Are male dancers becoming more common in Egypt?

Tarik Sultan

New member
So years ago, when I was a bit younger, less wise and full of piss and vinigar, I use to get into heated debates, with a certain person,..... about the validity of male dancers in Egyptian dance history. I said that given that Sharki is based on a foundation of the local social dance it only made sense that eventually we might see guys in Egypt doing it in the pro arena. Then along came Tito and a few others in the Red Sea resort towns like Sharem. While they ere free to dance there, they found no acceptance in Cairo's nightclub circuits.

I stumbled across this the other day and am wondering if this is becoming more common outside of Sharem in local communities. This clip seems to be a street wedding in an urban area. Thought I'd share. Have no idea of any background info.
[video=youtube;kOBptJneVi4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOBptJneVi4[/video]

Anyone have any insights?:think:
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
So glad you are older, wiser, and full of sweet water and fine wine nowadays, Tarik dear. :lol:

That was a pretty cool clip. I hope someone can add more clips and additional information.
 

Zorba

Moderator
I would think that given Tito's success, that "clones" would start to spread. And why not? Cool to me!
 

Safran

New member
I spent last summer in Sharm, and there are only very few male bellydancers there, so I am not sure we are witnessing much progress in the sense of male dancers towards the general public in Egypt. However, I am getting the feeling that in the dancer-directed market we are seeing more Egyptian men not only teaching, but also performing oriental. But this is just a hunch, I am not sure I can empirically back that up :D
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
So glad you are older, wiser, and full of sweet water and fine wine nowadays, Tarik dear. :lol:

That was a pretty cool clip. I hope someone can add more clips and additional information.
:( You say that like you don't believe me. But I am GDAMN IT and if you give me a second I'll find a youtube clip to prove it!
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
Well, we did have a thread on that a few years ago. I thought they were clones, but what I've found out recently is that Tito wasn't the first, he was only the best known. He's certainly the most dynamic of all of them and once he hit the international seminar circuit it was a done deal. The fact that he came out of a folk troup and taught his own folk troup also means that he had a marketable skill that the others did not have.
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
You're right. I don't see an explosion in numbers of male dancers anywhere in Egypt for deveral reasons. First of all the economy and the current political situation. Even the numbers of female dancers is down. However, the fact that there are male dancers at all is a really big deal.

The question is whether or not this type of entertainment is spreading outside Sharem. It would help to know where this wedding is happening. The audience is all local Egyptian and they seem to be enjoying it. I think people are people anywhere you go, they want a good show, something to distract from the monotony of everyday life. I've always felt the real issue was the control of people at the top wanting to preserve a certain image. The peple on the ground are another thing altogether. Some will like it, some won't, some wont give a damn one way or another.
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
I spent last summer in Sharm, and there are only very few male bellydancers there, so I am not sure we are witnessing much progress in the sense of male dancers towards the general public in Egypt. However, I am getting the feeling that in the dancer-directed market we are seeing more Egyptian men not only teaching, but also performing oriental. But this is just a hunch, I am not sure I can empirically back that up :D
Also agree with you about the climate of the seminar scene. I think that Tito's success has given them the encouragement that they can do the same, which in itself is also a radical step in a new direction.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
You say that like you don't believe me. But I am GDAMN IT and if you give me a second I'll find a youtube clip to prove it!
I am crushed by your cynicism! I believe every word that falls from your lips and gather them in like, like... sweet water and fine wine to savor in the dry times.
 

Safran

New member
Well, we did have a thread on that a few years ago. I thought they were clones, but what I've found out recently is that Tito wasn't the first, he was only the best known. He's certainly the most dynamic of all of them and once he hit the international seminar circuit it was a done deal. The fact that he came out of a folk troup and taught his own folk troup also means that he had a marketable skill that the others did not have.
Well, the few male dancers that I did see perform publically in Sharm, were definitely copies of Tito. It might be because he worked in Sharm for a long time and had a strong influence (at least one of the dancers was from "Tito's group"), or the fact that his style is just more easily marketable. However, I think also TommyKing (HatemHamdy) has grown out of the Sharm-scene, and he has a completely different style. And he is really getting increasingly popular when it comes to dancer-oriented events.
 

Roshanna

New member
Might this have something to do with the decrease in social acceptability of hiring female dancers? I've been hearing for a while that people are tending to hire male folkloric dancers rather than a bellydancer for weddings etc due to the disapproval/threats of religious types, so perhaps that's also creating some more opportunities for male solo dancers. Just my vague guess based on what I remember reading about the situation in Cairo lately, I've no idea if it's a stab in the right direction or not...
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
Well, the few male dancers that I did see perform publically in Sharm, were definitely copies of Tito. It might be because he worked in Sharm for a long time and had a strong influence (at least one of the dancers was from "Tito's group"), or the fact that his style is just more easily marketable. However, I think also TommyKing (HatemHamdy) has grown out of the Sharm-scene, and he has a completely different style. And he is really getting increasingly popular when it comes to dancer-oriented events.
As I said before, Tito was not the only one, but the best known. Certainly he was in the best venue. I think you're right in that the current dancers are trying to fill his shoes. In much the same way that all the new dancers were emulating Dina when she was in her hayday.

With regards to Hatem. When you say he has grown out of the Sharem scene, do you mean in the context of the international seminar circuit or performing in Egyptian venues outside Sharem?
 

Tarik Sultan

New member
Might this have something to do with the decrease in social acceptability of hiring female dancers? I've been hearing for a while that people are tending to hire male folkloric dancers rather than a bellydancer for weddings etc due to the disapproval/threats of religious types, so perhaps that's also creating some more opportunities for male solo dancers. Just my vague guess based on what I remember reading about the situation in Cairo lately, I've no idea if it's a stab in the right direction or not...
I don't think so. Simply beecause these dancers were never permitted to perform in Cairo nightclubs. Even though things have gotten more conservative you can still find female dancers at local street weddings too. But yes, there has been a rise in the use of male folk dancers and all the shabbi bands now have those groups of boy dancers. I guess we just have to wait and see what develops.
 

Safran

New member
With regards to Hatem. When you say he has grown out of the Sharem scene, do you mean in the context of the international seminar circuit or performing in Egyptian venues outside Sharem?
I know he has definitely promoted himself in Sharm as the male oriental dancer (meaning general gigs), but I am not sure about outside it. I will be going to Nile Group in three weeks, and after that back to Sharm. So, I will probably be able to either ask him directly or just ask around for a better view of things...
 

Pirika Repun

New member
About Hatem, I think he getting popular internationally. Not so in the US, but he went Japans several times already, and he has fans there. I also saw he was in some European countries when he posted photos on Face Book.

I think his more ballet/ Jazz influenced style are attracted to Westerns/ Far Easterners. I guess for non Arabic speaking people, easy to follow his style - dance with beat and technic oriented style. Also he can do some fusion with roller skate, or/and Broadway style so, maybe that also attracted to people. Maybe his unique costume too? I don’t know.. :think:
 
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