The Rough Guide To Bellydance

Born in Lebanon, Maurice Chedid is a supremely talented oud player and has worked with some of the biggest names in Arabic music. Now residing in the USA, he has performed at the United Nations, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and ‘Ya Samara’ and ‘Alouli’ are taken from an album that he produced with the dancer Samara. A percussionist, composer and producer, Lebanese American Richard Khuzami has performed with and/or produced numerous top artists from the Mediterranean, Middle East and the USA over the last forty years. On ‘The A Train To Hios’ he collaborates with the Greek clarinet player Lefteris Bournia. Sammarkand is a New York-based music collective led by producer Pablo Vergara and ‘Tribal Princess’ fuses Middle Eastern styles and electronica, combining organic and synthesized elements with house and polyrhythmic tribal beats. An American Oriental-style oud player and traditional Armenian musician, Richard A. Hagopian performs with the Bulgarian saxophonist Yuri Yunakov on ‘Istemem Babacim’.

Led by Mohamed Ali – considered as one of the greatest nay (Egyptian flute) players of all time – Cairo’s Gizira Band perform authentic bellydance incorporating a number of styles including tarab, baladi and saidi. ‘Basbousa’, a composition by Ali, is a sweet and funny song about a man wanting to eat his grandma’s basbousa (an Egyptian honey cake). Conducted by Dr Ahmad Gibaly, Al Ahram Orchestra are one of the finest orchestras on today’s Egyptian scene and their captivating music, such as ‘Saidi Rara (Egyptian Cane Dance)’ and ‘Salamatha Om Hassan’, features rich instrumentation. A group of renowned performers, The Cairo Arabic Music Ensemble came together to record the album Del Nilo Al Guadalquivir, from where ‘Nesma't El Nile’ – a composition by Ahmed Abdel Fattah – is taken.

Structured as a dance routine, this album also features the talents of the tabla players Said Al Artist and Setrak Sarkissian, the violinist Hamouda Ali and others, and the bonus DVD provides an easy-to-learn program breaking down the essential bellydance movements into simple sections. 

Bonus Instructional DVD

Join Virginia, world renowned instructor of the ancient art of raqs sharki, as she guides you through her step-by-step process of bellydance instruction. This easy-to-learn program breaks down the essential bellydance movements into four simple sections. Whether you are new to bellydance, or you have had previous instruction, this program will provide you with a strong foundation, which is the key to enjoying bellydance.