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Thread: What to wear for a shamadam




  1. #1
    Advanced BHUZzer Hala Jamal's Avatar
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    What to wear for a shamadam

    I've performed with my shamadam many times for zeffas, celebrations and on stage over the yeasr.. I've done my research through articles, Morocco's videos and others, as well as seeing my teachers perform over the years.

    I will be dusting off my newly repaired Shamadam and preparing for a stage show in May. I'm looking for ideas for costuming. I know I could wear everything from a baladi dress, to a fringey alba-style outfit, to a modern, sleeker number.

    Bhuzzers, please show me photos of what you think would look good , like show-stopping good while still respecting tradition. Cheers!


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    Master BHUZzer shems's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    This:

    Attachment 46524

    It is a Bob Mackie design for Mitzi Gaynor. But still speaks to that Abla fringey look.
    :-)
    Last edited by shems; 01-13-2012 at 12:07 PM.


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer Hala Jamal's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Cool!!!!! Where do I get one?


    Quote Originally Posted by shems View Post
    This:

    Attachment 46524

    It is a Bob Mackie design for Mitzi Gaynor. But still speaks to that Abla fringey look.
    :-)


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    Official BHUZzer SomaBellydance's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Keep the song in your throat
    Let your hands bring out the meaning
    Your glance should be full of expression
    While your feet maintain the rhythm
    -- from the Natya Shastra


  5. #5
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Quote Originally Posted by shems View Post
    This:

    Attachment 46524

    It is a Bob Mackie design for Mitzi Gaynor. But still speaks to that Abla fringey look.
    :-)


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    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Quote Originally Posted by Hala Jamal View Post
    Cool!!!!! Where do I get one?
    Maybe you could get someone to make one of the Magic Stretch Dresses out of nude lycra, it would have a similar effect.
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  7. #7
    Master BHUZzer shems's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Quote Originally Posted by Hala Jamal View Post
    Cool!!!!! Where do I get one?
    Well, you can always contact the Bob Mackie Design Group: Bob Mackie Design Group, Ltd. | Official Website of Bob Mackie, Fashion Art and Fashion Illustration

    But I imagine that trying to find somebody to make a good knockoff would be relatively less expensive.


  8. #8
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam



    I don't know. It's certainly an impressive piece of wearable art but...

    That's the kind of costume that makes such an impact, would you ever be able to get your money's worth out of it by wearing it? Or would it be like an Academy Awards dress, where once everybody's seen you in it, you can't keep trotting it out? Does it set the bar so high that everything else in your closet looks like rags next to it?

    I can't shake the idea of some Arab coming up after the show and ranting, "Why didn't you just glue the beads to your naked body?!!"

    It's not the sort of costume you'd want to chance dripping wax on.


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    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Ohhh I love the way that moves!!!!

    As far as it getting 'tired' -- usually the only audiences who ever see me more than once are other dancers, at haflas & workshop shows!

    The customers who pay me -- and therefore buy my costumes -- only see me once... maybe twice if it's a referral from the same crowd.

    As far as Arab audiences... it's no more 'naked' than the fishnet balady dresses Dina and Mona have worn for shows in Egypt and Lebanon. And a lot LESS naked than the costumes that have recently been popular in the Cairo nightclubs.

    I would totally wear it, if it flattered me...


    (and I long ago started using cottonballs soaked in paraffin instead of candles, so I don't drip wax anymore. YAY!)


  10. #10
    Master BHUZzer sabrinabellydancer's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Definitely a dress.
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    Advanced BHUZzer Hala Jamal's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Let's not forget there are budget restrictions! ;-)

    Yes, wax drips must be considered (I could try the cotton-ball idea - I always used 1/2 burnt down tealights).

    I agree that it must be a dress (that's the traditional part of me speaking). But cut-outs are fine.

    I am always sensitive about my Arab audiences but Dina and others have paved an interesting trail.

    For some reason I think lots of fringe is a must.

    Thank you for all the photos - keep them coming!


  12. #12
    Official BHUZzer lplmuk's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    I've seen dancers wear two pieces as well as dresses both in live performance and on film both older and modern. I m not sure the former is "wrong" in any way.
    Personally I prefer a dress as this style has a "traditional" origin but then I have a liking for folkloric influenced clothing and dresses and I can't see how it might be incorrect for a dancer to wear a two-piece in the atest fashion.


  13. #13
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Quote Originally Posted by Hala Jamal View Post
    I know I could wear everything from a baladi dress, to a fringey alba-style outfit, to a modern, sleeker number.
    Actually, I wouldn't recommend a baladi dress because shamadan's origins are NOT folkloric. Traditional, but not folkloric.

    Shafiqa el-Koptiyya, the dancer who is reputedly the "inventor" of it came from a well-to-do family and danced for the Khedive/Viceroy (ie, the equivalent of the king, except under Ottoman overlords). It is said she gilded the heels of her shoes with gold. This was NOT a "baladi" dancer.

    I'd go with a fustan raqs (evening gown) style of dress for a nod to the origins.

