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Timeline and Research Library for Ethnic Music and Dance

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Selling the Dream  

B.C.

3100 BC
Narmer unifies Upper and Lower Egypt. The beginning of the Pharaonic Dynasties.
3000 BC
Egyptians use astronomical patterns to anticipate the annual Nile flood.
2650 BC
In Egypt, Djoser builds the first pyramid.
2500 BC
Dravidian civilization
2184 BC
Fall of the Old Kingdom, beginning of the First Intermediate Period.
1500 BC
Aryans invade India and conquer the Dravidians.
1400 BC
The Vedas (Hindu scripture) is written.
800 - 600 BC
Upanishads are written
776 - 323 BC:
Classical Greece. First Olympic games, Golden Age of Greece.
518 BC
Persians conquer Pakistan
500 BC
Buddhism founded in India
326 BC
Aliexander the Great moves into India
324 BC
Chandragupta Maurya establishes the Mauryan Empire in Afganistan and Central Asia
323-146 BC:
Hellenistic Period
Aristarchus of Samos (310 - 230 BC) proves that the Sun is much larger than the Earth and proposes that the Earth revolves around the sun.
272 BC
Ashoka, grandson of Maurya, becomes Emperor of India
185 BC
Maurya Empire ends.
146 BC:
Greece becomes part of the Roman Empire

B.C.

YourEgypt.com maintains an informative timeline with definitions.

A.D.

50
Begin Kushan empire in northern India.
320:
Gupta dynasty reunies north India initating a Golden Age.
330:
Greece becomes part of the Byzantium empire, 330 - 1453.
700s:
Begin Muslim invasion of India.
713:
Begin Arabic occupation of Spain, 713-1492.

1000

1054:
Eastern and Western Catholic Churches split
1206:
Being Delhi Sultanate in India
1398:
Timur conquers India.
1453:
End Byzantium empire assimulation of Greece.
1456- 1827:
Greece becomes part of the Ottoman (Turkish) empire
1492:
End Arabic occupation of Spain, 713-1492.
1498:
Vasco da Gama reaches India.

1500

1500s
Begin introduction of Christianity to India.
Sikhism founded.
1517:
Begin Ottoman suzerainty over Egypt.
1526
Begin Mughal Empire in India (Babur)
1556 - 1605
Mughal emperor Akbar the Great reigns.
1565
Ali I, Shah of Bijapur, triumps over the Vijayanagar Empire at the Battle of Talikota.
1580 - 1627
Shah of Bijapur, Ibrahim II, reigns.
1600
Queen Elizabeth grants charter to East India Company establishing trading posts in India.
1628:
Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor, builds the Taj Mahal.
1658 - 1707
Mughal emperor Aurangzeb reigns.Tries to force Hindus to convert to Islam.
 

1700

 

1720

1720:
Montague publishes a compilation of letters written while she was travelling in Turkey, Her access to Turkish female society and homes, forbidden to white men, made her letters unique.

1720

LETTERS of the RIGHT HONORABLE LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGUE at Archive.org.

1750

1757:
The Battle of Plassey: East India Company defeats the Mughal governor of Bengal
 

1770

1774:
East India company appoints the first Governor General of India.
 

1800

1805
Egypt acquires a semi-autonomous status from the Ottoman empire. Muhammad 'Ali is appointed governor, and embarks on a series of military, economic and administration reforms, relying on the expertise of French and Italian advisers.
Louis Francois Cassas publishes TRAVELS in ISTRIA and DALMATIA: London to Constantinople in Sixty Days. The itinerary and the observations of a very observant artist and traveller.

1800

American artists, who previously earned their living by painting portraits, now find a market for American landscapes among a people increasingly aware of their nationhood. [The Bedside Baccalaureate, D Rubel, editor.]

TRAVELS in ISTRIA and DALMATIA: LONDON to CONSTANTINOPLE in SIXTY DAYS at Archive.org.

