Short film, length: 3:19, year: 2014
The short film entitled Qaina features a dancer dressed in the robe magique sliding into a dreamy reality.
East and West have impacted each other greatly regarding the development of oriental dance costumes. For instance, the couturier Poiret invented the famous harem pants in France in 1913. The Egyptian dancer Badia Mansabny introduced the stereotypical belly-dancing costume (bikini top combined with a long open skirt) in the 1930’s in Cairo, taking her inspiration from Hollywood films and European cabaret.

For her project Tarab, Siba Sahabi designed a dance costume adapted from the traditional Moroccan dress, known as a robe magique or magic robe. The long, traditional, sleeveless dress consists of two layers – in this way, a woman can wear the top layer in different ways. Based on this dress, the contemporary choreographer Iván Pérez developed a dance for the oriental dancer Sara Toscano.

The short film entitled ‘Qaina’ features a dancer dressed in the robe magique sliding into a dreamy reality. The short film is dedicated to the historical female dancers who were known as Qainas. They worked as highly-educated slaves in the courts of the Ottoman Empire and played an important role in developing oriental dance throughout the centuries.

Concept and costume: Siba Sahabi
Dance: Sara Toscano
Choreography: Iván Pérez
Music: Machinefabriek
Cinematography: Paul Damen
Assistance: Stefanie Zweifel

The project is made possible by Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst

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