    As for specific dress style, a lot depends on whether you're planning to do the floor work that is traditionally part of the style. If you intend to do the splits and all that, you'll need a style of costume that doesn't have a narrow-fitting skirt.


  14. #14
    Official BHUZzer lplmuk's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam



    I did say TRADITIONAL but often these dresses are influenced by "folkloric" styling. That was the connection I was making to folkloric.
    I love to see this but then I admit to obsession to this era LOL
    Last edited by lplmuk; 01-17-2012 at 05:57 AM.


  15. #15
    Official BHUZzer lplmuk's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam



    But then if it's good enough for Camelia...


  16. #16
    Official BHUZzer lplmuk's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam



    My own favourite..sorry folks you got me going on a subject dear to my heart...
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  17. #17
    Official BHUZzer lplmuk's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam



    Recently posted


  18. #18
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    I don't have a clip, but I remember Dandash wearing a lovely assuit dress at the AWS show (had to be 2000 or 2002 cuz those are the only ones I've seen LOL). I loved the look!

    And of course Aida Nour wears a men's galabeya these days.


    so it definitely seems like 'anything goes' for shamadan.


  19. #19
    Master BHUZzer shems's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Quote Originally Posted by Tourbeau View Post


    I don't know. It's certainly an impressive piece of wearable art but...

    That's the kind of costume that makes such an impact, would you ever be able to get your money's worth out of it by wearing it? Or would it be like an Academy Awards dress, where once everybody's seen you in it, you can't keep trotting it out? Does it set the bar so high that everything else in your closet looks like rags next to it?

    I can't shake the idea of some Arab coming up after the show and ranting, "Why didn't you just glue the beads to your naked body?!!"

    It's not the sort of costume you'd want to chance dripping wax on.
    You are way too practical Tourbeau, all this has done is convince me that she also needs a gang of handsome men singing her entrance and giving her high fives during her performance.

    She did say showstopping. :-)
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  20. #20
    Master BHUZzer shems's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Here is the Dandash clip:

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  21. #21
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Quote Originally Posted by shems View Post
    Here is the Dandash clip:

    Ohhhh thank you! So happy to see it again, it's been ages.


  22. #22
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Quote Originally Posted by Shira View Post
    Actually, I wouldn't recommend a baladi dress because shamadan's origins are NOT folkloric. Traditional, but not folkloric. [...] As for specific dress style, a lot depends on whether you're planning to do the floor work that is traditionally part of the style. If you intend to do the splits and all that, you'll need a style of costume that doesn't have a narrow-fitting skirt.
    I was originally taught that the "proper" shamadan dress was along the lines of this http://scheherezadeimports.com/image...aididress1.jpg or the dress PF is wearing in this thread What is this, and where can I get it? On the other hand, I'm not sure how we are 20+ posts into this thread without someone mentioning Nadia Hamdi's disco jumpsuit. If you want a costume that's going to leave everybody's mouth hanging open, you could whip up your own pair of intergalactic Liberace lounging pajamas for a fraction of the time and effort of the Mackie dress.





    On a more practical note, I don't think I would personally choose one of those streamlined, modern Lycra galabeyas for shamadan, but I'm not sure I could construct an argument for why it shouldn't be done that accommodates why these other dancers wore what they did. Shamadan calls for traditional costuming except when it doesn't.
    Last edited by Tourbeau; 01-17-2012 at 12:17 PM.


  23. #23
    Advanced BHUZzer phillyraqs's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Quote Originally Posted by Tourbeau View Post
    I was originally taught that the "proper" shamadan dress was along the lines of this http://scheherezadeimports.com/image...aididress1.jpg or the dress PF is wearing in this thread What is this, and where can I get it? On the other hand, I'm not sure how we are 20+ posts into this thread without someone mentioning Nadia Hamdi's disco jumpsuit. If you want a costume that's going to leave everybody's mouth hanging open, you could whip up your own pair of intergalactic Liberace lounging pajamas for a fraction of the time and effort of the Mackie dress.


    Oh, Nadia's shamadan, how I love it! Also, Nadia Hamdi learned Shamadan direct from the source, Zouba El Klobatiyya. I would imagine that Nadia fashioned this costume because she wanted to appear modestly (she had already given up teaching and performing in Egypt) and because she needed the coverage to do floorwork, but still wanted to look flashy.

    Also, I always considered shamadan to be pretty baladi - it was such a Mohammed Ali street thing, and they were definitely baladi. And Nadia Hamdi and her family were baladi. (In that, they were not rich or fancy.) I'm surprised shamadan would be considered so fancy, now I want to know more about Shafiqa el-Koptiyya.


  24. #24
    Ultimate BHUZzer tahiradancer's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    I think what you wear for Shamadan is pretty open to personal choice. For a Zeffa, I like either a dress - which can go anywhere from evening gown to baladi - or a paillette tunic or dress and harems. This gives a nod to the more earthy elements of shamadan and makes floor work easier. But, once again, I would make my decision based on the event and the requirements of that event.

    {{{HUGS}}}
    Last edited by tahiradancer; 01-17-2012 at 03:16 PM.


