uma das maiores bailarinas libanesas, já
esteve no Brasil para realização de
um sucesso do novo show de Amany "Amany ao
redor do mundo", onde mostra além da
Dança do Ventre e da dança folclórica,
várias performances do mundo com muita classe.
the culture and creation
of Belly Dancing
day, there was a little girl who had to go to school
like her brothers and all the kids of the world.
She hated school and, eagerly awaiting schooling
years to end. Afterwards, she unsuccessfully, tried
to escape this burden. She was dreaming of dancing
and nothing else.
took advantage of every moment and hour to exercise
in her own room at her big house and enjoy oriental
dancing in front of the mirror which became her
companion loyal all the time to get away from the
whirlpool of studying to dancing.
I forgot to mention her name. She's Angel Ayoub
from a town called Hamat in North Lebanon. In spite
of that, Angel was not lazy at school except for
the French literature class which she preferred
eating seeds, potatoes and chocolate or competing
for the biggest chewing gum, to it . Pardon me,
the French literature,...history,...geography and
the English Language...only.
she had an inclination to study medicine, Angel
unwillingly entered the university to receive a
degree in Social Sciences and another one in Beautification,
"because it's Faster," she explained.
It was her father's, Nabil Ayoub, Condition to grant
her the key to freedom only after she had finished
schooling and received a university degree.
God! at last the distress is done with . "Now
I can dance, "Angel couldn't believe herself.
She began preparing for her start in the artistic
world a month before she graduated and chose a new
name, Amani, that was suitable for oriental dancing,
and which meant "Wishes" in English. The
name has a long story which I will relate to you
in the following lines.
one of her relatives' engagement party where there
were a crowd of important artists and journalists,
Angel responded to a friends' request and performed
a dance which was met with admiration (all the doing
of the mirror), and that urged one of the distinguished
journalists, Mr. George Ibrahim Al Khoury, to ask
her for a second dance after being introduced to
him by that friend. A small incident that has changed
the course of her life and encouraged her to enter
the artistic world. Days passed away, till a letter
was published in the most important artistic magazine
with the title: "An Educated Girl Asks: Should
I Take Oriental Dancing as a Profession ? "
letter was signed by the name Amany and sent by
the teen-ager while she was still a university student,
asking the distinguished journalist his opinion
about that matter to which he gave his famous answer:
is no such thing as trite dancing, but there is
a trite dancer. It's the person himself who shapes
his future, and not the other way around."
And he asked her to use "Amany" as her
name when she starts dancing professionally.
spite of the opposition she faced from some people,
and the society in particular, Angel went on pursuing
to fulfill her wishes and dreams on the first of
April, 1987 using the name Amany.
1st. of April ? Ha...Ha ! It's April Fool's Day
! Is this teen-ager playing a practical joke on
us all or what ?! Or is her artistic life is going
to be nothing but a big lie in this world ?
1987, the war was still going on in Lebanon, a fact
that hindered Amany's recognition in Lebanon, Her
own homeland. But this didn't stop her from working
abroad and strengthening her artistic foot steps
in every establishment she worked in and where contracts
were renewed more than once.
traveled to many countries, Arabian and Foreign,
Dubai, Abu Dabi, Jordan, Tunisia, Italy, France,
Amany took a final decision to enter the artistic
world, she telegraphed Mr.George Ibrahim Al-Khoury,
under the name Amany, and told him about it and
invited him to a dance party where she would be
performing. Thus ,he accepted the invitation and
then wrote an article titled "Amany Holds Me
Responsible for Her Oriental Dancing", and
which he concluded with one wish:
I hope for Amany's reputation is to remain as white
as the snow that covers her beautiful town, Hamat."
this time, Amany was introduced, through the famous
writer, to one of Lebanon and the Arab World's singing
Stars, the maestro Melhem Barakat who admired her
dancing singled her out as the only dancer in all
his recitals inside and abroad Lebanon. Their cooperation
continued for almost two years.
Amany started working alone in all the Arab World.
In year 1989, she started to work on her own style.
