Saidi, Upper Egypt
The Said is the conservative southern region of Egypt, i.e. the area around Luxor, Qena and Assuit. The lifestyle of the Fellahin (farmers) there has changed only little and very slowly in the last thousands of years. The dance traditions here have remained untouched much longer than in the regions of the Nile Delta, which are in a closer proximity to Cairo. We will explore two different music styles. The first style is played by the Rababa, such as the music of the famous Rababa musician Met'qal Qinawi from Thebes. The Rababa is a two-stringed spiked fiddle. The second musical style is played by the Salameya --a small oblique flute similar to the Nai. Dancing in the Said is focused within the body, with emphasis on movements of the hips, and is free of the theatrical elements, which Raqs Sharqi -- what we call Belly Dance -- later developed.