Hager Hamdy

HAGER HAMDY During the successful golden days of Taheyya Karioka, the dance, cinema and theatre world was taken by surprise to see a very beautiful young and attractive nameless girl who didn’t say very much to anyone, but accompanied Taheyya everywhere she went; at home, at the clubs, at the cinema plateaus and her film company offices. No one knew who this girl was, but she never left Taheyya’s side. Then, all of a sudden, there she was presented to the world of dance outside of the regular way of starting as a chorus line dancer, but as a solo dancer. She attracted the watchful eyes of not only the regular nightclub audience but the cinema and theatre producers, directors and actors alike. Taheyya introduced this young dancer’s first dance show under the name of HAGER HAMDY.

Hager’s dancing was so authentically Egyptian, playful, fully integrating the music, rhythm and artistic Egyptian styles together in a very fresh approach, that she was invited by producers, to perform small dance sequences in their new films and this, later on, grew to performing more prominent parts and more important roles in the films and in the story line as well as an acting part which then developed into leading roles in many blockbuster films of that era. The young Hager Hamdy climbed the working ladder step by step project by project and was getting a bigger and stronger position in the hearts of the Egyptian film and club audience alike to the point that she was classed as the 3rd dancer top dancer of the cinema after Taheyya Karioka and Samya Gamal. A position extremely tough to reach and almost impossible to achieve the level she had to compete against was extremely high, however full of love and friendship, and I am sure one needs not to explain how “CUT-THROAT” the cinema industry is and can be, even today.

The time came when Hager started trying her hand in film production, like her teacher Taheyya and made her very first self-produced film “Bent El Meallem” (The Bosses Daughter) which received magnificent success with the audience, the critics and at the box-office. Then she produced a second film, not as successful as the first one by the name of “Bent EL Omda” (The Daughter Of The Village Mayor). Then her luck changed when she made the following few productions. All this plus the many of the other films in which she appeared, starred and acted especially the film “Safeer Gohannam” (The Ambassador From Hell” directed by the legendary actor and director Sir. Yousef Wahby. However, this film was met by a massive boycotting and was almost confiscated by the Egyptian film censorship department because of some of Hager’s dances and dresses in the film. Then Sir Wahby interfered and threatened to submit a direct complaint to King Farouk of Egypt, one of his dearest and closest friends and admirers, then the film was released the morning of the gala evening of the film’s first showing.

Following the footsteps of her mentor, teacher and best friend Taheyya, Hager Hamdy paid strong attention to detail, hard work, and always worked hard at improving her dancing and musical interpretations, increasing her training and exercising time, as well educating herself deeper into Arabian as well as western music, as well as the literary arts of various foreign cultures of the world, and created her own library of history and philosophy books and read them all as she knew that at that time when the Egyptian cinema industry was creating and making more films than Hollywood and probably Bollywood, it wasn’t enough to be a good dancer, beautiful and sexy.. One really needed to be an all around educated artist, good at all the Egyptian styles of dance, as well as Ballet, Tap, and possibly Flamenco, Samba and some other dance styles from the Middle East, African and even Indian, not to mention being able to sing as well, and she excelled in most of these abilities.

Hager Hamdy was married a few times to men from the world of art, The film director Fateen Abdel Wahab, and the Egyptian heartthrob of the 40’s 50’s Kamal El Shennawy, with whom she had a son, and she also was married to Radio producer and director Ali Eissa to whom she bore her second son.

Hager Hamdy appears various times in a few dance clips in the “STARS OF EGYPT” video series in Volume # 4 (THE GREAT UNKNOWN) parts I&II.

The Great Unknown - Part II

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