What is the Sa’idi “Tahtib” Part II – Video Examples

To continue our Sa’idi “Tahtib” subject, this week we have two fun videos!

An Informal Game of Tahtib

The first video shows the “play” aspect that the “tahtib” can employ. This was not a formal tournament nor was it an event that normally includes the “tahtib” contest. I videotaped this informal “tahtib” in Luxor at the men’s party at a wedding, December 2012. The main event was dancing horses and a mizmar band, but as soon as our video cameras came out we were happy to see two young men of the family jumped in to show off and enjoy an informal game of “tahtib”, starting with big smiles :00 ending with a good natured hug at 2:15.
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A Child Learns the Movement of His Culture

This second video illustrates how the “tahtib” is learned. Although this video is not mine, I have observed this several times, a patient adult of clear technique plays “tahtib” with the young one learning. The times I saw this, the teaching contest was among the adults in the tournament, the audience giving them the same respect as the experts. You can see that now and then the adult tells the child what to do, at one point telling him to dance raqs assaya, other times you can see the child improv, showing how well he is learning.
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This clip is very sweet, I always love to watch children learning the movement of their culture. :00 From the beginning the boy follows the “Tahtib” structure of walking backward, saluting each other (the over-the-head assaya circle). Starting at about :09 the boy and his teacher/opponent also add skips and dance-like steps, even a turn here and there, all to the cheers of his encouraging audience. 0:47 He gets a new partner who seems to instruct him to do a particular entrance step. Then they start the “Tahtib” game again from the walking backwards and salutes by the overhead assaya circle. At 1:38 they practice squatting position parries. 1:53 boy and man break into a spirited raqs assaya dance. 2:18 he dances with the assaya on his shoulders. 2:37 they return to the “Tahtib” structure, the boy becoming the more aggressive. 3:11 the boy was carried off the game area.

Sa’idi Mini-Series

Over the next couple of weeks we will be visiting several different aspects of Sa’idi dance, finishing up our mini-series with a Q & A. Please leave any questions below and they will be answered! If there are questions I can’t answer I will bring them with me to Egypt and ask in the Sa’id during my next research trip this June.

Don’t want to ask publicly? No problem! Send your questions to info@JourneyThroughEgypt.com and they will also be added to the list.

Sahra C. Kent

Sahra C. Kent

Sahra is a dancer, teacher, and dance ethnologist of over 20 years. She travels the world teaching workshops on a variety of subjects, along with her course series - Journey Through Egypt.

2 Comments

  • Rida

    Love y9ur teaching on Egypt, I study as much as I can to help my students. Also reminds me when I stood in Egypt for 8 weeks one year and 2 weeks another. Thank you for your continue teaching on the culture.

    March 24, 2014 - at 9:48 pm Reply
  • Jocelyn

    I loved these videos. The child is so cute! Really seemed to be picking up on the style quickly! :) Thank you for posting.

    March 27, 2014 - at 4:50 pm Reply

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