Friday, 22 February 2013

Happy birthday, Tahia Carioca

As you probably know, legendary Egyptian dancer Tahia Carioca (born Badawiya Mohamed Kareem Al Nirani) took her name from the Latin dance craze of the same name.

Today would have been Tahia's 98th birthday. Rather than bombard you with clips of her, I thought I'd do something a bit different. Here's Fred Astaire and a 22 year-old Ginger Rogers dancing a Hollywood version of the Carioca in their first-ever film together, 1933's Flying Down to Rio. Since the Egyptian cabaret scene of the time was heavily influenced by these Hollywood musicals, I like to think of young Tahia seeing this on its release and being quietly awed.

And if that didn't float her boat, I bet this dazzling sequence, featuring wing-walking dancing girls on a bi-plane(!) did:

Apparently the girls glued their shoes to the wings!

Finally, here's Tahia dancing with a young Mahmoud Reda (two legends for the price of one!) in The Big House (1949):

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