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Published on Sep 1, 2006
SONG: Bi Basatta by Saber Robai.
What we call belly dance is a theatrical version of the social folk dance done in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. Its an expression of celebration and fun done by both sexes.
The perofessional version we are use to seeing was developed in the nightclubs of Cairo in the 1930's. It has been done almost exclucively by women because it is tied into the tourism market where the majority of the customers in the nightclubs are male. In recent years, men have began to join their sisters on stage as well. The first modern male dancers began in the U.S.A. in the late '60's and 1970's, then spreading to Europe in the '80's and '90's. Now the numbers of male dancers is increasing world wide.
Tito Seif known as Egypt's only professional male Oriental/belly dancer. He is the most acclaimed Oriental dancer in Egypt's popular resort town Sharm el Sheikh in the Sianai.
He is being sought out more and more in Cairo and Alexandria to perform in weddings and othere special eventsI. When I spoke to him this summer he was on his way to perform at a saint day celebration in Alexandria. I filmed this performance in Giza, July 2005.
I've been told that there are at least two more guys performing in Egypt's Red Sea resort towns, but I haven't seen them. In any case, Tito is definately the first man in modern times to perform this dance in a professional, rather than social setting for the general public, Egyptian and foriegn alike.