You will never see a group choreography doing Baladi improvisation.
It is just not done, while in "SHARQI", there are many group choreography
and as a matter of fact, when "RAQS SHARQI" started, it used many
back line dancers (see "THE
STARS OF EGYPT"® Video Series.
So, what is Baladi then?
Come with me on a little stroll down one of Cairo's back streets.
Not necessarily Mohammed Ali Street, the place were many of the
musicians, dancers and entertainers lived and still do since the
late part of last century, this is too obvious, let's go down
Haret Zeinhom, in El Sayeda Zeinab district of Cairo. But
lives there? People who have moved to the city well over a couple
of hundred years ago, or even longer than that. These people came
from the other cities of Egypt like El Mahalla, El Kobra, Alexandria,
Luxor, Aswan, Asyout, Quena, Banha, Damanhour, Domiat, Sohag
or any other. OK
..Why? to get better jobs and
to trade with their produce.
Now, these people are so special, they were not like the city
people, however, some were very educated and continue to educate
their children. Many of which are now doctors, architects, lawyers,
army ranked, directors of big companies or even in the Government.
And, even though they are and have been part of the city for a
few generations, they are still very proud and are very connected
to their roots, and this is what they will always call "HOME",
the city or village they came from. They say I am going back to
"EL BALAD" meaning my country, or my hometown.
In Arabic, BALADI means my country, my hometown. But to the "SOPHISTICATED"
city people (one of the dictionary definitions of Sophisticated
is: Untrue, false) it means something that is home grown, or their
country, or the countryside people or even fashionably tasteless
clothes or street language. They say Ooo lala this is Baladi.
OK. Lets now look at the life of these Baladi people, and lets
take a look at an imaginary young lady and study her day to day
living, what is expected of her, what is she expecting out of
life, her connections to the world and how she's liable to make
it. Lets call her.
Zeinab's family are not rich, they live in a poor area, Haret
Zeinhom. Father works in a factory earning very little and can
hardly support the family, her mom and one other very young sisters
and two brothers who are 25 and 23 years old. She is the third
child and is 18 years old, fully matured, ripe and would break
your heart with one smile or a look from the corner of her eye.
Long black hair and a face like a full moon smiling down at you
from high above and you can see the respect of the family traditions
have been not only bread into her, but also beaten into her by
her protective brothers, who are too scared, LIKE EVERY ONE READING
THIS, each to his/her relevant degree about reputation, honor
and respect. This is ALL the BALADI people have, and this is ALL
they give a damn about: SELF RESPECT & TO BE REPECTED BY "ALL"