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  1. #1
    Advanced BHUZzer Nouria's Avatar
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    Golden era - define, please!

    Hi,

    I love the golden era topic. I came to it by studying Naima Akef a little after learning a Tamra-Henna choreo based on hers (or Ibrahim Akef's). That was the first time I fell for the charme of a dancer of earlier times, for I'm a fan of Dina, then of modern Egyptian and also of international Egyptian-trained-but-still-individual-cab-dancers - all that long before I got my taste for the older dancers.

    So: golden era is trend, people talk about it, there are retro costumes appearing, a cd series is released or will be released and people say we like the relaxed way of a dancer who dwells upon a move as long as she pleases instead of rushing through a series of moves in the perfect choreo stuffed with effects and highlights and challenges-

    I reckon that "golden era" for Egypt as a country was the time after independence and before the war with Israel 1967? Nassr, the nationalization of the Suez-channel? The musicians, singers and poets? National pride and the Egyptian cinema with mythical divas and stars.
    ???????? is that right?

    Are all dancers dancing in black and white Hollywood-inspired movies golden era dancers?

    I ask because a friend of mine said there that Soheir Zaki was her favourite golden era dancer and I always saw Soheir Zaki as a dancer rather towards modernity. But then again, she has something of the golden era through her feminine grace and charm that really distinguishes her of f.e. fabulous Mona, who in my eyes always has a bit the charm of a ghetto queen because she is so explicitly sexy, funny, cheeky and doesn't appear "ladylike" in the slightest, so there is a definite non-golden-era feel to Mona aside from the dance also from the feminine character she represents, while in Soheir Zaki I can still see both, maybe a bit of golden era in her seeming to float above trivial humanity and modernity in dancing also. So maybe the image of the woman also has a bit to do with it, watcha think?
    Last edited by Nouria; 01-05-2010 at 05:35 AM. Reason: typos


  2. #2
    Mega BHUZzer mahsati's Avatar
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    Re: Golden era - define, please!

    I would say that Golden Era covers up through the 50s and part of the 60s. I classify the next time frame (including Soheir) as Classical with Modern following that. Always a fun topic! :)


  3. #3
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Golden era - define, please!

    When dancers say "Golden Era," they are typically thinking of how the dance was presented in the Egyptian film industry in the middle of the 20th Century, which is regarded as the time frame of those two fields' creative peaks. We don't have much footage of what was going on dance-wise outside of what was put on film at that time, so that's why we as dancers tend to focus on movies (see http://www.bhuz.com/forum/music-trad...films-you.html). I'm sure if you were an Egyptian film buff, you'd be rather appalled at thinking the "Golden Era" was only about the heyday of musicals, so they define the period somewhat differently. By the same token, we bend the rules to put Souheir Zaki (style wise) in with the older dancers, even though her movies came after the nationalization of Studio Misr, when Egyptian cinema was generally thought to be on the skids. In other words, we use the expression "Golden Era" to describe the intersection of "Great Movies" and "Great Dancing," but the actual individual great eras don't overlap completely.


  4. #4
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Golden era - define, please!

    Yes, what bellydancers refer to as 'golden era' is the golden era of cinema bellydancing. Only.

    I've heard the Tahia/Samia/Naima era (40s and 50s) called Golden Age of Cinema Dance and the Soheir/Mona/Nadia/Fifi/Nagwa period (60s and 70s) called the Golden Era of Dance. But that's confusing.

    Mona was certainly a bridge between the two styles. Personally I feel like she (and Nagwa Fouad, maybe?) innovated a lot of what later became the modern Egyptian style, but that's just my personal observation and not some recognized standard belief.

    Soheir appeared in some of those films, so in a way she bridges the gap between
    Last edited by Lauren_; 01-05-2010 at 10:54 AM.


  5. #5
    Mega BHUZzer kashmir's Avatar
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    Re: Golden era - define, please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nouria View Post
    I reckon that "golden era" for Egypt as a country was the time after independence and before the war with Israel 1967? Nassr, the nationalization of the Suez-channel? The musicians, singers and poets? National pride and the Egyptian cinema with mythical divas and stars.
    ???????? is that right?

