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Sorry for the delayed #TBT/ #FBF post guys! The inspiration for today’s post was found in a Facebook group called 1970’s Belly Dance! Which is a great page that promotes discussion about the art form and provides images and inspiration of dancers from the past. Anywayyyy…

SO HERE’S THE DEAL:

Lys (sometimes Liz) and Lyn Jamal, also known as Leila and Lamia were from (Cairo?/Alexandria?), Egypt. They were billed as the “Jamal Twins,” which they were not lol, and sometimes, more accurately, as the “Jamal Sisters.” According to 1970’s BD, the sisters lived across the street from Nadia Gamal and her family (jealous!!!!). The sisters were featured dancers in several films in Egypt and India. They came to the U.S. in the 50’s and they became a  “major sensation on the American cabaret scene in the 1950s, and a significant influence on many American dancers of the era (notably Morocco and Dahlena)” (Occidental Dancer). They were also close with Ibrahim Farrah and danced in his show at Fazil’s Dance Center in NYC.

Interesting fact : according to Moroccothe twins who had each been married for a long time, were still accompanied by both parents to their gigs. Their parents would even sit and wait in their dressing room between shows.

WHY I <3 THEM:

See for yourself!

From the film Anisa Hanafi – Skip to 22:45!!!! 

gawaher

SO HERE’S THE DEAL:

There isn’t much info out there on Gawaher. I actually stumbled upon her when I was trying to find something about another dancer – Kawakeb, who I still haven’t really found anything about :/ Anyway, what I did find about her is from Academia de Danza Arabe Priscilla Adum‘s Facebook page. Gawaher was a golden age dancer born September 15th 1930 in Lebanon. She had a successful decade long career in Egypt where she made about 13 films. She retired from dancing in the 1960s when she married, her husband did not approve of her dancing. However, she came out of her retirement and danced in a few more movies after she and her husband were divorced. Unfortunately, she wasn’t allowed to have contact with her daughter after the divorce.

Academia de Danza Arabe Priscilla Adum posted a photo (seen above) that was from a vintage issue of Al Kawakeb Magazine (Egyptian celebrity/film magazine). The photo was accompanied by this article:

THE SAD GAWAHER

The Atomic Dancer Gawaher visited me at Kawakeb’s offices in Beirut. She was wearing a summery fabric dress made at Carven of Paris, and she asked me “What’s your opinion of me?”
“In regards to what?” I answered
And she said, “About {my} dance, art, beauty and elegance?
I swallowed hard and said, “Great!”
At this point, Gawaher raised her head and said, “Then why haven’t you written about me in Kawakeb Magazine? Am I not good enough or what?”
I swallowed hard again and said, “But today you live the life of a housewife and not of an artist, so can we ask you, what was the reason for your retirement?”
Gawaher stood up and said, “I understand, and you’re right. I’m torn between my love of art and my love for him.”
I disliked asking her who the lucky man was because it’s none of our business.
Gawaher continued talking and said, “He doesn’t want me to appear onstage in a belly dance costume.”
I asked her, “Do you love him that much?”
And Gawaher responded and said “Up to now, I’ve been unable to distinguish and I can’t decide which I love more. Him, or art.
And then the (former) Atomic Dancer left sadly.

WHY I <3 HER:

I love being a detective and going on the hunt to find dancers that I haven’t heard of yet. Although I can’t say Gawaher is one of my absolute favorites, here is what I love about her:

I love the way she holds herself and her facial expressions, she really exudes confidence. I also like the fact that she strips the dance down to it’s essence and focuses on each smooth movement. She is very poised and graceful and I find her story to be an interesting one.

Watch videos of her below and tell me what you think!!!

xoxo

N

Oh – and HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/105988835] [vimeo https://vimeo.com/103203102] [vimeo https://vimeo.com/103203309] [vimeo https://vimeo.com/103200839]

SO HERE’S THE DEAL:

Nesrin Topkapi is a famous Turkish dancer from the 70’s. She was born Nesrin Gökkaya in 1951.  She first danced on stage at age six and and at only 15 moved to England, where she lived and danced for 8 years. She moved back to Istanbul in 1974 and worked very elegant venues such as the Maksim Gazinosu, a casino in Istanbul. She toured Turkey for three years and had the opportunity to dance at many prestigious events. Nesrin continues to perform and teach  – so be on the look out! If you want to keep up with her, you can add her unofficial fan page as a friend on Facebook here.

