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Asmahan Belly Dance in London articles



Issue 66 / Winter 2018
National Arabic Dance Association
Interview with the one and only Asmahan by Zara Abdelrahman

Mosiac Magazine Summer 2018 August
Issue 75
Raqs Jamila the early years with Jamila Salimpour By Maureen Pembertonbr


01/10/ 2015
by Zara's Zouk
The Circle of Belly Dance
An interview with Asmahan about her dance class. This is some history as a dancer and her teachers she trained with and the dancing stars she worked with...
This presents the training and dance performance experience that is part of her dance class material.
Read the full article.


01/10/ 2014
by Zara's Zouk
Asmahan's Sword Dance
By Zara Abdelrahaman
A review of the Saidi style Sword Dance performed by Asmahan.


Arabesque Nights
July 2013
By Natalie Irvine
Guest Star Interview of Asmahan for the Strictly Egyptian show at Arabesque Nights
Read the full article.


by Helen Russell
Dance it Off.....Egyptian Dance as fitness. Attend Asmahan's Egyptian dance class at Pineapple Studios in Covent Garden.
Read the full article.

The Golden Era of the Arabic Nightclubs in London
Part 1
posted 15 January 2012
Part 2 posted 9 March 2012

Video of London Tour
Asmahan has written an article about the famous arabic nightclubs in London. The musicians, dancers and singers who performed at these venues are all included with photos of the stars of this time. A video tour of London to the premises provides the backdrop of where these wonderful venues existed.


The Guardian web page
www.guardian .co.uk
The Guardian filmed Asmahan's class and interviewed her about the history of the dance. Asmahan's students danced at a Haffla at Darbucka.
Click here for The Guardian belly dancing video.


Inheriting verses imitating:
Mosiac Spring 2008
Issue 45 Review page 26-27
learning belly dance with Asmahan
by Fiona Stephen

As a student of Asmahan, Fiona writes about Asmahan's teaching technique. She appreciates the fact that a professional dancing career performing with the stars of the Oriental Dance World has prepared her to teach in a very informed way. Studing dance with a teacher who has trained with the masters of dance and performing in the prestigious shows gives the students a history of experience that the dance students inherits. The knowledge has a history and gives a sense of comparison.


My Adventure Begins
by Asmahan

Asmahan contributes her story of dancing in San Francisco for the Northbeach Memories Series in the Gilded Serpent Feature. This is an account of the characters and events in the Arabic Dance Clubs: The Casbah, Bagdad and Greek Taverna in the famous Northbeach Strip.


Face the Music and Dance
by Michelle Cotterill

Mosiac, Spring 2006, Issue 36 The BBC presented a series "Facing the Music", a reality program that helped people who once had ambitions to perform but had lost their way. Asmahan was contacted to help Rania, who is Lebanese, fullfill her dream to sing on the stage. Rania was given Dance Classes in Raqs Sharqi to give her confidence in her physical abilities to perform.


MAY 2005 NBC
NBC News produced a piece about Asmahan's Egyptian Dance Class at Pineapple studios. This was to be shown on the evening news in the United States. It covers one of her students who is also a Power Banker. It is about professional women who dance for their personal development and as a special part of their


Rocks Sharqi
Mosiac, Issue 34, Summer 2004

Asmahan performed with her band, El Karnak, at the Shepherds Bush Empire as the opening act for Alabina. Two of her students were hired by Alabina as back up dancers.


Vitality Show
Mosiac, Issue 28, Summer 2002 Pineapple Studios presented a showcase ot their most prestigious teachers
dancing with their students for the Vitality Show at the Olympia Exhibition Center in London. Egyptian Dance was featured with Hip Hop, Jazz, Salsa, and Cheerleaders.

Travels with my Tutu
by Jill Warnell
Habibi, Volume 19, No 1, Winter 2002

As part of Deborah Bull's dance series, Travels With my Tutu, commissioned by the BBC, in which she studies different dance styles. Asmahan was asked to teach the prima balerina an Arabic dance choreography. Deborah is shown interviewing Asmahan and training with her to learn the basics of Oriental Dance. In this series it was called Bellydancing. Deborah was costumed and trained by Asmahan and then performed before an audience at Maroush on Edgeware Road in London.


by Alex Mattis

Hot Tickets, 19-15 October 2001 Alex Mattis takes Asmahan's Egyptian dance class at Pineapple Studios. She declares even at first lesson stage it looks quite swish. The dance is steeped in history, incredibly feminine, and the lesson is spent learning basic movements which are strung together into a routine.

DANCE your way to a better body
mind and body feature.
NOW, 12 September 2001 Even though you are doing flowing movements, it's still an amazing cardiovascular workout. It opens up your ribcage and you are breathing in a more yoga based way. Because you are taught to lift from the balls of the feet it improves your posture and balance. Many pop dance routines have Oriental influenced movements.

