Popular Dance and Music in Modern Egypt

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About the Book

Based on multiple decades of research on and experience with Egyptian dance and music, this book is a unique exploration into the history, expansion, aesthetics, social reality, regulation, and transformation of different forms of dance and dance music in Egypt. The book covers raqs sharqi (Oriental dance, known as belly dance or danse du ventre), raqs sha’biyya (regional or group-specific dances and rituals), sha’bi (lower-class urban music and a dance style), mulid (drawing on Sufi tradition and the festive character of saints’ day festivals) and mahraganat (youth-created, primarily electronic music with lively rhythms and biting lyrics). Each chapter touches on a different aspect of Egyptian dance, including genres and sub-genres and evolution, the demeanor of dancers, trends old and new, and social and political criticism using the imagery of dance or a dancer. It also considers the globalization of Egyptian dance, the replication or fantasies of raqs sharqi outside of Egypt, as well as the adoption of the dance as a hobby, competitive dance form, and focus of international dance festivals.

About the Author(s)

Sherifa Zuhur is a research scholar, performer, author and contributing editor of eighteen previous books.  She held academic appointments at MIT, University of California, Berkeley, the American University in Cairo, and the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College. She lives in Berkeley, California.

Bibliographic Details

Sherifa Zuhur
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 40 photos, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8199-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4311-3
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Closes a multitude of holes in our understanding, eliminates the need to rely on colonialist wish-story…important, well-written chronicle”—Carolina Varga Dinicu a.k.a. “MOROCCO,” dancer/choreographer

• “Finally! I begged Sherifa to write a book on the dance and music of Egypt—especially contemporary after the Golden Era. And she did. What a service to our dance and music community. Thank you!”—Amina Goodyear, dancer, teacher, musician, producer.