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"A Trade Like Any Other": Female Singers and Dancers in Egypt [Anglais] [Broché]

Karin Niewkerk

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A Trade Like Any Other In Egypt, singing and dancing are considered essential on happy occasions. Professional entertainers often perform at weddings and other celebrations, and a host family's prestige rises with the number, expense, and fame of the entertainers they hire. Paradoxically, however, the entertainers themselves are often viewed as disreputable people and are accorded little prestige in Egyptian society.Thi... Full description

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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  8 commentaires
26 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Essential to understanding all aspects of Egypt 7 mars 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This is a fabulous and unique book which should be read by all scholars of the Middle East. Because entertainment has been so central to the identity of Egyptians this is an essential read. The author provides fascinating insights on the construction of gender in Egypt, the public/private realm, the complex web of morals and the role of dance and music in political development. This is worth twice it weight.
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must for Oriental dancers and students of Muslim women 2 juin 2003
Par Heather P. Emerson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This highly documented, academic book is essential to anyone wishing to better understand how the native Egyptian Muslim audience views women, particularly but not exclusively, women who sing and/or "belly dance". It provides an excellent history of female entertainers in Egypt throughout history - following the Ghawazee, wedding and festival performers, and the rise of nightclub culture. After providing that history - which I feel is very important for all Oriental dancers to understand - this book undertakes the challenge of trying to understand how performers are viewed by themselves, their families and neighbors, and the community at large. By looking at these women with an "experience near" insider's eye, rather that an outsider's eye which may misunderstand or romanticize the situation, this book lays out plainly the challenges for the average female entertainer. She focuses mostly on the "common" dancers and singers -those who dance and sing at weddings and festivals, not as much on the nightclub or TV/movie/ radio stars, although they are mentioned.
This book is not focused only on the entertainment part of these women's lives, however, but on their family lives and how they enter and exit the business, and in this capacity it serves as an excellent window into the lives of Muslim women in Egypt. What is expected of an Egyptian woman, how feminine and masculine are defined and why, what is respectable or not, and why and how these women work in this framework in their daily lives. Is it the Muslim view of women, or of entertainers in general, or of female entertainers that is responsible for the challenges these women face? This book answers these questions, and in the process gives greater insight into Egyptian Muslim culture from the inside out. It isn't a light read, but it is very educational and may even challenge women of all cultures to look at their own cultures, morals, and values regarding women differently.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting reading for bellydancers, very well-written 30 janvier 2006
Par Ramona - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I enjoyed this book very much. The author was very clear about her research and the conclusions she reached. It really helps explain the cultural setting of belly dance in Egypt better than any other book I've read, and it's fascinating reading as well due to the little details she tells us about dancers living in Egypt. A must-read book for those interested in Egyptian belly dance!
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Historical context and perspective 1 novembre 2013
Par Cassandra Strand - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Karin Van Nieuwkerk certainly did a thorough job interviewing and exploring the roles a select sampling of women have had in the entertainment industry in Egypt and this book is one I'd recommend to lovers of history, dance historians and dancers in general. Her book is well researched and offers valuable information. However, because this paper was written for academic purposes some may find the writing style to be a little too formal. This sometimes makes the book a little dry and difficult to follow. However the effort is well worth it even if you normally don't read academic styles. She interviews several dancers who reveal a little bit about Egyptian society and their own lives allowing us to see how they came into this dance form despite the stigmas attached to dancers in Egypt. This is helpful for western women looking to understand the position of female entertainers in modern Egyptian society (also in most arab societies). Although much of their experiences are somewhat limited to the Mohammed Ali street area and Cairo in a larger sense much of it still applies to Egypt in general and much of North Africa and the Middle East. It takes a good look at the love-hate dynamic relationship Egyptians have with female performers and loos at the religious cultural, and societal implications of female performance. However, the book was written on research from the 1980's from a select sample of women in a relatively small sample area so when reading it remember that this research does not reflect the current entertainment trade in Egypt nor does it necessarily reflect the way things are everywhere in the Middle East/North Africa (although since it is specifically about Egypt one really shouldn't have that expectation anyways). For those who have already read the book or want to read a shorter updated piece, there is a follow up article by Karin Van Nieuwkerk available online at the following address:
http://www.muspe.unibo.it/period/ma/index/number3/nieuwkerk/karin_0.htm
7 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The best on its subject 27 février 2003
Par Cynthia - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Too many books about Oriental/belly/Middle Eastern dance lean toward fantasy rather than scholarship. Van Nieuwkerk's book explores the seemingly paradoxical love-hate relationship many people have toward Egyptian belly dancing and dancers and details the history of the dance over the past few centuries.
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