Horeya Hassan (1951) حورية حسن

Horeya Hassan is the singer/dancer in this scene from the 1951 Egyptian drama ‘Ibn al Nil/e’ (Son of the Nile aka Nile Boy ابن النيل). The film was directed by Youssef Chahine and produced by early female film maker Mary Queeny. As the scene shifts from the nightclub singer to the village men on the boat the same song is being sung by both groups. Shukry Sarhan plays Hamid, a country boy who dislikes his life as a rural farmer but marries Zubaida who’s a village girl. Hamid decides to leave the village behind and catch the train to Cairo, the big city. There’s an accident, he thinks Zubaida has been killed and he heads to the city alone. There he quickly changes into a ‘city slicker’ and gets involved with a gang based in a nightclub. He’s eventually arrested and after serving his sentence returns to village life a wiser man. On his return to the village he saves his own young son from drowning and he is reunited with Zubaida but that’s another story. This scene is set in the nightclub, Shukry Sarhan is the tearful man and the woman who sits with him at the end is actress/dancer Samiha Tawfik who plays Poussi the club dancer. Also starring were Faten Hamama as Hamid’s village wife Zubaida, Yehia Shaheen as Hamid’s brother and ‘Mr Evil’ Mahmoud al Meliji as Kamal, the gang leader.

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Dance from the Silk Road (5)

This is a solo performance by a member of the Bukhorcha Ensemble from Bukhara, Uzbekistan.  The aim of the Bukhorcha Ensemble is to ‘…study and disseminate national classical vocal and instrumental music, dance art, and folkloric melodies and songs…’.
All performances by the ensemble are accompanied by live music using national music instruments including the tanbur, nay, saz, rabab, and oud.

Dances from the Silk Road (4)

This is the Bukhorcha Ensemble performing in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. The aim of the Ensemble which includes dancers, singers and musicians is to study and disseminate national classical vocal and instrumental music, dance art, and folkloric melodies and songs. All performances are accompanied by traditional Uzbeki musical instruments.

Dance from the Silk Road (3) (Spoon Dance)

This is the Bukhorcha Ensemble performing in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. The description of the Bukhorcha Ensemble from the Katara* website here in Doha, Qatar is: “The main purpose of “Bukhorcha” ensemble is to study and disseminate national classical vocal – instrumental music, dance art, and folkloric melodies and songs performed in certain traditional ceremonies. The ensemble’s repertoire includes music and dance samples typical to Bukhara and those representing Khorezm, Fergana, and the Muslim Orient. Such music and dance works as “Women Embroiderers,” “The Spring of Bukhara,” “Takhayyul,” “Tanovor,” “Sallamno,” “Javoniy,” “Karashma,” “Nozanin,” “Orazibon,” and “Musiqiy Guldasta (The Musical Bouquet)” are also part of the ensemble’s repertoire. Intricate dance movements, for example, “Charkh (Rotation),” “Charkhi Du Zonu (Rotation on Knees),” “Mor Pechon (dance form resembling a snake),” and “Bedona Qadam (Quail Walk)” make single dance composition of ancient Bukhara’s folkloric art.
All performances in the ensemble are accompanied with national music instruments: doira, tanbur, nay, ghijjak, saz, Qashqar rubab, Bukharan rubab, and ud. “The Musical Bouquet” suite, the ensemble’s one of the exemplifying programs, demonstrate all niceties and possibilities of each traditional music instrument.”
Meanwhile, back in the Middle East: “Katara” referred to above, is the purpose built cultural area of Doha, Qatar. There are art galleries, restaurants and performing spaces including a spectacular outdoor auditorium.

Dances from the Silk Road (2)

This is the Bukhorcha Dance and Music Ensemble performing at the Nadir Divanbegi Madraasa in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. The Ensemble put on a great show which lasted about an hour or so with stunning costumes, beautiful dance and fabulous musicians.
The building was initially constructed in the 1620s for use as a caravansari. However at its opening ceremony the Imam declared that the building must be a madraasa (school) and many changes and additions then had to be made.

Dances from the Silk Road (1)

This is the Bukhorcha Dance and Music Ensemble performing at the Nadir Divanbegi Madraasa in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. They put on a great show which lasted about an hour or so, stunning costumes, beautiful dance and fabulous musicians it was just a pity it was probably wasted on 99% of the audience 😦

Bellydance group in ‘Bint Zawat’ (1942)

A group of bellydancers performing at a wedding party in a scene from the 1942 Egyptian film ‘Bint Zawat’ (Daughter of the Aristocrats  بنت ذوات). The film starred Youssef Wehbi, Raqia Ibrahim, Bishara Wakim and Leila Fawzi.
Trivia: Leila Fawzi was Anwar Wajdi’s second wife.