She used a unique character in music and rhythms
which no dancer has ever danced to. And since Amany's
dancing has been characterized, and carried a new
wave in oriental dancing (belly dancing) that distinguished
Lebanon from Egypt in it's expressive new style
which Amany used.
what really set Amany aside from other dancers is
the fact that she is a well educated person, a character
which enhanced her radiant personality to the extent
that a press interview carries as much joy as her
dancing, a fact that prompted the distinguished
journalist to ask Amany to write her artistic life
story and her opinions about it. Then, he asked
her to write another subject discussing philosophy
and life. In addition, Amany searched deeply into
the old Arabian history books for the roots of oriental
dance, and excelled in her discussion of the subject
in press interviews and TV talks that people and,
journalists in particular adopted her views about
dancing and its history. Amany rejected the allegation
that oriental dance is Egyptian and presented sufficient
now aims at purifying oriental dance from all the
blemishes that distorted its beautiful image in
view of the social and religious ideas and beliefs
which prevailed in the old times where oriental
dancing lost its real identity.
1993, and for the first time in the history of oriental
dancing, Amany represented in a corporeal form two
historical stories through beautiful dancing in
an effort to introduce culture and education under
the logo of oriental dancing .
since every kind of dance has its own history, Amany
thought that it was appropriate to present in 1993
a show under the title "Stories" which
aimed at narrating the history of the dance or present
a story in a corporeal form through a dance. The
show was a success and that motivated Amany to present
a second version, "Stories II" in 1994,
and a third one, "Stories III",in 1995.
Amany became on eminent personality in the art and
distinguished title became the Educated Dancer or
the Angel of Dancing. A lot was written about her
which can't be all mentioned here. Many poets and
writers spoke with admiration of her dancing and
innocent feminine beauty, of which is the description
written by George Jurdak, the writer ,poet and sarcastic
critic, who said: "A gorgeous feminine fantasy
which surrenders to musical tunes as Jasmine breath
to the breeze of air, dancing in a beautiful dream
from which the dreamer is afraid to wake up in order
not to lose sight of such a charm that might melt
in a cloud of white perfumed fluttering diaphanous
writer George I.Al-Khoury wrote after he saw her
dancing at a night club: "A dancer from the
orient who became, within few years, one of the
proficient dancers...I was infatuated by your dancing
style... a tender, flexible dancing body that deals
with music as if it's a musical instrument, meets
with dancing as if it's a dancing composition, and
feels with sensation as it's a bulk of sensation...
all with a gorgeous beauty, an intoxicated body,
coquetry and provocation and hands which flexibly
and skillfully move, and a gazelle's walk... I,
who one day participated actively in your coming
to the world of art, am very happy of the accomplishment
you've done...and for the brilliant future awaiting
she presented her show "Stories" I "in
1993 of which Al-Khoury wrote:" You, the youngest
of the dancers, and the eldest in ranking, dancing
and art. You came from the beauty of Hamat to become
an oriental dancer who elevates dancing to the level
of her hometown ,education and high moral standards...I
am very happy with the achievement you've made with
your show "Stories I"... congratulations."
worth noting that Mr.George I.Al-Khoury has bestowed
his favors on a large number of artists, and he
was a coeval of many of the art's giants such as
Abdul Wahhab and Om Kalthom in the Arabian Orient.
But he always takes pride of being the one who attracted
Amany to the artistic world to be one of its eminent
personalities, he even once said: "How many
dancers dance to the tunes of music...and how many
dancers does music dance to their tunes ?! Only
latest title he bestowed on Amany was "The
carnival of dancing" because she excelled in
all styles of dance such as Jazz, Indian and the
theatrical, in addition to all types of oriental
dancing, thus, becoming the most popular dancer
and news of her reaching the two Americas.
a U.S magazine published an article about her written
by Noria Tahan (Summer 95,vol.14,n#3):"Internationally
known, she is one of the top dance stars of LEBANON...She
is admired and respected by the Arab community world
wide...I was greeted at the door by a petite, warm
and friendly young lady...There is nothing plastic
or fake about Amany.
in Dance ...But first and foremost there is Amany,
enthroned for above, a technician on the level of
Mona Saiid with the grace and presence of Samia
Jamal, and for several years, though still twenties,
the acknowledged superstar of Lebanese Dance"
(Edwine Nearing in Habibi Magazine U.S.A) .
