I first was first exposed to this dance in the nightclubs. Yes, the clubs I performed at. I learned how to do it by watching the men initially, as there was a large Saudi population in SF Bay area in the early 80’s. Later in the 90’s after the Gulf War had the Saudi’s leaving America, I would see many Yemenis in the clubs, again primarily men. So, in that decade of observing the men dance, I was also able to study and observe dancers a generation before me who had integrated the dance into their oriental routines or as part of their folkloric section. I was seeing an authentic acknowledgment of the rhythm in the majenci…yes some majencis have a saudi section…Set elHosen, Marhajen (depending on who was in the audience) it was either played as an ayoob or a khaleegy. During this time computers became common….can you imagine not having one today!! And I was able to view the traditional dances on-line. I also have had the fortune to study with some great instructors who have lived over there and disseminated the dance for me.
Recently, I worked with a musician who complimented me on my “authentic” Saudi dance during my show…. Ooookaaay, I’m thinking……LOL……time to revisit it, refine in the studio for my dancer friends. I’ve really been in love with some of the Iraqi dances I’ve seen online: but they are performed by non natives and I as much as enjoy them, they are not traditional or authentic. (of note, Iraq is not considered a gulf state, even though it has a coast line, I believe this delineation was made by the oil industry)…
Here’s a little cheat sheet for you dear students , with some well-respected resources.
First check out a map of the region on a map!! These dances are from the gulf region of the Middle East, and each country has something a bit different to say about this dance…
Shira.Net….I tell you this is one of the best resources…. Do a search for Saudi Dance and Khaleegy…you will get song samples, talk about the thobe etc.
Please check out Kay Hardy Campbell at http://www.kayhardycampbell.com/blog.htm.She is a well-respected Middle East specialist, whose work I admire greatly, and you should take advantage of her offerings. Wonderful clips of Saudi dance!
A must read is Amina Goodyear’s Blog describing Hussein’s understanding of Qawliya …very insightful! http://aswandancers.org/baolekeh5.12.htm
Check out Yana Tsehotskaya on YouTube…lovely Ukrainian dancer I met last year, who does an amazing version of Khaleegy and Iraqi…adapted for stage.