The Nubian culture is passed from generation to generation, and resonates
particularly strongly in its music. Drums and clapping hands dominated
the music of old Nubia. Now, musicians are plugging in new instruments.
The new style Nubian music has a growing number of fans both inside and
outside the Nubian community, and a culture that some predicted would wash
away with the Nile River has instead taken Egypt by storm.
In the villages of northern Africa, most women dance as a social activity,
at weddings for example, in all-female groups. The character of this dance
style is different in the big cities, particularly in Egypt where the dance
has reached its most highly developed form. Top dancers achieve the status
of movie stars because of the prominence of the entertainment industry.
The reserve and dignity of the Nubian people shows through the poetry
and song. Here is an excerpt from a song by acclaimed Nubian musician,
Hamza el-Din, expressing the love a Nubian feels for his lost country.
Raks at Balad el-Aman (Dance of Nubia)
In Nubia, our paradise,
The girls must go to the river to fetch water.
I can see you going with your sister in the mountains.
I can imagine how you will be talking very seriously to one another.
Nubia, our beautiful Nubia is the land I love and will always remember...
The style of dance presented by Mahea Uchiyama in People
Like Me 2003 is a female solo interpretive style known and appreciated all
Arab world including Northern Africa. In its original context, the
is improvisational in nature, and the dancer draws from variety of
movements with which to interpret the music and show mastery of
The second part of the choreography is a dance featuring a rhythm
played for a person only once in a lifetime, at the occasion of a
wedding. The bright and ornamented clothing that the performer wears
only be worn in the company of her family, as in public she would
appear without her fustan or black cover dress, which is a sign of