America to Europe, Amany visited Germany, in 1995,
where she presented a dance show. She also established
master class, workshop which attracted dancers from
all Europe, Spain, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Holland
and England...to learn her new style in oriental
dancing. The experience made Amany happy and filled
her with enthusiasm for the idea of workshops, because
this is what she thought of as her real mission
to spread new ways of oriental dancing, especially
when a number of European oriental dancers called
her and expressed their wishes to learn oriental
dancing with her.
Lebanese ladies and house wives asked Amany for
special lessons, and there is nothing astonishing
about that because she is quite popular among women,
a fact which is due to Amany's spontaneouity and
distinguished dancing. In fact, she has admirers
within high-class societies, and even politicians
who attend her shows and choose her for their formal
and private occasions.
became Lebanon's ambassador to the world, and was
chosen to stage a performance in the most important
beauty event in Lebanon after the war, Miss Lebanon
'95; and she was also chosen by the cultural society
to celebrate the International Theater Day in recognition
of one of the most prominent play writers in the
of the journalists wrote describing her in that
party: "Amany dances as a whole, and the dancer
who denotes culture in this Arabian Lebanese art
which interlocks with distant times...Amany realizes
that every occasion has its particular dance...I
saw her dancing or singing or, rather, flying in
one of the most graceful of her performances...she
was an original expressive power capable of displaying
the beauty of each more and each stillness.
Performing, she was the daughter of a noble, graceful
and creative theater, the daughter of the real art.
danced with the demanded revelation that dance which
deepened my conviction in Amani's affiliation with
the artistic culture. An affiliation that makes
her an explorer in search of treasures...And I think
that a long time will pass before another educated
dancer comes along to practice dancing as an act
of love, such as Amany."
was nothing surprising. Amany was the first dancer
who dared in February 1996, to move oriental dancing
from nightclubs to the theater. She had such a courage
and strength to put together a two hours show and
stand on stage all by herself to present dances
from the orient without the audience getting bored.
teen-ager who became now a successful woman was
the first one to present, in 1993,a video clip of
a dance in the orient. A video clip that depends
on a dancer, and not a singer as it is usually the
case. Amany danced to a special tune titled "Look..Look..Amany"
. Then, another video clip followed in 1994, and
a third in 1995 when she photographed the Indian
dance, Katak, the rhythms and composition was made
specialy for her, it was not difficult for Amany
to perform such a dance for the comprehensive cultural
and historical research that she did for years on
the subject of oriental dancing.
it's worth noting that Amany have three cassettes
and a CD in the international markets. A fourth
cassette is on its way to be marketed.
but not least, and for many years now, Amany has
been demanding, all alone and without any support
from her colleagues, to allow dancers to join the
Professional Artists Syndicate. If her efforts are
paid off, then she will be imprinting the dancing
history as since.
why not?! it is her slogan in Life :culture, creation,
stories, isn't it? When Amany represented Lebanon
in an annual festival for oriental dancing, held
in Germany, she addressed the audience with the
following words: ... I come to you from my small
country, Lebanon, to tell you and to prove that
art, and especially dancing, hasn't faced a setback
or died during the 17 years of civil war and distruction.
On the contrary, it was renewed and improved...Hoping
you'll visit our country which we are rebuilding
well the world open his doors to the Lebanese artistic
dancing by way of his Ambassador to the stars...the
way of Amany?!
- 1996 : Amany was chosen by the Brazilian Belly
dancers, and her only from among all the middle
eastern dancers, to give master class work shops
in Brasil. She presented the workshop for 120 professional
students. Besides, it´s important to add that
she was introduced by the entrepreneur Mr. Omar
1997 : She performed in tours to USA and Canada
( Atlantic city, Miami, Ohio, Los Angeles, Middle
Eastern dance festival (Orange County), Oklahoma
1998 : She was elected as the first Belly Dancer
to present an oriental belly dance show in MONTE
CARLO (Salle des Etoiles).
Amany is preparing now for new video clips. The
first as ritual oriental belly dance and the second
presenting NEFERTITI's death (Ancient Egyptian