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

Before Tahia:
Dancers Before the Age of Cinema


Workshop Summary

Many people incorrectly think that Oriental dance as we know it began with Badia Masabni and Tahia Carioca. What many don't realize is that Egyptian audiences enjoyed many fascinating, star-quality performers decades before Badia opened her first club or Tahia Carioca set foot on the stage. Join Shira for a glimpse through a window into the past, and discover the fascinating stories of the great dancers whose careers peaked before the Golden Age of Cinema. Before Tahia



Alternative Summary

Much of what our Oriental dance books and magazines have told us about Egyptian dance before 1930 is filled with gaps and errors. In this lecture, Shira unveils the fascinating world of belly dance as it was performed in Egypt before Tahia Carioca's rise to fame in the 1930's. Discover the dance stars of the latter half of the 19th century and early 20th century, long before Badia Masabni opened her first club.



Detailed Description

Most research into the Egyptian side of belly dance history shows a gap for the century between 1830 and 1930. There hasn't been much written in English about that era. There are also many errors in what people think they know about the dance scene at this time.

In this lecture, Shira shines light into this part of our history, exploring dance stars of the 19th century, the rise of the nightclub industry long before Badia Masabni opened her first club, the invention of raqs al-shamadan, and more. Connecting the dots from diverse sources, Shira paints a picture of a vibrant dance scene starring larger-than-life personalities whose innovations still influence belly dance as we know it today.

Shira will introduce many fascinating dancers: the one who performed at the opening of the Suez canal, the one whose horses were offered champagne to drink, the one who was arrested for spying during World War 2, the one who was savagely murdered on stage, and many more.



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