Farida Seif El Nasr (1987) فريده سيف النصر

This is actress Farida Seif El Nasr dancing in a scene is from the 1987 film ‘Al Zawgah Tarif Akthar’ (The Wife Knows Best  الزوجه تعرف اكثر ) which starred Maali Zayed, Elham Shaheen and Farouk al Fishawi.  The film was about a man who dumped a girl so he could marry someone else but the girl ended up marrying his boss.

 

Fifi Abdu (1994) عبده‎ فيفى

This is Egyptian bellydancer Fifi Abdu performing her well known ‘shisha’ tableau as part of her acting/dancing performance as Noha the bellydancer in the 1994 Egyptian stage play ‘Hazzemni Ya’ (‘Tie Me Up’ حزمني يا). It’s a social comedy that tells the story of Zawawi and his wife Bahija who, together with his brothers, live happily in their small rented house until the owner wants to pull it down and build a new building on the site. The play starred Hassan Hosny, Magda Zaki and Mohamed Heneidi who’s a well known Egyptian comedian.
Trivia: Also starring was Egyptian singer/actor Medhat Saleh who was sued by Fifi Abdu in 2003 for ‘unpaid debts’. The case got messy and Fifi Abdu subsequently sued Saleh’s former wife Shireen for slander. Eventually Fifi and Saleh were reconciled in 2006. Medhat Saleh was later engaged to Syrian singer Asala’s sister Amani (not the dancer), then they broke up as Asala and her husband opposed the union, but in the end he married Amani anyway.

Fifi Abdu (1994) عبده‎ فيفى

This is Egyptian bellydancer Fifi Abdu appearing as Noha the bellydancer in the 1994 stage play ‘Hazzemni Ya’ (‘Tie Me Up’ حزمني يا). It’s a social comedy that tells the story of Zawawi and his wife Bahija who, together with his brothers live happily in their small rented house until the owner wants to pull it down and build a new building on the site. The play starred Hassan Hosny, Magda Zaki and Mohamed Heneidi.
Trivia: Also starring was Egyptian singer/actor Medhat Saleh who was sued by Fifi Abdu in 2003 for ‘unpaid debts’. It all got messy and Fifi Abdu subsequently sued Saleh’s former wife Shireen for slander. Eventually Fifi and Saleh were reconciled in 2006. Medhat Saleh was later engaged to Syrian singer Asala’s sister Amani (not the dancer), then they broke up as Asala and her husband opposed the union, but he married Amani anyway.

Reda Troupe (1967) Nubian

Nubian style dance for the stage performed by Farida Fahmy, Mahmoud Reda and the Reda Troupe. This is a scene from the 1967 Egyptian film ‘Gharam fi Al Karnak’ (Love in Karnak غرام في الكرنك) which starred Reda, Fahmy and Amin el Heneidi. Mahmoud Reda’s brother Ali who was married to Farida Fahmy, was one of the film’s directors.

Mahmoud Reda, Farida Fahmy and the Reda Troupe (1963)

Mahmoud Reda, Farida Fahmy and the Reda Troupe perform in a scene from the 1963 film “Agazet nos el Sana” (Mid Year Holiday/Vacation أجازة نص السنة.). The film also starred Egyptian actress Magda and Abdel Menam Ibrahim.

Mahmoud Reda is the co-founder, along with his brother Ali and Farida Fahmy, of the Reda Troupe who bought folkloric Egyptian dances onto the stage where they could be seen and appreciated by a wider audience.  In his younger days, Reda was a gymnast representing Egypt in the 1952 Helsinki Summer Olympics.

Reda freely acknowledges however that he altered the folkloric dances by adding other influences to make them more accessible to the audience. In his own words during an interview with Carolina Varga Dinicu in 2005 he describes his troupe’s dances as being merely “inspired by the folkloric”.  As dancers, it would do us well to remember that Reda has never claimed to show authenticity and his comments on the dances in their original form were less than enthusiastic.  His interpretation of the Hagallah, a dance from the Mersa Matruh (مرسى مطروح) area of Egypt would be just one example.  (So you can place it, Mersa Matruh is in the top left hand part of Egypt, near the border with Libya.)  Back to the dance.  You’ll see al hagallah frequently in dance shows, usually performed to same piece of music (you know the tune – daa, daa, daa, daa, da-de-da etc), often with the same steps as the original Reda choreography, sometimes with scarves, sometimes without, sometimes costumed with the style of tiered skirts or sometimes in the glittery cabaret version. The Reda style hagallah is a great show piece but is it ‘real’? However, as an Egyptian friend said recently, ‘Egyptians have so many other things to be worried about than some old time dance!’

Trivia: Mahmoud Reda’s daughter Sherine was married at one time to Egyptian singer Amr Diab.