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Belly Dance
About Ghawazee Dancing!
By shira Comments: 1051, member since Wed Jul 03, 2002
On Tue Sep 21, 2010 06:30 PM

This is a response to Roseotto's thread "About Ghawazee Dancing". Since that thread is too old to reply to directly, I'm starting a new thread.

First, there ARE modern-day Ghawazee dancers. In the Luxor area, the leading Ghawazee dancer is Khairiyya Maazin, the last of the Banat Maazin Ghawazee to still be dancing. I have taken 9 workshops with her altogether and (insh'allah) plan to take more in the future. If all goes well, she will be one of the headliner instructors at the International Bellydance Conference of Canada in 2012, in Toronto.

Some comments on Ghawazee dancing:

1. You can see late 1970's footage of Khairiyya and her older sister dancing on a video sold by the dancer Morocco. See Morocco's web site at casbahdance.org . It's the one titled Dances of Egypt, Nubia, and the Sudan.

2. What we sometimes call the 3/4 shimmy resembles one of the basic moves in Ghawazee dancing. The move goes DOWN first on the weighted up, and has a bit of a twist to it. Also, the way you carry yourself for this is very grounded, very connected to the earth. There are other moves too in Ghawazee dancing, but this is one that gets used a lot.

3. Finger cymbals play the gallop pattern: and-a-ONE and-a-TWO and-a-THREE.

4. I've never seen Khairiyya use a dancer-style cane, but I have seen her use a men's style stick, the type of stick that would be used with tahtib. This is very much an OPTIONAL prop, you could do an entire Ghawazee performance without using it.

5. The photo I've attached to this message shows a Ghawazee dancer from around 1920.

There are a number of people here in the U.S. who teach the Ghawazee style of dance, based on the style done by Khairiyya and her sisters.

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