top of page
  • Lisa Lumina

About Props: Shamadan

The prop to introduce this week is the shamadan. I enjoy dancing with this one, because of its connection to the awalim and Egyptian folklore (plus I get to show off, lol) This article will serve for now to give a basic background on it, but it has some inaccuracies. For example, the dancer it credits and the first was not, and there is more information about that in the book "Raks Sharki Revolution" by Heather Ward (AKA, Nisaa of St. Louis). I have to try and find another article that covers the zeffat al 'arousa better.

Here's a dancer in a movie from the 60s about a dancer credited with starting the it, of course they used 1960s costumes instead of the 1860s

Nisaa performing with one, she is a great researcher and author of "Raqs Sharki Revolution"

and Shinning, doing a historical style with two other dancers.


Here it is done in the context of a wedding

as presented by an Egyptian folklore company (folklore is different from folk dance. More on that later.)

Here's Aida Nour giving it an authentic Awalim feeling during a show in NYC:

Modern dancers perform with the shamadan. They can get away with floorwork because, while floorwork has been illegal in Egypt for a long time, it is allowed during shamadan because of the folklore and cultural significance of the performance. (We'll talk about that cane she's using another week.)

9 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page