1820

1821:
Greek Revolution against Ottoman rule.
1827:
Beginning of Greek re-invention of national identity; rejection of 'oriental' and 'eastern' identities, re-investment in Classical Greek and Hellenistic identity.
 

1830

1832
Irving Washinton, traveler, diplomat and author, publishes TALES of the ALHAMBRA. This book is instrumental in reintroducing the history of Moorish Spain to the West, which in turn generated a fad in literature, architecture and music, tailored to Western taste.
1835
Julia Pardoe arrives in Constantinople just before the sweeping Tanzimat reforms in the Ottoman Empire. "She thus provides a view of Ottoman women's lives in the last years of the old order and illuminates the nature of Western traveller' experience just before the advent of organized tourism." [Gender, Modernity and Liberty by Lewis and Micklewright.]
1837
Julia Pardoe publishes THE CITY of the SULTAN and DOMESTIC MANNERS of the TURKS: "That the Turks as a people, and particularly the Turkish females, are shy of making the acquaintance of strangers, is most true; their habits and feelings do not lend themselves readily to a familar intercourse with Europeans; nor are they induced to make any extraordinary effort to overcome the prejudice with which they ever look upon a Frank, when they remember how absurdly and even cruelly they have been misrepresented by many a passing traveller, possessed neither of the time nor the opportunity to form a more sufficient judgement."
1839
Meadows Taylor publishes CONFESSIONS of a THUG, a semi-biographical book about the life of an Indian Thuggee.
Julia Pardoe publishes THE ROMANCE of the HAREM, "Genuine tales related by the professional Massaldjhes, or Story-tellers of the East, in the Harems of the wealthy Turks during seasons of festivity."

1830

TALES of the ALHAMBRA at ebooks.adelaide.edu.au.

THE CITY of the SULTAN and DOMESTIC MANNERS of the TURKS in 1836, Volume One and Volumn Two, at archive.org.

THE ROMANCE of the HAREM, in three volumes, at Hathitrust.org.

CONFESSIONS of a THUG at Archive.org.

1840

1844
Sophia Pool (sister to E.W.Lane) publishes THE ENGLISHWOMAN in EGYPT: Letters from Cairo.
1848:
Botanist Robert Fortune completes the first round of the largest piece of corporate espionage known to the Western world: the theft of Chinese tea seedlings for the East India Company.

1840

Sophia Poole and Emmeline Lott were in Egypt just before Cooke's tours started to arrive in 1869. Their books describe an experience of the Middle East that was still available to only very few Western women. [Gender, Modernity and Liberty by Lewis and Micklewright.]

The Englishwoman in Egypt: Letters from Cairo, Written During a Residence There in 1842, 3, &4 at archive.org.

1850

1852:
Bayle St John publishes Village Life in Egypt: With Sketches of the Said.
1857:
Sepoy Rebellion (India).
1858:
Begin British Government rule of India via a British Raj (Indian Viceroy).
1859:
Baynard Taylor publishes A JOURNEY to CENTRAL AFRICA: Life and Landscapes from Egypt to the Negro Kingdoms of the Nile.
 
Edward Fitzgerald publishes the first edition of his translation of the RUBAIYAT of OMAR KHAYYAM.

1850

A JOURNEY to CENTRAL AFRICA at Archive.org.

VILLAGE LIFE in EGYPT at Archive.org.

THE RUBAIYAT of OMAR KHAYYAM at Persia.org.

1860

1860:
Edward Lane, who became England's most reknowned scholar in the Middle East, publishes the Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, a thoughtful book about his travels in Egypt.
1861: American Civil War begins.
1863:
Isma'il Pasha becomes governor of Eygpt; legal and educational transformations and the development of infrastructure parallel the changes promoted by Ottoman rulers in Istanbul.
 