    Are all dancers dancing in black and white Hollywood-inspired movies golden era dancers?
    No, the Golden Era was pre- revolution - 1930s & 1940s. Belly dance had a bit of a glitch after the revolution - it wasn't the image of Egypt that they wanted to project. The next big push came with the oil boom in teh early 1970s.

    I'd put Souheir Zaki in "Classical" rather than "Golden Era".

    The Egyptian film industry started in 1934. Although there was some influence from Hollywood, I think it is rather dismissive to say they were " Hollywood-inspired movies". As black and white movies continued post 1952, some would not be "Golden Age". Also, not all dance, even by well known belly dancers, in these movies was "belly dance".


  6. #6
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Golden era - define, please!

    Quote Originally Posted by kashmir View Post
    No, the Golden Era was pre- revolution - 1930s & 1940s.
    Are you talking about cinema, dance, or Egyptian culture in general? I've never seen the golden age of the dance listed as that early. Badia Masabni's Casino was open by the 1930's, but I didn't think the dance reached widespread exposure as an elevated, celebrity-purveyed art form until the movies picked it up in the 1940's. To me, this is like saying that the American Big Band Era started in the 1920's. Technically it did, but most people hear the term and associate it with the peak of popularity in the late 1930's to mid 1940's with bandleaders like Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, not Rudy Vallee and Fred Waring in the 1920's, even though those guys laid some of the groundwork and continued performing through the peak era.


  7. #7
    Advanced BHUZzer Nouria's Avatar
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    Re: Golden era - define, please!

    Quote Originally Posted by kashmir View Post
    Belly dance had a bit of a glitch after the revolution - it wasn't the image of Egypt that they wanted to project.
    That's true, I heard this, too. Also that the success of Abdel Halim had partly to do with the fact that he was young and fresh and low class? or from the village? that this fitted the idea of a modern, non aristocratic Nassr society.

    Was it King Faruk who asked Oum Khalsoum to work together with Mohammed Abdel Wahab (that's what I heard in a seminary) but Mario Kirlis had stated it was Nassr who did?

    Quote Originally Posted by kashmir View Post
    I'd put Souheir Zaki in "Classical" rather than "Golden Era".
    yes I agree but can you specify, since Suheir seems to me a very singular phenomenon, how would you characterize classical vs. Golden era?

    For me Suheir sort of belonged to a transition from old style to modern style but this is a bad explanation, because this sounds like there was a clear point a) and now there was b) and her just sort of a/b - which is really not true.

    Quote Originally Posted by kashmir View Post
    Although there was some influence from Hollywood, I think it is rather dismissive to say they were " Hollywood-inspired movies".
    I think the whole world was inspired by Hollywood at a time (I think it was the films of the 30ies, 40ies but the impression lasted longer I'd say). Specifically the introduction of the heroine, playing the main role in the love story, how these scenes were orchestrated letting her make the fatal impression on the hero, this is sort of how the dancer comes in or comes down the stairs. But of course the Egyptian film industry had their own stories to tell - even if love drama is pretty universal :-)


  8. #8
    Mega BHUZzer kashmir's Avatar
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    Re: Golden era - define, please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tourbeau View Post
    Are you talking about cinema, dance, or Egyptian culture in general? I've never seen the golden age of the dance listed as that early. Badia Masabni's Casino was open by the 1930's, but I didn't think the dance reached widespread exposure as an elevated, celebrity-purveyed art form until the movies picked it up in the 1940's. To me, this is like saying that the American Big Band Era started in the 1920's. Technically it did, but most people hear the term and associate it with the peak of popularity in the late 1930's to mid 1940's with bandleaders like Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, not Rudy Vallee and Fred Waring in the 1920's, even though those guys laid some of the groundwork and continued performing through the peak era.
    Belly dance/Raqs Sharqi. Badia started in the 1920s. Egyptian movies started 1934. So, I think late 1930s could be included. But by 1952 it came to a halt and changed direction a little. My point was it was certainly pre-1952.


