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IBCC Presentation

Marthyna's lecture on the History of Belly Dancing in the province of Quebec, Canada.
by

Martine Jette

on 5 May 2010

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Transcript of IBCC Presentation

Belly Dance
in Quebec The first bellydancer in Quebec Fawzia Amir opened the first middle eastern Night Club "Sahara" in 1957 acquitted in 1960 of presenting
an immoral dance her last engagement as a
dancer was in 1970 she trained GAMILA ASFOUR which
will be one of the most influencial Belly Dance
Teacher in Montréal
The second generation: GAMILA Asfour LALA Hakim HELEN Smolens Gamila met Fawzia in the early 60s Trained in ballet, flamenco and social dances,
she learned by observing Fawzia at the Club Another influence on Gamila, the late Ahmad Jarjour
who taught her his passion for Belly Dance Gamila worked for years at the Sahara Night Club She taught to most of the actual teachers in Montreal Now, she still teaches workshops and is part of
AQDO, a middle eastern association for Quebec Lala arrived in Montreal in the mid 70s She was a solist for the Egyptian Folkloric Ensemble Kaymea She began her career in Quebec in a restaurant,
Le Beyrouth, in Montreal Still very active, she has a own school in Montreal Helen debuted in movies, she danced with
Samia Gamal, Tahia Carioca and Naima Akef She trained with Mahmoud Reda from
1956 to 1968. She arrived in Montreal in 1968 She created her own troupe,
Les princesses du Nil (Princesses of the Nile)
which is still active today Belly Dance = Exotic Dance? From 1960 to 1980, belly dancers performed
in Cabaret, Night Club and Restaurants.

Not always accepted by the general public
because of the revealing costumes but also
because sometimes dancers performed between
two strippers...

This created a TABOO around Belly Dancing.
No one wanted to be caught learning it, or
performing on stage. This is where the langage barrier changed things.... In french:
Belly Dance = Danse du ventre

If now "danse du ventre" is associated with
"stripteasers"; someone took the opportunity
to create a new word for it = BALADI

This change occured because of a book on
Belly Dance : Le Baladi, Apprendre la danse du ventre
pour s'amuser, maigrir, être en forme. Edition de l'Homme in 1980

Even if the name change helped for the reputation of the dance form,
we've been working on changing it back to Danse Orientale (Dance from the Orient or Oriental Dance) because Baladi is not accurate. IMPORTANT DATES 1955 Fawzia Amir

1960 Gamila Asfour

1968 Helen Smolens

1970 Lala Hakim

1980 Baladi replace Bellydance - Publication of the book : Le baladi - Apprendre la danse du ventre pour s'amuser, maigrir et être en forme

1981 Second generation of dancers in Montreal trained by egyptian borned teachers : Nagwa, Alia, Shams...

1990 bellydance fusion (fusion orientale) begins with Dominique Favreau (Dô)

1999 first bellydance fusion performance presented in the bellydance community during a bellydance contest organized by Gamila and Nagwa

2005 first tribal bellydance troupe Les Trib'elles
Conclusion Bellydance began in Quebec with the arrival of Fawzia Amir who had a big impact,

Gamila, Lala and Helen took over and trained most of the teachers in Montreal - creating strong egyptian style bellydancing - cabaret as well as folkloric,

1980 THE book... Baladi is the new designation for danse du ventre,

Grand American Bellydance began in Quebec around 1990 - we don't know who initiated it. The term "baladi" does not apply anymore because teachers and dancers feel this is no longer only egyptian,

2005 Tribal and Tribal Fusion begin,

2008 Explosion of styles and creativity... Bellydance is no longer just egyptian; dancers are discovering moroccan, turkish, lebanese, fusion... In fact, people are just more well informed and learn different facets of the art form.

2010... Lots still to come...

deplored the term "belly dancing"
- prefered "native folk dance"
Full transcript