Monday, 4 February 2013

Bellydancing and the Blues

If you haven't heard all about it yet, Guy Schalom - talented darabuka player, dancer and leader of the Baladi Blues Ensemble - recently recorded a programme for BBC Radio 4 all about traditional Baladi Egyptian music and dance.

Bellydancing and the Blues

Bellydancing and the Blues was broadcast on Boxing Day at the end of last year.  The good news for anyone who didn't manage to tune in on the day is that the programme is available to listen again on BBC iPlayer on a permanent basis.  

The is an insightful documentary about a traditional form of Egyptian music and dance and how both developed and grew through interplay between east and west.  There are some fascinating contributions from distinguished musicians and dancers from Germany, the UK and Egypt including Raqs Sharqi Society trained Jane Wass, music producer Jennifer Carmen and Egyptian accordion master Sheik Taha.  I particularly loved hearing a different spin presented to the history of belly dancing past and present.  And as a real bonus, the whole show is ornamented with musical excerpts of beautiful Egyptian music, including from Guy's own Baladi Blues series of CDs. 

Guy Schalom
Here's an extract from the blurb on the BBC website:
"Dancer and drummer Guy Schalom hunts out the spirit of the new Egypt in one of its biggest cultural exports. To our ears, Baladi is the music of the bellydancer - kitsch and mock-Arab. But in its true form it is the essence of Egypt, 'of the country', 'home' in the deepest sense..."
To listen to the programme in full go to BBC iPlayer

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