History of oriental dance



This dance exists since the antiquity. On some ancient images women can be seen, who dance to call the gods and especially HATHOR, the goddess of the fertility.
The dance is characterized by movements of the haunch in circle and aside, movements of the arms, of the shoulders and of the bust.
The dancers can be divided in two groups. Initially it was « Gawazy », a dance, which was danced on the streets for the folk people and was not accepted well in Egypt. According to some people this dance is the reason for the bad reputation of the oriental dances.
In contrast to the so called « Almées », professional dancing women, who were much respected and favorite by the public. They were dancing only among the noble societies.

The first school for oriental dances was established in Egypt in 1852.

The dance changes a little bit its kind when on each feast, on each ceremony a dancing woman appears. This turns into tradition, into feast.

Since that moment the oriental dance has gone through many adventures, the world of the sequins through the Egyptian and Hollywood cinema. That has restored its reputation and with the time the dance unites with the oriental flamenco, Gypsy dances, Indian dances, tribal dances and Pharaoh style.

Only during XX century the oriental dance goes through unseen turn in its history. Everything starts when a woman, called Badia Masabni, of Syrian-Lebanon origin, decides to open a big casino “casino opera” in Cairo to give to the Egyptian public a magnificent, elegant and high-grade spectacle.

.. She considers the oriental dance from the point of view of a spectacle, thinks out sets, more prepared technique, inspired by the classical dance. She brings in accessories as veils and splendid costumes. For some years this casino turns into obligatory stage for each dancing woman, worthy of carrying this name as the unique Tahia Carioca, the famous Samia Gamal, Naima Akef. It has to be specified that the bigger part of the dancing women of this period have been actresses and have been participating at a great number of films. This is the golden age of the Egyptian cinema which gives stimulus the oriental dance to turn into profession and to appear the style Raqs-Sharqi.