I just discovered Suraya Hilal!

Samira bint Aya

New member
I had no idea this would evolve into such an interesting thread!

Thank you all for your replies. I am sorry I could not respond sooner, but I was very ill (with laryngitis). And I have no Internet access at home.

Sadly, on Friday I was supposed to perform my first solo, to my very own choreography... I had been working on this project for months, but the doctor told me there was no way I could perform, or I would be jeopardizing my health. :(

So, with half a heart, I called and canceled. I have been bawling my eyes out, but I know it was the right decision.

There is so much for me to learn from this thread, thank you all for the input. Now I have to go back and catch up on all your posts. So please bear with me...
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Samira bint Aya

New member
I was told that Hilal refused to take students who had studied with other teachers, and of course didn't allow her own students to study other styles with someone else.

I would find such a condition unacceptable. I don’t understand how some teachers think they own their students!

Fortunately, this is not how my Hilal teacher feels. Having said that, you know, she is also Greek and she doesn’t have much of that joy you were talking about (which I do not mind at all) I think it has more to do with the individual dancer rather than the style perhaps…


New member
Mine was marked with £1.24 to pay, but then it was scribbled over as if they'd decided to let me off! They seem to do that here occasionally.

Just to digress... did you have to pay excess postage on your copy of Mosaic? I did. Bloody £1.84!!!


That's because I had the wrong window open when I replied. :redface:

It was meant for the new costume purchases thread.


It's in the queue to be moved. But in future if you do accidentally post in the wrong place, pm the subforum moderators with a link to the thread that needs moving. :)


Super Moderator
Sorry folks the last few posts may not make much sense & that is due to the fact that several posts were moved to another forum, so rather than delete them, just ignore them:)


New member
I am reviving the thread and the discussion because

first, i had the honour to attend several workshops with Litta Petrou mentioned previously by Irene.
Well, yes, Suraya Hilal's vision of oriental dance is something that might make better dancers. In the sense, that once we take for granted that for some performances no flesh is showed, we need to make our movement more than perfect to express the music.

I am not against cabaret style, not at all! but yes, i share the view that commercialisation needs to be fought back. My research in archaeological sources shows that it is not humiliating to be half naked or decorated to dance, unless you live in a patriarchy. Capitalist patriarchy is even worse, it managed to make oriental dance a commodity.

Anyway, i found the thread because i have just found a video by Jane Wass, Hilal's students and troupe member and i think this is the British dancer Irene mentions. This is the video of her dancing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m6n2Nu2PK0

I had attended a joint workshop with both of them and i recognised the dancer immediately. So, i think one can watch and see whether this style is so far from cabaret or just far from vulgarity. Petrou has no videos online, but i can assure you she dances like a baladi elf.


New member
I managed to find that workshop's leaflet

and the name of the British dancer is Anne Ashcroft, very similar in style and body shape, even face details to Jane Wass!

I could not find any video of Anne Ashcroft on youtube. She was amazing and she also taught baladi with sagat/cymbals.