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Egypt: Dancing ghawazee
Dancing ghawazee
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type: heliogravure
width in cm:30.0
height in cm: 21.0
artist:
publisher:
engraved by:
Photogravure of Jean-Léon Gérôme featuring a ghawazee observed by Albanian soldiers. According to Jean-Léon Gérôme's dragoman the dancer's name was Hasne. Paul Lenoir wrote in a publication of 1872 about her:
"She did not wait to be solicited. At the first sound of the derboukka (claydrum) and the violins, Hasne planted herself in the middle. Animated, doubtless, by the sight of this numerous audience, encouraged by the princely beksheesch (tip) which he had promised her, she was prepared to regale us with the most exquisite refinements of her choreographic art.
Her brilliant eyes brightened up, and at a given signal the dance began. First slow and measured in her movements, the dancer scarcely displaced herself from the spot to which she seemed nailed by the feet. Then, as the rhythm of the music quickened little by little, with slight and almost imperceptible steps she seconded and supported the incredible inflexions of her whole body, a sort of dislocation of the hips, almost convulsive, which seems to be the foundation of the dance of the almehs. As the musicians hastened the measure, the gestures of the dancer, her contortions, the least movements of her arms and her head, acquired a wilder, more feverish character."

Lenoir was mistaken. It was not an almée he described but a ghawazee dancer. Alimah (pl. of almeh) were not supposed to dance before soldiers and foreigners.

price: € 8
shipping: € 6
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