi and you can see both their performances on this site. The film starred a young Farid Shawki along with Mahmoud al Meliji, Faten Hamama and Emad Hamdi.

Nagwa Fouad فؤاد نجوى

This clip of Nagwa Fouad is such a ‘golden oldie’ that I’d forgotten I even had it! The clip itself is not great quality but that’s all we had back in the day and as with many of my older clips, its been converted from a VHS tape to mpg format. I’ve cut out the worst of the colour changes and the picture rolling.
The clip starts with the backing dancers performing a fellaheen piece and then Nagwa Fouad performs in a green and purple outfit.

Nabaweya Mustafa (1947) نبوية مصطفى

Nabaweya Mustafa is the dancer in this scene from the 1947 Egyptian film ‘Ana albi dalili’ (My Heart is My Guide قلبي دليلي). The film starred Anwar Wajdi, the man in the overalls and Leila Mourad who’s the girl locked in the basement with the villain of the film, Stefan Rosti. The singer is Mahmoud Abdel Aziz aka Abdel Aziz Mahmoud (عبدالعزيز محمود).
Trivia 1: In the film there’s a scene set at a masked ball where three masked thieves (who are disguised as three masked thieves) mix with the guests. The thieves are played by well known Egyptian screen actors Abdelmonem Ismail and Abdel Hamid Zaki along with a very young Farid Shawki.
Trivia 2: The toothless guy who features in the clip is a member of the gang of kidnappers and is played by Riad al Kosabgy (رياض القصبجي).