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Oriental Dance

  • region:Orient
  • style(s):
    • Dance
    • Oriental
  • label:Piranha Records

Oriental dance – raks sharki or oryental – goes back at least to 18th century ghawazee, a dance style cultivated in Egypt by a group of female travelling dancers of the Nawar people, a clan of the Dom people and a branch of Romani people. The dance was developed in both rural environments and noble courts alike.

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The first documented performance of raks sharki in the Western world is by a dancer called Little Egypt at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. From there, it naturally took the non-Arabic world by storm and has since become enriched by all kinds of other regional dance traditions – to an extent that it is now almost impossible to keep original elements apart from the innovations. Oriental dance is not only an international success today – it has grown also to an international art-form.

From the beginning of Oriental dance’s latest international boom, helped along with the world music craze of the 80s and 90s, Jalilah’s Raks Sharki series on Piranha Records was able to provide a solid repertoire of music for the performance of this dance. For the most part specifically recorded by first-class orchestras, the series stands up to any demands of music in general – an equal treat for the listener as well as the dancer.

The series has grown to seven volumes since its first outing, with the latest instalment Stage Cuts making allowance for the consumer needs and wants of today – namely (more than anything else) slightly shorter tracks than in older times.

The Raks Sharki series is complemented on Piranha Records by Mahmoud Fadl’s For Oriental Dancers – a compilation of tracks from his numerous Piranha releases as a solo artist and with his group Salamat, as well as a couple of new titles. Of course, there’s even more music for Oriental dancers to find on the original Mahmoud Fadl and Salamat releases.

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