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  1. #31
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    I personally think both of the above are true.

    I am not sure it is actually possible to pin down a definition that wont be contradicted somewhere else.

    I was having a discussion the other day with an Egyptian who said there is no such thing as 'Beledi' music and dance. It was an interesting conversation.

    PS trying to pin down 'Shaabi' is even better!

  2. #32
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Geddawi

    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Interestingly, this use conflicts with Dr Mo Geddawi's research. He believes that raqs sharqi was adopted to differentiate the dance in the nightclubs from that of the ordinary people (raqs beledi).


    Dear Kashnir,
    I have found that Gedawwi's researches seem to be very sensible as compared to many others, which seem constantly try to shift things to look like we can somehow give credit to the West for just about any aspect of the dance, I respect him very much.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  3. #33
    V.I.P. Tarik Sultan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Interestingly, this use conflicts with Dr Mo Geddawi's research. He believes that raqs sharqi was adopted to differentiate the dance in the nightclubs from that of the ordinary people (raqs beledi).
    They are both right. Just as in other areas of life, there are usually more than one reason why things are done.

  4. #34
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Beledi

    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    I personally think both of the above are true.

    I am not sure it is actually possible to pin down a definition that wont be contradicted somewhere else.

    I was having a discussion the other day with an Egyptian who said there is no such thing as 'Beledi' music and dance. It was an interesting conversation.

    PS trying to pin down 'Shaabi' is even better!

    Dear Caroline,
    I have heard from Egyptians also that there is nothing called "Beledi" music..... interesting. I have heard them refer to stuff I would call Beledi as Saidi, however. I think of Saidi as the stuff like Metcal Ghanawi plays, but apparently it has a further meaning outside dance/music circles. I think that we often expect the average to respond to what are actually terms used in certain ways by dancers...???
    I could be remembering this incorrectly, but I think that Edwina Nearing said the the Ghawazi called their dances Shaabi. ( They were known to perform 7 separate styles of dance when Edwina was spending time with them.) I would have to locate and dig out my old Habibis from the1970s to look that one up!!
    Regards,
    Aisha

  5. #35
    V.I.P. Kharmine's Avatar
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    Interestingly, my riq teacher just taught me a little Middle Eastern rhythm she said originally was known as something else but because Westerners called it "baladi," Egyptians began referring to it by that name, as well.

    Caroline, thanks for sharing the article, regardless of the problems.

    The more information we have, the more we notice patterns and discover sources that give substance to stories not previously backed up. Otherwise, all we'd have are stand-alone tales credited to people we know little or nothing about.

    I remember reading that Badia had married that actor gent someone named here -- he published his memoirs and in it accused her of being very jealous and once breaking a chair over his head. She was known to pack heat on the job, too.

    I've also read somewhere that Badia's memoirs are not completely truthful, but that's not surprising in show-business, politics or almost anything else.

    It would be nice if someone could write a factual biography with more background to all the questions we have. The really interesting thing to me is how Badia and other cabaret managers of the day, musicians and dancers integrated a whole range of North African folkloric dance traditions together, mxed in some Western culture, and produced this strikingly Middle Eastern art form.

  6. #36
    V.I.P. shiradotnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Interestingly, this use conflicts with Dr Mo Geddawi's research. He believes that raqs sharqi was adopted to differentiate the dance in the nightclubs from that of the ordinary people (raqs beledi).
    Interesting. Mahmoud Reda dismisses raqs sharqi as term he doesn't use at all. He uses raqs baladi to refer to both the social dance of the ordinary people and the theatrical artifice of the nightclub.

    I tend to see merit in both Mo Geddawi's research and the notion of distinguishing belly dance from the European-style dances (such as French cancan) that were also presented in the nightclubs.

  7. #37
    V.I.P. Kharmine's Avatar
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    In reading the article again I was struck by how much Western influence was incorporated in the development of the dance by way of music, choreography, staging, costumes -- and yet raks sharki remains a very Eastern dance.

    I hope the important distinction is noted here: I'm not saying that "the West" gets to claim more than its due to the development of raks sharki.

    BTW, I don't think the clip that accompanies the article is on the forum yet so I'm going to put it in the YouTube section. It's the only one I've ever seen with Badia Masabni herself, plus some of her dancers, are performing at her nightclub in the early 30s.

  8. #38
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kharmine View Post
    In reading the article again I was struck by how much Western influence was incorporated in the development of the dance by way of music, choreography, staging, costumes -- and yet raks sharki remains a very Eastern dance.

    I hope the important distinction is noted here: I'm not saying that "the West" gets to claim more than its due to the development of raks sharki.

    BTW, I don't think the clip that accompanies the article is on the forum yet so I'm going to put it in the YouTube section. It's the only one I've ever seen with Badia Masabni herself, plus some of her dancers, are performing at her nightclub in the early 30s.
    But when Westerners come learn it, it does not feel Western at all... and to some feels alien!

    I think various 'showy' bits and stageing are taken/shared with the West, giving perhaps and image and feel to the dance, but it is the Eastern moves and energy which make it really what it is.

  9. #39
    V.I.P. Tarik Sultan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    But when Westerners come learn it, it does not feel Western at all... and to some feels alien!

    I think various 'showy' bits and stageing are taken/shared with the West, giving perhaps and image and feel to the dance, but it is the Eastern moves and energy which make it really what it is.
    Exactly. But this is just the age old process of civilization. Our alphabet is derived from the Latin script of the Romans, who developed it from the Greeks, who borrowed the alphabet from the Phoenicians who developed it from the Egyptians. Regardless of where they got it from English, Latin and Greek all have their own identities because the concept was adapted to fit those unique cultures. So the fact that Sharki borrowed certain elements from Western Dance doesn't make it any less Egyptian, because those elements are being expressed through an Egyptian aesthetic for movement and response to music. The Egyptian Ballet on the other hand is different because they are using a foreign movement vocabulary and expressing it in the exact same way it is done in the West. That is an example of a total transplant rather than borrowing to express something native.

  10. #40
    V.I.P. Kharmine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarik Sultan View Post
    Exactly. But this is just the age old process of civilization. Our alphabet is derived from the Latin script of the Romans, who developed it from the Greeks, who borrowed the alphabet from the Phoenicians who developed it from the Egyptians. Regardless of where they got it from English, Latin and Greek all have their own identities because the concept was adapted to fit those unique cultures. So the fact that Sharki borrowed certain elements from Western Dance doesn't make it any less Egyptian, because those elements are being expressed through an Egyptian aesthetic for movement and response to music. The Egyptian Ballet on the other hand is different because they are using a foreign movement vocabulary and expressing it in the exact same way it is done in the West. That is an example of a total transplant rather than borrowing to express something native.
    Yes. There are many things all over the world that we associate with a particular culture that are the result of adaptation and fusion from other cultures. Recognizing the different aspects of the makeup is not to deny its final ethnic identification.

    And it may even help us to keep the art form what is is, when considering changes. Too much Western takes away from the character of Oriental dance, but leave it out and you also change the character.

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