Oriental/Melaya Laff Performance by Souzana at Tundra Caravan’s 2007 Saqra Workshop Performance

Souzana performs an Oriental/Melaya Laff style dance at Tundra Caravan’s 2007 “Where the Middle East Meets the Frozen North” workshop and gala performance with Saqra. Music is an edited version of Melaya Laff by Bassam Ayoub from the Raks Ayoub CD. Melaya Laff is a coquettish Alexandrian dance with a milaya (heavy veil), formerly used as a fashion accessory in the 40s. Dancers sometimes wear a bourka (netted face veil style), and a frilly mid-knee length dress. Its not a true folk dance but rather a theatrical piece created by Mahmoud Reda of the Reda Troupe. It’s a character dance based on the “baladi” girls from the local neighborhoods. Its supposed to be cutesy and flirtatious done with a “you can look but you’d better not touch!” attitude but is certainly not an invitation. Often done as a comedy with gum chewing and clunky wooden shoes, Souzana chose instead to perform it with a more elegant style, with a more serious and shy approach. Souzana was inspired to dance to this piece of music after spending time in Utah working with Viktoriya on Melaya Laff styling.

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