  9. #9
    Mega BHUZzer kashmir's Avatar
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    Re: Golden era - define, please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nouria View Post
    Was it King Faruk who asked Oum Khalsoum to work together with Mohammed Abdel Wahab (that's what I heard in a seminary) but Mario Kirlis had stated it was Nassr who did?
    If King Faruk did ask Oum Khalsoum it would not have been that likely to occur. As an Egyptian and a very strong Nationalst and loathed King Faruk.


  10. #10
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Golden era - define, please!

    Quote Originally Posted by kashmir View Post
    Belly dance/Raqs Sharqi. Badia started in the 1920s. Egyptian movies started 1934. So, I think late 1930s could be included. But by 1952 it came to a halt and changed direction a little. My point was it was certainly pre-1952.
    Hmm, I'm still not convinced. I'm working from a disadvantage because I don't know of a site like IMDb.com specifically for Egyptian cinema, and I'm pretty sure IMDb's listings are incomplete. IMDb doesn't say whether these are acting, dancing, or acting and dancing parts, but here's what they have:

    Samia Gamal, 38 films: 16 from 1942-1949, 18 from 1950-1959, 4 from 1960-1963
    Naima Akef, 13 films: 3 in 1949, 8 from 1950-1957, 2 in 1964
    Taheya Cariocca, 59 films: 19 from 1942-1949, 25 from 1950-1959, 6 from 1961-1964, 5 from 1971-1977, 2 from 1985-1986, 2 from 1990-1993
    Souheir Zaki, 7 films: 4 from 1964-1969, 3 from 1971-1976
    Souad Hosni, 60 films: 1 in 1959, 49 from 1960-1968, 6 from 1970-1979, 3 from 1981-1986, 1 in 1991
    Nagwa Fouad, 35 films: 4 from 1957-1959, 26 from 1960-1969, 4 from 1971-1973, 1 in 2008
    Farida Fahmi, 7 films: 3 from 1958-1959, 3 from 1963-1965, 1 in 1970
    [Mahmoud Reda, 3 films: 2 from 1963-1965, 1 in 1970]

    I couldn't find decent stats on Fifi Abdo. IMDb lists her as having made only one movie, and I know that's wrong. Mona al-Said is also listed as having only one film to her credit at IMDb, but I don't know how active she's been in movies.

    Here are the other names that come up when discussing "Golden Age":

    Umm Kalthoum, 6 films: 2 from 1936-1937, 4 from 1940-1947
    Mohammed Abdel Wahab, 7 films: 3 from 1934-1938, 4 from 1940-1947
    Farid al Atrache, 26 films: 9 from 1941-1949, 10 from 1950-1959, 7 from 1960-1969
    Abdel Halim Hafez, 15 films: 10 from 1955-1959, 5 from 1960-1969

    No dancers show up in the 1930's, and it looks like a steady stream of action going on from the early 1940's through the late 1950's, then there is a bit of a jump when the next wave picks up in the 1960's.


  11. #11
    Master BHUZzer norma's Avatar
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    Re: Golden era - define, please!

    I'm not an expert in this area by any means but this is how I view this topic based on my teacher's teaching. My teacher was Princess Madiha, a Syrian dancer who was a contemporary of Nagwa Fouad, Fifi Abdo and Mona Said. Madiha was the first line dancer for the movie that made Nagwa Fouad famous in the song Oolo Oloo. She turned down the role in the movie that made Nagwa Fouad famous because the movie was going to be shown througout the Arab world and because she had run away from home and was underage, she refused to appear in an Egyptian film because she knew her family would find her out. She was from Arabic royalty and it was considered shameful by her family that she would consider a career as a dancer and a movie star. She did appear in many Asian and European movies but she never appeared in an Egyptian movie because she feared her family would find her and force her into an arranged marriage. This is when she was 14 years old when she ran away from home to pursue a life for herself vs. an arranged marriage.

    So to her, the Golden Age dancers, and her mentors were: Tahyia Kariocka and Samia Gamal. I'm sure there were others but those were the 2 dancers that directly influenced her and that she worked with. And that I remember her talking about.
    Last edited by norma; 01-10-2010 at 10:04 PM.


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