  25. #25
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Quote Originally Posted by phillyraqs View Post
    Oh, Nadia's shamadan, how I love it! Also, Nadia Hamdi learned Shamadan direct from the source, Zouba El Klobatiyya.
    Hmmm, are you sure? Zouba el-Klobatiyya was a 19th-century dancer. Some believe that her use of the lantern is what inspired Shafiqa el-Koptiyya (who died in 1926) to one-up her by using the shamadan. There are photos from the 1900 exposition in France showing dancers with shamadans, so shamadan would have been "invented" before 1900.

    There's an article about Nadia Hamdi on Morocco's web site which says that Nadia's grandmother was trained by Shafiqa el-Koptiyya. So I do feel that Nadia's "shamadan lineage" is stellar, but so far as I know Zouba would have died before Nadia was born. Though, if you have a source linking them, I'd love to read it because I'm fascinated by the dancers of Zouba's era.

    Quote Originally Posted by phillyraqs View Post
    I'm surprised shamadan would be considered so fancy, now I want to know more about Shafiqa el-Koptiyya.
    I hope to post an article about her on Shira.net soon. Keep an eye on my facebook "fan page" or twitter feed - I'll announce it once I have it posted.


  26. #26
    Advanced BHUZzer phillyraqs's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Quote Originally Posted by Shira View Post
    Hmmm, are you sure? Zouba el-Klobatiyya was a 19th-century dancer.
    Nadia told me that Zouba was still alive when she was a little girl and she studied with Zouba along with her great aunt and grandmother as well as watching Zouba perform.

    Morocco's article on Nadia also mentions how Nadia saw Zouba perform -
    Speaking of those times, Nadia says: "It was wonderful to have had the opportunity to watch all those dancers, to observe their different styles, to learn something different from each one, every time, no matter how often I saw the same dancer. My favorite was Zouba el Klobatiyya, one of the most famous candelabrum dancers of all times. She wore a klop that, to my child's eyes, was as tall as the sky. Oh, how it dazzled my eyes - and her costume! I still remember her charm and originality of style. In the last thirty years, different and new fads and styles have come and gone, but I still think that for the most part, the traditional dances were the most difficult, the most beautiful, the best -- the 'Golden Age' of Raks Sharki."
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  27. #27
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Quote Originally Posted by phillyraqs View Post
    Nadia told me that Zouba was still alive when she was a little girl and she studied with Zouba along with her great aunt and grandmother as well as watching Zouba perform.
    Ah, thanks for clarifying! I don't know as much about Zouba as I do about some of the other early dancers. She must have lived to a ripe old age.

    Quote Originally Posted by phillyraqs View Post
    Morocco's article on Nadia also mentions how Nadia saw Zouba perform -
    Speaking of those times, Nadia says: "It was wonderful to have had the opportunity to watch all those dancers, to observe their different styles, to learn something different from each one, every time, no matter how often I saw the same dancer. My favorite was Zouba el Klobatiyya, one of the most famous candelabrum dancers of all times. She wore a klop that, to my child's eyes, was as tall as the sky. Oh, how it dazzled my eyes - and her costume! I still remember her charm and originality of style. In the last thirty years, different and new fads and styles have come and gone, but I still think that for the most part, the traditional dances were the most difficult, the most beautiful, the best -- the 'Golden Age' of Raks Sharki."
    Welcome to Morocco's Meanderings
    Ah, ok. It's been a long time since I read the entire article. Guess I'll have to do that again sometime soon!


  28. #28
    Advanced BHUZzer CalgaryBibi's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Have you seen this one at Dahlal? https://www.dahlal.com/default.aspx?...1&s1=1153&s2=0 It's somewhat like the Mitzi Gaynor dress, although without the ethereal illusion of nudity.

    Sorry. The link won't go straight to the dress. It's the Magic Stretch Dress on Page 4.

    If you order before the end of January, you can get 25% off: Save BIG During Customer Appreciation Month! 25% OFF ANY SINGLE ITEM OF YOUR CHOICE!
    Last edited by CalgaryBibi; 01-21-2012 at 11:29 AM.
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  29. #29
    Advanced BHUZzer ra-chell's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Love the Bob Mackie! And have to agree with Lauren re: those who would see the costume twice. Even so it's so beautiful and moves so fabulous, that it would be amazing to see again!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren_ View Post
    Ohhh I love the way that moves!!!!

    As far as it getting 'tired' -- usually the only audiences who ever see me more than once are other dancers, at haflas & workshop shows!

    The customers who pay me -- and therefore buy my costumes -- only see me once... maybe twice if it's a referral from the same crowd.

    As far as Arab audiences... it's no more 'naked' than the fishnet balady dresses Dina and Mona have worn for shows in Egypt and Lebanon. And a lot LESS naked than the costumes that have recently been popular in the Cairo nightclubs.

    I would totally wear it, if it flattered me...


    (and I long ago started using cottonballs soaked in paraffin instead of candles, so I don't drip wax anymore. YAY!)


  30. #30
    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: What to wear for a shamadam

    Not quite the same as the Bob Mackie dress, but still pretty cool if you're not doing floor work, and it's a good price:

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