Photo of Shira



PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Oriental Dance, Then & Now:
In the Middle East



Table of Contents





Alphabetical Order


Chronological Order

This list shows the dancers grouped in approximate chronological order according to when they first rose to fame.


The Articles

Afranza Hanem

Amina Mohamed

Badia Masabni

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Badia Masabni remains a legend even today in Egyptian entertainment industry history.

Ads for Badia's Shows at Her Clubs

Bahiya Amer

Bamba Kashar

Beba Ezz El-Din

Beba Ezz el-Din was a Lebanese dancer who worked at Badia's clubs.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Bamba Kashar was one of the legendary dancers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Beba Ibrahim

Beba Ibrahim was an Egyptian dancer who worked at Badia Masabni's club for a time.


Dawlath Soliman



ABOUT THE PHOTO: Dina performs at the nightclub in the Semiramis hotel in February 2017.

Fairouz Arteen (Child Star)

Fardous Shalaby

Fathya Fouad

Fathya Moustafa

Fathya Sherif

Fifi Abdo



Gina Markisian


Hekmet Fahmy

Hekmet Kamel

Hind Rostum

Houriya Mohamed

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Hind Rostum embraces Omar Sharif in a scene from a movie they made together.

Imtithal Fawzy

Isaac Dickson

Hind Rostum and Omar Sharif

Karima Ahmed


ABOUT THE PHOTO: Lucy poses for a publicity photo.


Khayria Sadki


Kuchuk Hanem

Layla el-3amriya

Also known as Layla el-Chakraa and Juliet Masabni.



Mary Mansour

Mary Ezz el-Din

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Mary Mansour was a popular entertainer and club owner in Egypt in the 1920's and 1930's.

Mounira Mohamed

Mary Mansour

Na3ema Abdo

Nabaweya Moustafa

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Nagwa Fouad poses in a publicity photo.

Naemet Mokhtar

Nagwa Fouad

Naima Akef


Ragaa Tawfik

Safiya Helmi



Nagwa Fouad

Samia Gamal

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Samia Gamal performs in a scene from the movie Sigarah wa Kass (A Glass and a Cigarette).

Shafiqa el-Koptiyya

Soheir Zaki


Taheya Carioca

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Taheya Carioca dances in a scene from the movie Shatie al-Gharam (Shore of Love).


Zeinat Olwi

Zouba el-Klobatiyya

Taheya Carioca



Working As a Dancer

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Sabriye Tekbilek performs at the Khaleej Palace Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Sabriye Tekbilek



History & Folkloric Foundations

Ancient Times


Recent Centuries

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme is representative of the Orieintalist movement in art.

Folkloric Styles

Reda Troupe

  • Origins of Reda Troupe Dances. Based on a July, 2006 interview with Mahmoud Reda.
    • New! Part 1: Beginnings. How Reda Troupe got started. Placed online March 18, 2018.
    • New! Part 2: Researching Folklore and Bringing It to Stage. The field research process, and determining how to adapt for stage. Placed online March 19, 2018.
    • New! Part 3: Costuming. Creating stage-worthy costumes from traditional attire. Placed online March 20, 2018.
    • New! Part 4: Music. Where the music used by Reda Troupe came from. Placed online March 21, 2018.
    • New! Part 5: Melaya Leff. Reveals origin of the dance and dispels misconceptions. Placed online March 26, 2018.
    • New! Part 6: Saidi. Background underlying Reda Troupe's Saidi dances. Placed online March 27, 2018.
    • New! Part 7: Hagalla. Reda's field research into hagalla and how he turned it into a dance for stage. Placed online March 28, 2018.
    • New! Part 8: Nubian. Where Reda Troupe's interpretation of Nubian dance came from. Placed online March 29, 2018.
    • New! Part 9: Fellahin. How Reda Troupe constructed the fellahin dances for the stage. Placed online March 30, 2018.
    • New! Part 10: Qalb fil-Robabikia. The culmination of Mahmoud Reda's life's work. Placed online April 2, 2018.
    • New! Part 11: The Reda Troupe Movies. The movies that featured Reda Troupe and the stories behind them. Placed online April 3, 2018.
    • New! Part 12: Other Dance Notes. Alexandrian dance, belly dance, Ghawazee, zar, and bamboutiyya. Placed online April 4, 2018.

Other Folklore Topics


Ads and Flyers

Arranged in chronological order by when they appeared.


ABOUT THE PHOTO: This is a scan of a 1926 ad promoting the grand opening of Badia Masabni's very first club, Sala Badia.



ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo is a scan of a 1940's flyer promoting a new show featuring Badia Masabni's and Beba Ezz El-Din's new dance company.

1940's & 1950's

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Scan of 1940 flyer promoting the grand opening of Badia Masabni's final club, the Casino Opera.

Timing Unknown

Casino Opera




ABOUT THE PHOTO: An alley in Cairo where a wedding is taking place in January, 1999.




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