This thesis examines the role of popular dancers in Egyptian cinema of the late 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, while deliberating the capacity of certain dancers to achieve a level of esteem over the course of their careers and in their film roles. Films that feature the prominent dancers Samia Gamal, Tahiya Karioka and Naima Akif are considered in the course of three chapters. The relationship between Egyptian notions of respectability, identity, tradition and modernity, the on and off-screen construction of the dancers’ characters and their roles in certain films is considered. The connection between dancers’ roles and major historical events, such as the 1952 Egyptian revolution, the nationalization of the Suez Canal and the 1967 war with Israel, and the significant conceptual changes that occurred as a result of these events are also speculated on.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Sedra, Paul
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