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  • Lisa Lumina

About Props: Lebanese and Egyptian Beledi Cane

Lots of beginners think cane is indicative of Saidi style. What if I told you that, no only does Saidi style not always use a cane, but not all cane dances are Saidi? Mind blown? let's start with Lebanese style cane! Well, at least as much as I know. This post contains cane used in dabke, beledi, and saidi styles. All of those will have their own posts in the folklore section, but for now we're comaring the use of cane across those 3 examples styles.

Lebanese cane tends to be thinner than Egyptian counterparts, and is often used faster, and in reference to dabke. More about dabke during the folklore thread in another semester.

well, often they're thinner, not always!

Nadia Gamal was a major innovator in the Lebanese style

American dancer Ahava performs Lebanese style in this clip.


This week covers a third way to use canes: beledi style. This is a style centered on Cairo, but full of down-home feeling. I'll write more about it when we get to talking about folkloric styles, but what to know about the use of cane is that it is typically borrowed from men, and reference men's style of beledi. This cane is more likely to have a crook and be thicker. It can be a playful bit of a woman dancing with a guy's cane for fun, or a case of bellydancers being able to do some gender bending because of their position as performers, for example, the men's hat and galabeya Fifi is wearing in the first clip of her.

Naima Akef in a playful movie

Nany, at a professional show

Ranya has a DVD on Baladi

As "queen of baladi", Fifi Abdou gets a slew of clips :)

Notice how her band follows her in this one.

The hat is especially a mark of the gender bending of this tableau.

One more ^_^


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