This week’s music for belly dance class is “Layla” by Farid al-Atrach. The song appeared in the 1963 movie “Al Badaweya al Ashiqa”(The Bedouin in Love). In this clip a young Nagua Fouad is dancing to the song.

Farid al-Atrach is considered one of the most important Egyptian composers of the 20th century. He was an oud player, singer and actor as well – like many stars of that era. He wrote many pieces specifically for dancers because they were frequently characters in the movies. He was often cast along with Samia Gamal, with whom he famously had a long love affair. You can read more about Farid al Atrach here.

Here is the version of “Layla” we are dancing to in class this week. It begins with a long taqsim.