This is Katy (1927-1980) who starts her performance with a shamadan (candelabra) in a scene from the 1953 Egyptian film ‘Aabid al Mal’ (‘Slaves of Money’ عبيد المال). The scene then moves on to showcase many different styles of dancing, ending with a jazz section featuring Katy’s trademark high kicks and the splits. The film starred Farid Shawki along with Mahmoud al Meliji, Faten Hamam and Emad Hamdi.
Katy (her name is also spelt Kitty, Keti and Katie) 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 aka Refaat al Hagan aka Jack Beton. She appeared in at least two Greek language films following her return to Greece. She also speaks Greek in at least one of her earlier Egyptian films where she plays the daughter of the local Greek barber.
Trivia: Refaat al Gammal loved acting and appeared in small roles in several Egyptian movies.
A shamadan (candelabra) performance by an uncredited dancer in a scene from the 1946 black and white Egyptian film ‘Al Khamsa Gneih’ (The Five Pounds الخمسة جنيه ). The singer is Hamid Tahir (حامد طاهر) who was a popular Egyptian singer and composer at the time. Starring Mohsen Sarhan, Adel Fatah al Kushary, Soad Mekawy and Zuzu Nabil, the film follows the adventures of a 5 pound note as its passed from person to person after freeing itself from life trapped in a safe by its miserly owner.
A wedding procession featuring a shamadan dancer from the 1985 film ‘Sa7eb al edara bawab al 3emara’ (His Highness the Building Supervisor). The bride and groom in this scene are the film’s stars, Nadia al Jundi and Adel Adham.
This scene from the 1972 Egyptian film ‘Imtithal’ (إمتثال) features a shamadan performance by Nagwa Fouad. The film, which is non-fiction, starred Magda al Kahtib as Imtithal Fawzi who was a popular Egyptian bellydancer and singer in Cairo the 1930s. Imtithal was performing her regular act in the Bosphorus Nightclub (Casino al Busfur) in Cairo one evening in May 1936 when the lights in the nightclub suddenly went out. There was confusion and panic in the darkness and when the lights were turned back on club goers were shocked to see her lying on stage dying from stab wounds. Later investigation showed that she had been killed by a gang for failing to meet their demands for protection money. Also starring were Adel Adham, Samir Sabri, Katkouta, Naima el Soghaiar and Nour al Sherif.
Someone kindly supplied the details of the film this shamadan clip’s from when it was on the YT channel. Unfortunately all the details were in the comments section and have been lost. Any clues?
The clip is set in a hamam (bathhouse) during Layl al Aroosa, the night (or two nights) before the wedding ceremony, The bride takes a ritual bath and henna’s applied to the bride and everyone else. Its all considered a bit old fashioned now particularly as every house has its own bathroom and there’s no need to go to a communal bathhouse. My experience has been that henna artists come to the house where all the ladies have gathered. During the henna there’s food, music (if the music is live the musicians are always female), lots of dancing and joy.
This clip comprises 3 scenes from ‘Wa Yabqa al Hobb’ (Love will Remain ويبقى الحب), a 1987 film starring Farid Shawki, Soheir Ramzi, Miriam Fakhreddine and Saudi actor Fuad Baksh. Many scenes in this movie were filmed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The first scene in this clip is set at an Egyptian wedding. The entertainment starts with a dancing horse. A bellydancer follows and you’ll notice that the editing of her performance is haphazard; at first she has a veil, then she drops the veil and has a cane, suddenly she’s back to a veil, then she has the cane again. To follow the story, Fuad Bakhsh, the man next to Farid Shawki, has spotted Soheir Ramzi’s character and has made eye contact with her. She is smiling but is being coy.
The next scene is a zaffa (wedding procession) of the main characters played by Ms Ramzi and Mr Baksh. There are two bellydancers, one wearing a shamadan. The bride is wearing what is possibly one of the worst bridal headwear pieces ever, it looks more suited to Star Trek. Anyway, moving along to the final scene which is set at the Saudi wedding reception of the groom in the previous scene. In this scene he’s wearing a dishdash and dark bisht. As you’ll see this is an all male function. The singer/oud player in this scene is Talal Salama who became very popular in Saudi after recording the theme song for the Saudi soccer team.
There are shamadans (candelabras) aplenty in this wedding scene from the 1948 film ‘Khuloud’ (Immortality خلود) which starred legendary Egyptian actress Faten Hamama. The dancer in the centre who doesn’t have a shamadan and is wearing the dark top is Hoda Shameddine.
The film also starred Kamal al Shinnawi and Faten Hamama’s then husband Ezz el Din Zulficar who wrote and directed it. The singer in this clip is Abdel Aziz Mahmoud.
Trivia: Faten Hamama divorced Ezz el Din Zulficar in 1953 and the following year she married Omar Sharif.