• field research


    The Arabic word Kaf كف literary means ‘Palm of the Hand’, so we could say that Raks  الرقص (dance) el Kaf means ‘Dance of the Palm.’ Raks el Kaf, sometimes called Kafafa, is said to be one of the oldest Egyptian dances, dating back to the days of the pharaohs. El Kafafa, music and dance troupe leader, Abd El Wahed El Sayed, explains that wall inscriptions depicting this kind of art can be found in many temples and tombs, especially in the Asasya tombs on the West  Bank of Luxor (www.el-mastaba.org/kaffafa.html). This is a folk dance based on clapping, accompanied by a framed drum, which is called a Duf. The…

  • field research


    In October 2016 FE met a wonderful Nubian musician called Ali Teknik. He is Sudanese Nubian, living in Egypt. He plays Oud and he sings, but he is not a professional musician. We were lucky to hear his concert in a so-called Nubian house, in Ana Kato, West bank Aswan. The music, the energy and the songs, everything was perfect. It was fun to watch the other Nubians gathering around him, singing with him and dancing. Every time we came back to Aswan (2018, and two times in 2019), we were asking to see him, but unfortunately, he was not there. This is how it is in Egypt I guess,…

  • field research


    I always loved world music and for the last twenty years, I began to discover the various and colorful heritage of Arabic music. Being an oriental dancer and oriental dance teacher I like different genres of music. Lately, I have been digging deeper into the understanding of upper Egyptian folk music. In my field research between 2015 and 2019, I visited upper Egypt at different times of the year, mostly Luxor and Aswan. Whenever I visited Luxor, we were working with a band that played traditional upper Egyptian music. The musicians were playing typical musical instruments of upper Egypt like rababa and mizmar, but also flute (ney and kawala), drums…

  • field research


    On one of our dance research journeys in Aswan, Upper Egypt, we were treated with a nice dance present. In the Nubian village, on the West Bank of the Nile river, where we were staying, we received an unexpected visit from Sudan. Young Sudanese Nubian male dance group was recording a video for the Sudanese television. When we told them that dance is also our main focus there, they did a short performance for us.

  • field research


    What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see Raks El Assaya or when you dance to it? I´ll tell you mine. It´s Saidi, and the image of Upper Egypt. This was the image I had in mind, when I first heard Upper Egyptian music, that being a long time ago. I’ll tell you a story. It was winter 2003 and I went to Vienna all the way from Slovenia with a few friends who shared my enthusiasm for dance. We were so excited, because it was our first workshop with an Oriental dance teacher from abroad. So, guess who it was? It was the one and only…

  • field research


    I am going to take you on a dance journey into the desert. In February 2018, my dance friends and I headed towards the Kharga oasis. In other words, Kharga is the southernmost of Egypt‘s five western oases. Our main goal there was to make contact with local dancers and learn new moves. Therefore we found a group of dancers, whom you can see in the clip below. We spent five days together, learning from them. They are the Kharga Oasis official dance group. In addition, I am adding this clip, where, as they said themselves, they portray the traditional dance from the Kharga oasis region. In seeing their steps and moves,…

  • field research oriental dance
    field research


    The main goal of my field research in Egypt is to discover the roots of Oriental dance. In addition, I also want to find out the latest news and happenings in the Oriental dance scene there.On this page, I will share some short stories, videoclips and travel reflections. To conclude, I will spice up my stories with some theory and historical facts.