Aziza of Cairo

Today I want to share a beautiful clip from one of Cairo's popular current belly dancers.  This is the Egyptian Aziza, not to be confused with the American belly dancer of the same name.

Egyptian Belly Dancer Aziza of Cairo

Egyptian Belly Dancer Aziza of Cairo

This is a longer clip in which she dances to a shaabi/mahagranat sounding song, followed by a more traditional (though modern) baladi song.  At about 11 minutes in she starts a drum solo and this is really worth watching to see how she dances it, picking and choosing what she dances to, playful yet riveting to watch.

I love watching clips of Aziza and I think she is very adept at changing her dance for her audience.  Her nightclub clips have a different feel to when she is dancing on stage at festival like she is here, and it is very instructive to see.  But even here, dancing at an Eastern European festival, she retains the nuance, timing and ease that I love in classic Egyptian dance even as she adds flashier elements that are suitable to this situation.  She adapts for the crowd but never loses what is her.  I love this and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

To contrast this with a nightclub show, see this earlier Aziza post.

And just a reminder that I will be performing in a live music and belly dancing show at Tannourine Restaurant in San Mateo one week from today.  Details on my Shows page.

Thanks for reading!

Hager Hamdi (هاجر حمدى)

Here is a cute clip from a dancer I haven't featured before, Hager Hamdi (هاجر حمدى).  I found her one day when I was browsing on The CaroVan Classics page. 

The little information I found about her seems to indicate that she was an actress who also danced, rather than strictly a belly dancer.  I always enjoy the natural and relaxed style of the "actresses who dance" and this is a really fun and happy clip.

I also love that there are a lot of backup dancers, so you get to see so many different costumes.

The dancer in this clip is Hager Hamdi (1924-2008) who plays dual roles in the 1951 Egyptian film ‘El Moallem Bolbol’ (‘Bolbol, the Boss’ المعلم بلبل). She initially plays a movie star named Suhair whose sudden departure leaves the director of the film Wahid (Kamal al Shinnawi) looking for a replacement. He finds Suhair's lookalike in a teacher named Bolbol also played by Hager Hamdi. The film also starred Ismail Yassin and Riyadh al Kassabgy. The male singer in this clip is Egyptian comedian Shekuku and the female singer is Suad Mekawy. Trivia 1: Kamal al Shinnawi was Hager Hamdi’s husband at the time. Trivia 2: 'Bolbol' (also spelt Bulbul) means songbird or nightingale. Does anyone else remember the Afghani whistling genius, Bulbul, the Nightingale of Herat?

The caption above is from The CaroVan.

Classes in South San Francisco resume tonight!  Info on my Classes page, we are going to have a fun session.

And I will be performing at Tannourine Restaurant in San Mateo on Friday,  May 4th.  The details are on my Shows page.

As always, thank you for stopping by my website :)

Naima Akef (نعيمة عاكف‎‎)

At our regular First Friday belly dance show at Tannourine Restaurant last Friday, one of the musicians shared this clip with me.  He said he loved the dancing in it.  I thought it would be a perfect one to share here.

The dancer is Naima Akef and I am pretty sure that the singer is Faiza Ahmed (فايزة أحمد) and that this is from the film Tamar Henna.  I hope you enjoy this one.

Here are a few gorgeous photos of Naima-

And speaking of Tannourine, here is a short clip of part of my performance last Friday.  The music was so beautiful it is such a honor to be a part of these special evenings.  The next one is May 5, 2017.