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Top Middle Eastern Dance & Culture Documentaries

  • By alisa87
  • On 15/10/2018
  • Comments (0)

If you are an information junkie like myself you are going to love this article! There is a great variety of face-to-face and online dance classes these days, you can reach you teacher in a matter of minutes and have your dance practice. Another way to keep inspired is, of course to learn the history of dance. Today our conversation of Middle Eastern continues with list of top documentaries:


1. Dancers.

Director: Celame Barge | Producer: Atef Hetata, Produced in 2007, Egypt. A raw, eye-opening documentary of a life of an average belly dancer in Cairo. Women from 17-40, from all over Egypt and different walks of life, dancing for a living

2. The Fez Documentary

“A film about the legend and history one man created for belly dancers, musicians and Los Angeles”. A fascinating story of a nightclub in Southern California that became a hub of Middle Eastern artists and helped bringing the Arabic culture to mainstream American society.

3. Journey of Desire: A Foreign Dancer in Cairo, by Yasmina Of cairo

Full-length documentary feature, running 1 hour 40 minutes, directed by Sara Farouk, and produced by Yasmina. A mixture of interviews, personal and archive footage, documentary footage, the film also includes six performance 'video-clips' shot on location, illustrating different aspects of Egyptian dance and music, as well as Yasmina's own personal story of how she came to Cairo and survived eight years of performing there.

4. Farida. The life of Farida Fahmy (feature length documentary).

Farida Fahmy on her life, the Reda Troupe, plus interviews with Mahmoud Reda. Reda style folkloric dances - Haggalah, Fellahin, Nubian, Saiidi, Milayah, Muwashshat.


5. Interview with Mahmoud Reda

A touching interview with Egyptian dance pioneer, Mahmoud Reda in his dowtown studio, Cairo 2011. Mahmoud's final interview before retiring; the studio has since closed.  


6. Egyptian Folk Dance. The legendary Morocco (Carolina Varga Dinicu) released some beautiful  documentaries available for rent or digital download: The National Folk Troupe of Egypt (Firqa Kawmiyya), Dances of Egypt, Nubia & the Sudan

7. Soul of a dancer. Documentary about the inner lives of belly dancers. Short but inspiring video produced by Dean Gold.

8. Course on the Gypsies (part1&2)

Is a one hour History Channel Documentary that aired in the late 1990's and then quickly disappeared, becoming unavailable and out of print.  It tells the story of how Linguists traced the historical roots and true origin of the Gypsies back to their original homeland.  A fascinating look at the history of the Roma culture over the last thousand years.

9. Latcho Drom (“Safe Journey”)

The fascinating production which offers a feast of stunning visuals and memorable folk music re-enacting the migration of gypsies on a route from India into Upper Egypt, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, France and ending in Spain.


And the great review on the documentary you can find here:

Please note, this list isn’t complete and I’m only sharing documentaries I’ve personally watched and got inspired from. I would love to hear what are your favorite productions!


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