Britain transfers ownership of Ionian Islands to Greece.
1866
Leon Bakst, who would go on to fame as theatre designer for the Ballets Russes and Ida Rubinstein, is born in Russia.
1867:
Emmeline Lott publishes The English Governess in Egypt: Harem Life in Egypt and Constantinople.
 
The Ottoman sultan conferred the title of Khedive on Isma'il Pasha in Egypt, allowing him to sign independent technical and economic agreements with foreign powers. The Khedive negotiated large loans from Europe in order to finance his projects.

1860

ACCOUNT of the MANNERS and CUSTOMS of the MODERN EGYPTIANS at Archive.org.

THE ENGLISH GOVERNESS in EGYPT: Harem Life in Egypt and Constantinople at archive.org.

DISPLAYING the ORIENT: Architecture of Islam at Nineteenth-Century World's Fairs by Zeynep Çelik, 1992, at University of California Press.

1870

1870
Sol Bloom is born in Pekin, Illinois.
1871
John Gardiner Wilkinson publishes A Popular Account of the Ancient Egyptians.
 
Great Chicago Fire.
1872
Serge Pavlovich Diaghilev is born.
1875
Isma' Pasha. Khedive of Egypt under the Ottoman Empire, loses control over the country's finances because of debts. A dept adminstration under British-French control was established.
1876
British Parliment gives Queen Victoria title of Empress of India.
 
United States Centennial Exposition of 1876 is held in Philadelphia. Thirty-eight foreign nations take part. Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey, all part of the Ottoman empire, are well represented; their exhibits include fabrics, books, furniture, jewelry, costumes, perfumes, wines, liquors, and opium. The inscription over the entrance to the Egyptian exhibit: " The oldest nation in the world sends its morning greeting to the youngest nation." The Tunisian Cafe featured a scarf dancer in oriental costume. Ten million visitors attended this Exposition, yet no public outcry against the Tunisian dancer is recorded.
1877
Amelia Edwards publishes the first edition of A THOUSAND MILES UP the NILE.
1878
John Gardiner Wilkinson publishes Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians.
 
C.B. Klunzinger publishes UPPER EGYPT: ITS PEOPLE and ITS PRODUCTS
1879
Ruth St Denis is born.

1870

A POPULAR ACCOUNT of the ANCIENT EGYPTIANS at Archive.org.

1876: THE FIRST RIPPLES of BELLY DANCE on AMERICA'S SHORES by Jamila Salimpour in Habibi, Volume 2.

MANNERS and CUSTOMS of the ANCIENT EGYPTIANS at Archive.org.

A THOUSAND MILES UP the NILE at Archive.org.

UPPER EGYPT: ITS PEOPLE and ITS PRODUCTS at Archive.org.

Bookends to the Fair of 1893 by Barbar Seigel in Arabesque Magazine, 1993.

1880

1882:
British occupy Egypt in the name of bondholders. essentially appending Egypt to the British empire.
1885:
Burma becomes an Indian province.
 
Indian National Congress is formed.
1886: Gustave Flaubert publishes his historical novel, Salammbo.
1889
Jones and Kropf publish Folktales of the Magyars.
 
Nijinsky is born.

1880

FOLKTALES of the MAGYARS at Gutenberg.org and at Archive.org.

Salammbo at Archive.org.

1890

1892
Gertrude Bell publishes Persian Pictures by Gertrude Bell. Gertrude Bell, linguist, archaeologist, and explorer - brilliant, wealthy and well-connected - contemporary and political peer of T E Lawrence - is known, for better or worse, as the woman who shaped post-War I Iraq. Her observations were those of a well-educated Western person who traveled in and loved the Middle East.
1893
 
Chicago World's Fair (World's Columbian Exposition)
 
Edward Granville Browne publishes A Year Among the Persians.
 
W.M.Flinders publishes Ten Years's Digging in Egypt, 1881-1891. Chapter Thirteen is titled The Fellah and is a well-articulated explanation of what Kipling would describe as "The White Man's Burden." The concept became so accepted by American and European cultures that advertisements incorporated the sentiment.
 
