Gamila El Masri

The Gilded Serpent presents...

Gamila El Masri

Paramount among the darling divas of 1980’s Manhattan glorious and glamorous ‘Egyptian Era,’ Gamila began her dance journey in 1973 in the Ibrahim Farrah Method. She spent a brilliant decade on New York’s cabaret circuit performing the gamut of restaurants and supper clubs, but the legendary Club Ibis was her home 1978-1988.

In the early 80's she began Egyptian folkloric training with Ahmed Hussein, New York's first native Egyptian teacher. She also studied Lebanese Folkloric and story telling theater with Ramzi El Edlibi as a member of his company. The mid-80's found her studying with Yousry Sharif and a member of the Yousry Sharif Ensemble. Throughout the years she has taken workshops with Ibrahim Farrah, Elena Lentini, Yousry Sharif, Nadia Gamal, Mahmoud Reda, Nadia Hamdi, Dr. Mo Geddawi, Farida Fahmy and Raqia Hassan.

Gamila initiated ongoing classes at the venerable Fazil's Rehearsal Studio (NYC) in 1987. She established her first dance company Benat el Nessma (1990-97) debuting as a choreographer at New York’s prestigious Ethical Culture Society (1992). She continues to build her repertoire today with the NileSide Dancers and producing independent shows.

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Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Gamila El Masri

  • Dances along the Nile, Part 1: Raks Al Asaya
    There is strength in the cane twirl but not aggression, extreme rapid twirling should be held as an additional sensational feat, less is more. Have your body of twirling be moderate so that you can vary from slow to climatic; always reflecting the music, it's mood and tempo. Get down without getting crazy.
  • Dances along the Nile, Part 2: Raks Al Balas
    Ah, the poor balas (water jug). This is one of the most underestimated and ignored of the dances along the Nile.
  • Dance of the Nile part 3: Meleya
    The erk sous seller spies a pretty young thing in a melaya (and pink bloomers). He coaxes her to have a cup; they flirt. He chases her, she runs away.
  • Shamadan or Candelabra: Dances Along the Nile Part 4
    The style is very earthy and includes great “tricks” like the splits, stomach work while on the floor, rolling over full length on the floor and posturing -- complete with quivering buttocks, and various other individual talents.