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

Dancers are listed in approximate chronological order according to when their careers were thriving. Or, use the alphabetical list to quickly find the specific dancer you're looking for.

Kuchuk Hanem

Shafiqa el-Koptiyya

Bamba Kashar

Zouba el-Klobatiyya

Hekmet Fahmy


Badia Masabni

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Badia Masabni.

Ads for Badia's Shows at Her Clubs
Flyer 1939 Badia

Isaac Dickson

Beba Ezz El-Din

Imtithal Fawzy

Amina Mohamed

Fathya Fouad

Hekmet Kamel

Taheya Carioca

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Still image of Tahia Carioca from a scene in the motion picture Shatie el-Gharam.

Houriya Mohamed

Karima Ahmed


Khayria Sadki

Mary Yousef

Mounira Mohamed

Nabaweya Moustafa


Tahia Carioca

Samia Gamal

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Still image of Samia Gamal in a scene from the motion picture Sigara wa Kass.

Fairouz Arteen (Child Star)

Naemet Mokhtar

Zeinat Olwi

Samia Gamal

Dawlath Soliman

Hind Rostom

Nagwa Fouad

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Still image of Nagwa Fouad in a scene from her first motion picture, Sharia el Hob.

Soheir Zaki

Nagwa Fouad


Fifi Abdo


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




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.

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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