Monday, November 14, 2016

Raqs Sharki 1-2-3 - Part 2: Stars of the Sixties/Seventies

This is a post for background information, pictures, videos and links to go with the 'Raqs Sharki 1-2-3: Time traveling with Egyptian Stars' workshop series, a series I'll be teaching in the Netherlands (2016) and Denmark (2017) in the near future.

Here you'll find Part 2: Stars of the Sixties/Seventies

Go to Part 1: Favorites of the Fourties/Fifties
Go to Part 3: Modern Legends


About the workshop series - Raqs Sharki 1-2-3
This workshop series takes you on a journey in time with the great dancers of then and now. It can be taught as one combined workshop or split up into 3 separate sessions of maximum 3 hours each.
  • Raqs sharki 1 – ‘Favorites of the fifties’ – Contains combinations and techniques inspired by the legendary dancers of Egypt like Samia Gamal, Naima Akef, Nadia Gamal and Taheya Carioca.
  • Raqs sharki 2 – ‘Stars of the seventies’ – Inspired by famous Egyptian dancers from the 60-80s like Suheir Zaki, Nagua Fouad and Fifi Abdo.
  • Raqs sharki 3 – ‘Modern legends’ – Contains informationa about, and techniques and combinations inspired by the famous dancers of this age

Part 2 Stars of the Sixties/Seventies

Nagwa Fouad

NAGWA FOUAD was born in January 1939 in Cairo, Egypt as Awatif Mohamed Agami to an Egyptian father and a Palestinian mother.

Nagwa performed at the Abdeen Casino where she met Ahmad Fouad Hassan (her future husband for 6 years), a producer of stage shows that later became a famous conductor. 

He convinced her to perform live at the most prestigious music and dance show in the 1960s called “Adwa al-Madeena i.e. City Lights” which had featured such superstars as Shadia, Abdul Haleem Haafez, Fayza Ahmad, and Sabaah. 

In 1976, the famous composer Mohammed Abdel Wahab wrote an entire musical piece exclusively for her belly dancing show titled “Aamar Arba'tashar i.e. Full moon” it was her transition from traditional oriental dance to a choreographed stage performances. 

Her stage performance to this special piece allowed her to change the way belly-dancing was presented on stage, transforming it from traditional oriental dance to more of a choreographed lavish spectacle adding more dramatic elements to it than ever before. 

Nagwa featured on many of the covers of the Ahmed Fouad Hassan LP's/CD's.
(Sources: Wikipedia,

Interview with Nagua Fouad (
About Nagwa (

Nagwa dancing to 'Moghram Sababa' by Mohamed Roshdy

Nagwa performing in the movie 'Touha', directed by Hassan El-Seify, 1957
From the movie The Police Inspector 'Mufattish el mabahess', 1960
From Sab'el leil, directed by Hassan El-Seify, 1970
From 'Khamsa share' al-habaib', directed by El Sayed Bedeir, 1971
From 'No, You who Were my Beloved', by Helmy Rafl, 1976
Nagua dancing to 'Set El Hosen' - part 2
Nagua Drum Solo (my favorite!)

Soheir Zaki

SOHEIR ZAKI was born in Mansoura in 1944. In 1953, when she was nine years old, she and her family moved to the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. Souhair Zaki fell in love with music and dance and showed natural talent, teaching herself to dance by listening to the radio.

Souhair Zaki was most inspired by the dances of Tahia Carioca and Samia Gamal. By the age of eleven she was being noticed at the birthday and wedding parties of friends and family, and started dancing professionally in the Greek nightclubs in Alexandria.

She is known for her elegant, natural style and exquisite musicality, even to this day. The 'Soheir Zaki hips' movement is named after her.

Music, such as “Shik Shak Shok”, was specially created for her every 6 months, and it is said she was the first dancer to perform to the music of Om Khalsoum (see a video of Soheir performing to 'Leylet Hob' below)

About Soheir Zaki  (By
Suheir Zaki (the Belly Blog)
Sohair Zaki (

An interview with Soheir Zaki (article by Yasmina of Cairo for Habibi magazine)

Soheir in 'The River of Life', directed by Hassan Reda, 1965
Soheir dancing to 'Amal Hayati' in 'The foolish', 1966
Soheir dancing to Daret Al Ayam in 'Struggle With Death' , 1970
 Soheir dancing to 'Leilet Hob' in 'Nights that Will Never Return', 1974
Soheir dancing to 'Aghadan Alqak'
Soheir performing in Wakr al-ashrar (1972)
Soheir dancing to 'Hassan Ya Kholy El Genena' in the film 'Two women', 1975
Soheir dancing to 'Shik Shak Shok', 1979

Fifi Abdo

FIFI ABDO was born in Cairo on April 26, 1953 and named Atiyat Abdul Fattah Ibrahim. Her father is a policeman and she has 11 siblings, including her famous brother Abdelraheem Abdul Fattah Ibrahim, who encouraged her career.

When she was 12 years old she joined a baladi troupe and later found work as a model. She began to gain attention in the early 1970s when she became the main attraction at the Arizona.

Over the years she danced at many other venues such as Le Meridien, Mena House and the El Gezira Sheraton. Her performances usually lasted around two hours and she received up to $10,000 per performance.

In addition to dancing, her routines often included circus tricks and even rapping. The Moroccan newspaper La Vie Eco reported in 2004 shortly before her retirement that she possessed 5,000 costumes with the most expensive being valued at $40,000

In her acting career, she is known as the woman-empowering type where, rarely in Egyptian culture and film, she beats up and overpowers men.
(Source: Wikipedia)

About Fifi Adbou (from
Fifi Abdo (from

Fifi's shimmy
Movie sequence
Fifi's baladi awad <3

Fifi performing with orchestra
Fifi's 'bedroom baladi' with assaya
Fifi at Mena House in Cairo (part 1)
Fifi at Mena House in Cairo (part 2)


Go to Part 1: Favorites of the Fourties/Fifties
Go to Part 3: Modern Legends

xx Khalida

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