Sol Bloom designs a popular Midway for the Chicago Exposition (World Fair) and brings an Algerian Village concession to it.
 
Dec: Cairo Street concession from the Chicago Exposition Midway opens in NYC.
 
Halsey Ives, Chief of the Art Department for the 1893 Columbian Exposition, publishes The Dream City, A Portfolio of Photographic Views of the World's Columbian Exposition.
 
Hubert Howe Bancraft publishes The Book of the Fair.
1896
Leonide Massine is born.
1898
La Meri (Russell Merriweather Hughes) is born in Louisville, KY.
1899
Frederic Courtland Penfield publishes Present-Day Egypt.
 
Charles Dana Gibson publishes Sketches in Egypt, which is, indeed, a sketchbook.

1890

CAIRO STREET COMES to MANHATTAN, and not without humorous interludes.

PERSIAN PICTURES by GERTRUDE BELL at Archive.org.

THE WOMAN WHO MADE IRAQ at Atlantic Magazine.

A YEAR AMONG the PERSIANS at Archive.org.

PRESENT DAY EGYPT at Archive.org.

TEN YEARS' DIGGING in EGYPT at Achive.org.

PEARS SOAP AD with the White Man's Burden theme.

A LESS FLATTERING INTERPRETATION of the White Man's Burden from 1899 Life Magazine.

SKETCHES in EGYPT at Google books.

CHICAGO and the WORLD's COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION; facts, figures and maps about the Exposition, written as a prospectus;

THE DREAM CITY, A Portfolio of Photographic Views of the World's Columbian Exposition on Archive.org;

WORLD's COLUMBIAN EXPOSIION PORTFOLIO of MIDWAY TYPES on Archive.org. Good shots of the Turkish dancers but not of the Egyptian.

THE BOOK OF THE FAIR at the Illinois State Library.

1900

1900:
W.C. Morrow publishes Bohemian Paris of Today.
1904:
Um Kulthum is born.
 
The Louisiana Purchase Exhibition of 1904, in St Louis MS, conceived as a celebration of the 100th anniversary of The Louisiana Purchase, tries to outdo the Chicago Exposition with a bigger and better Midway and a theatre that features Arabic, Persian and Indian dance and music.
1905:
British government divides Bengal into Hindu and Muslic sections.
1908:
Maude Allan publishes her autobiography, My Life and Dancing.
1909:
The Ballets Russes opens in Paris with a group of dancers on vacation from the Russian Imperial Theatre.

1900

MY LIFE and DANCING at archive.org.

Bohemian Paris of Today at archive.org.

Bookends to the Fair of 1893 by Barbar Seigel in Arabesque Magazine, 1993.

1910

1910
Michel Fokine's ballet Schéhérazade, designed by Leon Bakst, creats a sensation and sparks a fad for Oriental clothing and home furnishings.
 
Michel Fokine's ballet The Firebird, musical score by Igor Stravinsky, is produced, with Nijinski as Favorite Slave and Ida Rubinstein as Zobeide.
1911:
Diaghilev created a permanent Ballets Russes dance company with Michel Fokine as the principal choreographer and Nijinsky as lead male dancer.
1912:
Balkan War (Greece/Serbia/Montenegro/Bulgaria vs Turkey)
1913:
Balkan War II (Greece/Serbia against Bulgaria)
1913:
Greece annexes Crete.
1914
World War 1 begins on 28 July.
 
Elizabeth Cooper publishes Women of Egypt.
 
Troy and Margaret West Kinney publish The Dance, Its Place in Art and Life. The book includes thirty pages on Oriental dance which relies heavily on describing the dances of one Zourna the Tunisian, a half-French dancer raised in Tunisia who attended ballet school in France and who became a popular exotic dancer who did "Eastern Routines." She was employed at the Theatre des Arts, an experiental dance theatre, in the early part of the twentieth century, and seems to have been a serious dancer, but she was also a performer who was willing to provide Western audiences with the 'Oriental' dances that they would find most palatable to their Occidental sensibilities.
 
