Egyptian floor work?

da Sage

New member
So I have a stereotypical view of floorwork being a feature of American or Turkish style. But since it was outlawed in Egypt, obviously someone must have been doing it there! How is Egyptian floorwork similar to/different than other kinds of floorwork, or is it really an imported element, and not really part of Egyptian style at all? Curious minds want to know!

Bonus points for video documentation.:D
 

shiradotnet

New member
I suggest getting Morocco's video of Nadia Hamdi's US tour. On that video, Nadia dances with a shamadan and does floor work. It's still fine/legal to do floor work in Egypt today as part of shamadan dance, provided you stick with the moves that were tradtionally done with shamadan. That's because shamadan is considered a traditional dance, and it's allowed to retain its traditional elements, including floor work.
 

Pirika Repun

New member
I suggest getting Morocco's video of Nadia Hamdi's US tour. On that video, Nadia dances with a shamadan and does floor work. It's still fine/legal to do floor work in Egypt today as part of shamadan dance, provided you stick with the moves that were tradtionally done with shamadan. That's because shamadan is considered a traditional dance, and it's allowed to retain its traditional elements, including floor work.
I saw the video that Morocco performed shamadan and did floor work. It was 1986's show and she did amazing floor work with shamadan. I saw this video in Lincoln Center Library of Performing Arts.

This is not exactly "floor work" but Aida Nour's Shamadan with kind of floor work video.



This is Egyptian ordinal guy did some floor work. He is NOT professional dancer.



This video.... Well, ask to him! You know who he is. ;)

 

Caroline_afifi

New member
I have seen very few dancers in Egypt do floorwork (live)

There have been one or two occasions in 15 years, like Camelia with her shamadan.

The other occasion was tourist place and did indeed involve the balancing of props.

I dunno, but apart from the one or two dancers from the past, I think any floorwork performed in Egyptian dance is to emphasize the thrill of the balance as opposed to a 'floor work section' of a raqs sharqi piece.

It is certainly no longer the norm if indeed it ever was?

I have seen some (mostly in 70's footage), but not enough to make me believe it was very much an established part of Egyptian Raqs sharqi.
 

Marya

New member
I have seen very few dancers in Egypt do floorwork (live)

There have been one or two occasions in 15 years, like Camelia with her shamadan.

The other occasion was tourist place and did indeed involve the balancing of props.

I dunno, but apart from the one or two dancers from the past, I think any floorwork performed in Egyptian dance is to emphasize the thrill of the balance as opposed to a 'floor work section' of a raqs sharqi piece.

It is certainly no longer the norm if indeed it ever was?

I have seen some (mostly in 70's footage), but not enough to make me believe it was very much an established part of Egyptian Raqs sharqi.
I have some videos from the 80's I think that show Nagua Fouad doing floor work during an oriental dance performance ( it might be one of Morocco's videos) her floor work was pretty basic and not the dramatic writhing around that you see in American style.

Mona Said also did some floor work in an oriental dance (from an old video) but as Caroline said it does not seem to be a normal part of a performance unless it is a Shamadan dance.

Marya
 

maria_harlequin

New member
why would they have outlawed floor work in Egypt?
For the same reasons your belly had to be covered and that you apparently have to stand still for pictures. It was a hundred pound fee also if you did floor work as Morocco mentioned here in her article at The Hip Circle.

It looks like the government wanted the dance banned at the time but with little support, they took to banning the little things in the dance instead.
 

~Diana~

AFK Moderator
Really! Wow I did not know that. That is so sad to see shackles of sort put on a beautiful dance form.
 

Nalini Akal

New member
I have some dvds with floorwork -from Iamed with Anaheed (Classic Cabaret Floorwork) - in terms of Lebannese/ Turkish they seem to me at least to execute it for stage as part of the attraction- In Classical Indian Dance Floor work functions as part of the folk tradition- Egyptian Floorwork almost seems like a combination of both, but what is the essence as derived by it's moves that would make differentiate the stage from the traditional? Some folk dances execute some very acrobatic and fantastic things- things that never make it to stage.
 

cathy

New member
Nice Aida Nour clip, thanks Pirika! I love the way she kind of hesistates as she goes down on a step. Actually now that I think about it, it's similar to what Tarik sometimes does, kind of "stepping on clouds."

(I had already seen the other two clips. They are good also)

Cathy
 

walladah

New member
Exactly, outlawing means that we cannot doubt the existence of this dance form!

As far as i remember, there is video of Samia Gamal doing floorwork and if i am not mistaken, there is one with Tahia Carioca too.

I must search my FB wall now, as i use it as a dance video calendar for my personal study and for friends and students to have material for study as well.
 

Kashmir

New member
As far as i remember, there is video of Samia Gamal doing floorwork and if i am not mistaken, there is one with Tahia Carioca too.
Floorwork used to be a part of Egyptian dance. It was one of the things banned after the 1952 revolution. As I understand it limited floorwork can still be done (legally) in a folkloric setting eg shamadan. But no rolling around!
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Kashmir and Walladah know stuff! :clap:

PS That is one of my favorite pieces of music of all time. I used to double it when I was dancing because it wasn't long enough alone. Never used it for floor work. Always hated doing floor work. Hurt my knees, got my costumes dirty.
 
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Aniseteph

New member
Always hated doing floor work. Hurt my knees, got my costumes dirty.
I've always though it was the sort of thing that needed a gorgeous carpet, brought on and laid out by a couple of chorus boys (a girl can't carry on her own carpet, obviously. It's just not elegant.)
 

walladah

New member
Floorwork is tough, really and you need knee pads

for practicing. Keep safety rules always and practice regularly if you want to dance floorwork.

The most funny thing is that in greece, it is not forbidden of course but:

in my homeland in the northeast part of the country, floorwork does not exist, although bellydance, the local version, is danced by all women (and men, i could say) and bellydance (all types) is cherished very much.

in the south of greece, where any type of bellydance is ambiguously received (you know, loose girl's dance, etc etc) floorwork exists and it can become very provocative in some cases. I learned to do floorwork (not rolling though) since i was a child, people in the south danced with floorwork the tsifteteli bellydance type.

And it was floorwork with backbend exactly the same like in the old egyptian movies, no rolling.

But!!!! i found evidence that floorwork with props and rolling was not unknown in the same area (south) in early 19th century. More info once i have my research paper ready on that. I have many suprises about bellydance history in the year to come.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
HA! I can imagine dancing onto stage or into the midst of an audience, waving a carpet around in lieu of a veil...

We're talking studly chorus males of a legal age, right?
 
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