Travels with my Tutu
by Jill Warnell

Mosiac, Issue 24 Spring 2001 Deborah Bull is a prima balerina with the Royal Ballet, besides being a regular contributor on the Arts to the Daily Telegraph, and an accomplished presenter of dance programmes on television. She recently presented Arabic dance on network television. Deborah stated in an article in the Telegraph that "the dance itself is a delight: understated, gentle on the body and sophisticated in style.

Shaking all Over
by James Thompson

Metro, Thursday 10 August 2000 An infatuating and rhythmic art form, Raqs Sharqi is not just a dance performed to music but the creation of rhythm and beat through the punctual movement of the body and synchronised combination of drums and percussion. In the Middle East it is taught within the family and is danced at weddings and celebrations. Some claim that it is an exploration of what women can do with their body, as the dancer is said to "transcend time, place and her own limitations and touch something eternal-something even divine."

Asmahan, an Egyptian Dance Fantasy
by Maggie Caffrey

Habibi, Volume 17, No 4, Summer 2000 This dance video has the distinction of being probably one of the most original works of art available to date in the sphere of Oriental dance. As a dance video, it is a kaleidoscope of exotic images from the past and present, linked by the elegant and graceful dancing of Asmahan. We are offered a feast of stunning costumes created my Asmahan herself, plus ravishing settings filmed in Cairo, including the pyramids at Giza, the Ismail Pasha Palace at the Marriott Hotel and Dr. Rageb's Pharonic Village.


Asmahan: An Egyptian Dance Fantasy Video
by Maggie Caffrey

Mosiac, Issue 20, Winter 1999 For me the most enduring images from this enchanting visual journey are those of Asmahan descending a staircase Samia Gamal style, of her emerging from the temple of Isis as the goddess herself, and of her balancing a sword on her head as she intertains bedouins in a desert shrouded in early morning mist. A must for all lovers of Orientalism, it is something to keep on the the shelf for one of those wet, wintry afternoons which cry out for a flight into fantasy to lift the spirits.

Asmahan Designer to the Stars
by Cathy Selford

Mosiac, Issue 19, Summer 1999 Asmahan has been famous for her costumes since her arrival on the dance scene. She designs and makes all her costumes and has made costumes for such famous movies stars as Nabila Ebeid. Asmahan made Nabila's costumes when she played the role of a dancer in "Al Raqassa Wal Siyasse', (The dancer and the politician). She also made the pharonic costume Nabila wore in L'Autre .

Dare you do It? EGYPTIAN DANCE
by Caroline Langley

Cosmopoliton ZEST, March 1999 "The Class at Pineapple was buzzing with excitement. The teacher Asmahan was giving detailed instruction of posture, intention of the dancer, and step patterns. Then this formula was woven into a dance pattern which we did to Arabic music, which created an authentic atmoshere. This dance is an exploration of mind, body and spirit; it is very elegant and feminine. Some of the moves are quite difficult and you work hard in the class but you learn a beautiful and alluring dance. It's different and I absolutely loved it."


Asmahan, Dancer-Designer
by Elaine Mayson.

Dance Express, Issue No 17, November 1997 A career profile of Asmahan as a fashion designer in California and her evolution to a professional dancer. From designing and making clothes for rock stars to studying Egyptian Dance and the experiences of the Middle Eastern entertainment scene.

From Coins to Sequins
by Maggie Cafrey

Mosiac, No 14, Winter 1997 The dancing career of Asmahan starting with meeting Jamila Salimpour and studying with her to become accomplished in the art of Raqs Sharqi. Moving to London to perform in the most prestigious clubs, she was working with the most famous dancers, singers, musicians and composers from the Middle East. She was renouned for her costumes throughout her professional dancing career. She started wearing only Pre-Napoleonic costumes (before any western influences) but progressed quickly to the most glamourous sequins and showgirl elegance. The full range of possibilities, from folklore, Saidi, ancient Egyptian to modern glamour can be found in her wardrobe. She discusses the varied aspects of the costume as a vehicle to express the style and complement the creative aspect of the dancer's movements and to define the "look" of the performance.


by Jamila Salimpour

Habibi, Vol 3, No 12 Spring 1981 Jamila Salimpour recounts her experience of meeting Asmahan and training her to dance. She recounts her correspondence with her through the various progressions of her career as she traveled to London and Egypt to fulfill her career aspirations. Jamila expresses her pride that one of her students made it to the top of Middle Eastern show business. She ends by printing a delightful letter she received from Asmahan while she was endeavoring to succeed in Cairo.


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