VIDEO: Casino Badiaa offers chance to reconnect with iconic performer Badiaa Massabni

Amira Noshokaty , Monday 11 Mar 2024

A new young troupe inspired by iconic performer Badiaa Massabni is reclaiming the joy of heritage music in modern Egypt

Casino Badiaa troupe and their inspiration iconic performer Badiaa Massabni. Photos:Al Ahram photo archive, and photo by Amira Noshokaty


Two young women, dressed in shimmering heritage attire, took the stage with deep rich voices and powerful folk lyrics.

The audience was in a sublime state as they sang along and asked for encores.

Meet Casino Badiaa troupe, the latest heritage singing troupe in Egypt. 

"We named our troupe Casino Badiaa, for we were inspired by Badiaa Massabni, whose casino was an icon of joy in Egypt, " explained Mariam Salem, co-founder of Casino Badiaa to Ahram Online.

Salem graduated from the High Cinema Institute and studied singing with the Al-Warsha troupe. She was inspired to revive the sense of joy that authentic heritage songs brought to audiences. 

"We held our first performance in 2018 and it was a hit, but we stopped for a while and started again in 2021with the series of performances that we have held till now," explained Wogoud Al Fayou, another co-founder of Casino Badiaa troupe.

The troupe was founded to bring heritage songs that are unknown in Cairo to the capital city, she explained 

Badiaa Massabni (1892-1974) was born in the Levant and spent her rough childhood between Damascus, Lebanon, and Argentina. She was known to be a great performer who excelled in theatre acting, singing, and dancing. Once she settled in Egypt, she became an icon of performing art.

Her casino was the first to offer ladies-only nights, and it was also the only venue that introduced icons of cinema, singers, and dancers of the time such as Tahia Karioka, Samia Gamal, Farid El-Atrash, Mohamed Fawzy, and many more.

"The main contribution of Badiaa Massabni was her awareness of the necessity of transformation in the performing arts especially in Baladi dancing, " notes Faiyrouz Karawya, artist, researcher, and music critic.

"Casino Badiaa Massabni was more of an art lab with many sections and fields," she added.

For more about Iconic Badiaa Massabni watch the video below


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