Legendary bellydancer Taheya Karioka performs in a scene from the 1942 Egyptian film ‘Aheb al Ghalat’ (I Like Mistakes أحب الغلط) which starred Anwar Wajdi, Hussein Sidqi, Fardous Mohammad and Ismail Yassin.
Taheya plays a dancer named Badawia who falls in love with Alawi (Sidqi), a rich man’s son who’s trying to be successful in his own right as a music composer. The father refuses his son’s request to marry the dancer. Subsequently the father has a heart attack and is nursed back to health by the dancer. Badawia tells Alawi that she has fallen in love with someone else but the father realises what a good hearted person she is and then he gives his consent to his son and the dancer to marry.
This is the pivotal scene in the 1972 film ‘Khali balek min Zouzou” which starred Soad Hosni as Zouzou, a girl who’s a university student by day but a paid dancer and singer by night. Her life as an entertainer is a shameful secret and she hides it. Hussein Fahmy plays her professor/lover. In this scene, the dance troupe led by Zouzou’s mother is performing at a wedding party attended by Zouzou (in red) and her lover. The part of Zouzou’s mother is played by legendary Egyptian bellydancer Taheya Karioka and the singer in this clip is Shafik Galal. Zouzou has no idea that her lover’s scheming former fiancee has hired Zouzou’s mother’s troupe. General shock all round and Zouzou dances when her mother is unable to continue.
Taheya Karioka performs in a scene from the 1949 Egyptian film ‘Manadil al Helou’ (The Beauty’s Veil منديل الحلو). The film starred Taheya, along with Mahmoud El Meligi, Marie Munib, Mahmoud Abdel Aziz and Aziza Mohamed.
The 1956 film ‘Shabab Imra’a’ (‘A Woman’s Youth’ شباب امرأة or sometimes ‘The Leech’) starred Taheya Karioka, Shadia, Shukry Sarhan and Suraj Munir and told the story of Imam, a country boy (Sarhan) who travels to Cairo to finish his studies. He’s seduced by his landlady (Karioka) but over time he neglects his obligations to his family, his studies and even his religion. When he tries to end the relationship she attempts to force him to give up everything he believes in. She meets an extremely unpleasant death at the end of the film with the murderous assistance of veteran Egyptian actor Abdel Wares Asar.
In this scene Karioka dances for Imam, Sarhan’s character, then seduces him. There’s plenty of symbolism of consummation in the last scene!
According to the ‘Egypt Independent’, there was a dust-up between Karioka and Hollywood star Susan Hayward at the Cannes showing of ‘Shabab Imra’a’. A translated article says: “Famous for dazzling performance and dances, Taheya Karioka appeared in several Egyptian cinema classics. At the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, where Karioka’s movie was being screened, Karioka almost pounced on Hollywood star Susan Hayward after the latter made a comment against Egypt. The trembling Hayward fled just in time before Karioka could give her a severe beating. It is said that Karioka’s shoe went flying in the direction of Hayward, who deftly dodged it. The shoe ended up hitting one of the festival’s guests.”
Two legends of Egyptian bellydance perform together in a scene from the 1958 film ‘Habibi Al Asmar’ (My Dark Sweetheart حبيبي الأسمر ). In this scene, Samia Gamal is daydreaming and imagines herself and Taheya Karioka dancing to the music playing on the record player.
The film, which was directed by Niazi Mostafa, tells the story of two bellydancers and their relationships with the men in their lives. The film’s music, including the famous theme song, was composed by Mohamed Abdul Wahab.
What a show stopper! Taheya Karioka dances in a scene from the 1941 film ‘Leila, bint al Rif’ (‘Leila, country girl’ or ‘Leila, daughter of the countryside’ ليلى بنت الريف). The film was directed by the legendary Togo Mizrahi and starred Leila Mourad, Anwar Wajdi and Yousef Wehbi (the man with the rose).