Once again I am trying to make sure I am teaching the correct information.
I am trying to give a good description of Beledi, Urban Beledi, Raks Sharki and Belly Dance.
So here are my questions:
What is a good description of each?
What are some of the similarities and differences between each?
What are good music examples for each?
Thanks so much for your help!
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06-27-2007 03:36 PM #1
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- Apr 2007
Beledi, Urban Beledi, Raks Sharki and Belly Dance
06-27-2007 05:58 PM #2
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- May 2007
Dare I even ask what Urban Beladi is? (I'm sure it's not the oxymoron thats running through my head right now.)
06-27-2007 08:06 PM #3
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- Jul 2000
- Christchurch, New Zealand
"Beledi" is a very complex concept/word. Literally it means belongs to the community, the people. It is a positive term in some circles and beledi is seen as the salt of the earth. In more sophisticated circles it is a put down. (See "A Trade Like Any Other" for a full discussion of the concepts)
With respect to the dance, "beledi" dance is the local dance. "Raqs sharqi" grew out of one type of "raqs beledi". All the folk forms such as sa`iidi, hagalla, raqs assaya etc are other examples of "raqs beledi".
However, there are also some specialialized uses of the term. Sometimes it is used to contrast to raqs sharqi eg sharqi hip drop would be more precise, more controlled than a beledi one; sharqi arms tend to be higher and straighter etc.
Urban beledi is the style of the urban working class - often to "modern" (post 1920s) music with saxophone and accordian. More sophisicated than village dance but looser, earthier than raqs sharqi.
Then there is dancing to the beledi progression which is a Egyptian jazz music form, and also Surya Hilal had her own take on beledi style.
07-01-2007 08:43 AM #4
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- Mar 2006
- Ringgold, Georgia, USA. Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA.
Leyla Jouvana is teaching this in one of the workshops this weekend in GA. Maybe I'll have something interesting to add afterwards...
07-01-2007 07:15 PM #5
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- Oct 2006
I was having a similar discussion with someone else today. Not specifically about the above but the difference between Turkish, Lebanese, etc.
I started dancing in 1980. At that time there really wasn't this distinguishing of styles as there is nowadays. Our style of dancing was totally dependant on the type of music that was being played. If Turkish music, you adapted your movements to conform to the Turkish music, or Greek, or Lebanese, or Eygptian, etc. But belly dance was belly dance. In the US, there was "belly dance" then there was "west coast style" which was of course the evolution of American caberet and Tribal.
They biggest difference I noticed in how belly dancing evolved was directly related to how the music industry changed. And that was directly related to the addition of the drum machine and synthesizers. Prior to that you either worked with a 3-5 piece band or a full orchestra. Unless you were a "star" you probably weren't working with a full orchestra. Once the drum machine and synthesizer came out, many bands were able to replicate the sound of the orchestra. The music really started to change and once the music changes the dancer must of necessity follow.
There's a huge difference dancing to a song played by a nay, violin and drum, vs. the same song played by a full orchestra. Since the dancer is considered to be an extension of the band or orchestra, the more complex the music, the more complex the moves of the dancer should be to reflect the music.
Dance music today in general is faster and more energetic than the music was 30, 40, 50 years ago. It's not so much the style that has changed but the music.
07-01-2007 07:56 PM #6
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- Jul 2001
- Blog Entries
Another handy piece of "beledi" info - my foul-and-felafel-sandwich dealer, who is Egyptian, knows I dance and we often chat about the music she is playing. One day she pointed out a particular piece as being very good for dancing. Instrumentation-wise it reminded me of traditional saidi music, but the rhythm was maqsoum, and I said so. "No, this is Masri," she said. My brain ticked over - Masri = Egypt = ? "So, like beledi?" I asked, and she said yes. I felt very happy about making that connection.
07-02-2007 01:48 AM #7
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- Jun 2007
It maybe a bit difficult to realy describe the differences here. What I do recommend is watching videos. For example Baladi: Fifi Abdo, Raqs Sharqi (Egyptian Style) Mona Said, for more modern Dina maybe until 2000 (later it will be too much Dina-Style), example for good Lebanese Sharqi is the one and only Nadja Jamal (Amani is for my understanding too much Amani, not serving for an example for Lebanese understanding).
Baladi : urban Baladi ?? Kashmir gave an explanation, however, I have never come across this in Egypt.
One thing is certain (at least I experienced it that way working with Middle Eastern Pros) - Baladi is a Solo Dance! Whenever a solodancer introduces Shabi/Folklor into her Show (as part of the tableau) it becomes Baladi.
For people who want to get deeper, to learn more about the back-ground, I always recommend reading: "A trade like any other (Kashmir pointed that our already), "Khul-Khal" by Atiya and "Baladi Women of Cairo" by Early.
Greetings from Frankfurt/Germany
09-21-2007 11:45 AM #8
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- Sep 2007
Hi Chandani - don't be disappointed if you get at lot of differing advice on this! almost every expert (talking about internationally respected figures here) i consult on these disagrees in part with every other. Takes a Looooong time to build up a picture of of these definitions - i feel this - for me - will always be works in progress - and never a concrete set of definitions. We are much more concerned with definition in the west anyway -
once we name something we feel we can define compare and contrast- the down side is that getting caught up in terminology can get in the way of understanding something that is meant to be lived and experienced to be understood. Or at least this the argument i have heard used by ME dancers,
the longer i study the more I understand this point of view.
As Reyhan says it is really difficult to describe the differences - watching dancers or video's with someone who has a lot of knowledge does help.
09-21-2007 12:52 PM #9
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