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Taht il Shebbak

This song is an old favourite for anyone who loves Baladi! It's very cute and playful.

Music: I was using a version from the CD Best of Saidi (which, as I mentioned in class, is pretty misleading as a CD title because there's no Sa'aidi music on there- it's all old school baladi!). The singer is Fatme Serhan, who sang for Dina for many years. This version has a very "live" feel, it seems to have been recorded in performance.

I also came across a nice (and more "produced" version) from Hoda Sinbati, another Sha'abi singer, in the same tradition as Fatme.

I put together my own lyrics translation here (cobbled together from various sources, and rendered in more colloquial English than the various sources in question!). In class, we discussed the storyline of the song beforehand, so they understood the context of the song, and I tried to provide a (limited!) simultaneous translation, while the students were dancing, by way of reminder.

Teaching/Coaching notes for dancing to this song: this song is all about BALADI, so it was a chance to practise a more relaxed styling, keeping the arms simple, the torso softer, the moves less stylised.

The inspiration clips:
This song is most commonly associated with Dina. She uses it in ALL her performances, and has done for years. Look out for the “under my window” gesture, the “your eyelashes are killing me” gesture, and the “I kiss your feet (I'm begging you), please look up” gestures. She uses these ALL THE TIME in this song. Here are a couple of clips of Dina dancing it.

But since it's quite an old song, you can see Tahia Carioca dancing it here in a 1940s black & white movie. I love how casual she is- she's playing a very baladi girl (you can tell because of the chewing gum!)

This is a cute version, I don't know the dancer, but I like her interpretation.

And I love this version by Reyhan from Germany- she's got a gorgeous sense of relaxation and ease.

And Ranya Renee, a very strongly Egyptian styled American dancer.

Finally, back to Egypt. I found this when researching for this post, and I love how Sha'abi it is. I'm wondering if the ironing guy is a knowing reference to Sha'aban (the top Sha'abi singer, who used to be a laundry presser before he got famous). There's not much dancing in it, but it's an interesting reflection of the baladi-ness of this piece of music. You'll want to watch through to the end for the comic coup de grace!


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 30th, 2013 08:09 am (UTC)
Love the Hoda Sonbati version and the shaabi version. Great song-it will be forever Dina to me and always reminds me of my 40th birthday which was when I first saw Dina dance to it live and it was fab.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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