Badîa`a Masabni  
Badia (1893-1974)
Badia was a Lebanese dancer who was pivotal in changing the Egyptian dance scene. In 1926 she opened the 'Casino Badia' and later the 'Casino Opera'. This sâla included comedians, singers and dancers. Her target audience was the uppercase and Western identified rich. For these she created a new style of "classy" dance using Western choreographers and floor patterns. What we now call "raqs sharqi". She also introduced a chorus line of up to 30 dancers.

The Casino Opera nurtured many well known dancers such as Tahiya Carioca, Samia Gamal, Nadia Gamal and musicians such as Farid al-Atrache and Abdul Wahab.

Badia left Egypt in 1951 to avoid paying back taxes.

Saudi Aramco World Sep/Oct 1971; Jalilah Zamora, MED List 2 Jan 2004


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