WHY I <3 HER:

<3 how elegant and graceful she is

I <3 the way she uses her arms

<3 that there is so much personality in her dance and she really makes it her own. She adds her own little twist to each movement

<3 that she can dance in sky high heels

watch here and tell me what you think!

SO HERE’S THE DEAL:

Tülay Karaca (pronounced Karaja) is a Turkish dancer who rose to fame in the 80’s. Her signature vivacious style and incredible zill playing combined with her famously revealing costumes brought her much success over the years. She has been credited as being very influential on the American Cabaret scene.

WHY I <3 HER:

You’ll see when you watch the videos… because- dang! She is amazing! Honestly once you watch her dance, you won’t even pay attention to her “risqué” costumes, I mean come on… the 80’s weren’t her fault…

Tülay’s style is so natural and elegant. In the videos you’ll see that she will be moving around so gracefully and then all of a sudden a kick will come out of nowhere, she’ll drop to the floor, or add in a very quick turn. I love that her dance is so unpredictable and dynamic. Karaca’s was famous for her zill playing, she would even play solos for herself on her zills, typically after a drum solo. You can see this in “Tulay Karaca on Turkish Television Part 2,” and you will be wowed!

Take a look at the videos below, and let me know what you think!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjrrLz1h3298ia-R0mPwtEzNIfnDk3vur]

xoxo

TBB

Well…I couldn’t find much info about this Golden Age beauty – but luckily there are tons of videos! So check them out below and let me know what you think!

Happy Almost Friday!

xoxo

TBB

LOVE this one!

very cool that she’s using zills!

 

*Please note these videos were not uploaded by The Belly Blog. They were found on Vimeo and uploaded by The Carovan! 🙂

 

“Art,” she said, “is not linked with age or nationality; it is linked with creation and presence and if the artist can give and enjoy, she must continue to perform.”

SO HERE’S THE DEAL:

We can’t believe we haven’t done a TBT post on this beauty yet! She’s a legend in the belly dance community and a true artist.

Nagwa, whose birth name is Awatef Mohammed El Agamy, was born in 1943 in Alexandria Egypt. Her father was Egyptian and her mother was Palestinian.

read more

So here’s the deal:

Nergis Mogol was only 3 years old when she first made a stage appearance— in 1926 (she was born in 1923). She traveled throughout Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait and Lebanon and gained international fame.

 

Why we <3 her:

There isn’t a ton of info that we could find on Nergis, but we really love how she was called not only a dancer, but an actress, as many of the belly dancers of the Golden Age were considered to be.read more

 

SO HERE’S THE DEAL:

Aziza flourished as an Oriental dancer in the mid 1960’s in California.  She danced at clubs in San Francisco, Hollywood and beyond— she’s credited as being the first belly dancer seen in “no man’s land” states like Omaha and Nebraska, as well as the first belly dancer seen in Canadian provinces like Saskatoon and Saskatchewan. She went on tour to all of those places and more with her own band and singer… sounds like a dream!

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Aziza worked with and studied under Fatma Akef, whose sister was the legendary Egyptian dancer Naima Akef (we did a feature on her about 2 months back). She was one of the OG members of Jamila Salimpour’s troupe Bal Anat.

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WHY WE LOVE HER:

After stumbling across some photos of her, I felt so inspired to do a feature on her ASAP. Her costumes, her EVERYTHING— she appears to be the epitome of the classy yet sexy vintage belly dancer that we crave to emulate in our dance today. We love how she took the dance to places where it hadn’t gone before around the US and Canada— a true pioneer in every sense of the word! She’s contributed tons of amazing, crazy and funny stories to the Gilded Serpent, had a blast reading through all of those. Here is a link to a list of really cool articles she’s written!

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We want to say thank you to Aziza for contributing all of her memories to the community— it’s exciting as a blossoming dancer to learn about the past from such a special, unique perspective.