Nijinsky marries dancer Romola de Pulsky, and Diaghilev dismisses him from the company.
1915
Elizabeth Cooper publishes The Harem and the Purdah; Stories of Oriental Women.
 
Diaghilev finds a replacement for Nijinsky, the teenager Leonide Massine, who, over the course of a long career, becomes a world-famous choreographer and charismatic performer.
1917
A five-year series of Russian Revolutions starts with the abdication of emperor Nicholas II and ends with the victory of Lenin's Bolshevik party.
 
Lorimer, David Lockhart Robertson, 1876-1962
  • LORIMER PERSIAN TALES
1918
World War I ends on 11 November.
 
Mary Brooks Pickens, an authority on dress, fabric, design, and sewing, publishes one of her many books, SECRETS of DISTINCTIVE DRESS
1919:
Amritsar Massacre in India.

1910

WOMEN of EQYPT at openlibrary.org.

THE DANCE, ITS PLACE in ART and LIFE at archive.org.

THE HAREM and the PURDAH at archive.org.

LORIMER PERSIAN TALES at archive.org.

SECRETS of DISTINCTIVE DRESS at archive.org.

Massine-Ballet.com.

1920

1920s:
Turkish Army burns Smyrna (Izmir)
 
Over 1 million Greeks abandon homes in Turkey and become refugees in Greece
Massive exchange: Greeks and Turks based on religion: Treaty of Lausanne
 
The resulting social upheaval and inpoverishment of hundreds of thousands of refugees was the seedbed for Rebetiko music.
 
Tsiftetelli, belly dance, also came from Turkey to Greece at this time.
1920:
Mohandas Gandi become leader of Indian National Congress and the Indian independence movement.
1921:
Leona Wood is born in Seattle.
1925:
Guido Carreras becomes La Meri's manager.
1926:
Baba Kashar becomes the first Egyptian dancer to appear in a film; a silent film entitled Leyla.
 
Denishawn tours India.
 
Jamila Salimpour is born in New York of immigrant parents from Sicily.
1929:
1929:
Diaghilev dies. The Ballets Russes breaks up, but his dancers and choreographers go on to new successes of their own.
 

1930

1930s:
Fokine and Massine continue their careers at the De Basil Ballet, reviving many of the works created for the Ballets Russes as well as creating new masterpieces.
1933:
La Meri publishes Dance as an Art-Form, Its History and Development.
Serena [Serena Black] is born in the Bronx.
1935:
Fairuz is born in Lebanon.
 
Government of India act and creation of a new constitution.
1936:
Massine produces the ballet Les Presages to very mixed reviews.
1939:
Begin World War II when UK declares war on Germany.

1930

DANCE as an ART-FORM at Archive.org.

A review of the Reviews of the ballet Lse Presages.

1940

1940
Muhammad Ali Jinnah begins movement for a separate country for Muslims, which would be called Pakistan.
 
La Meri and Ruth St. Denis found the School of the Natya in NYC.
1941 - 1944:
German occupation of Greece, with resulting occupation by Italians and Bulgarians as well. Famine resulted, with tens of thousands dead. Resistance groups formed, many of them Communist, and Rebetiko began to incorporate political themes.
1942
Jamila Salimpour, 16, joins the Ringling Brothers Circus where she trains as a bareback rider and aerialist.
1944:
Greeks and British liberate Athens. The Communist resistance groups are outlawed, and Rebetiko becomes associated with Communism, which is persecuted.
1945:
US drops atomic bombs on Japan. End of WWII.
1946:
British government agrees to Indian independence. Indian Muslims hold demonstrations calling for the establishment of Pakistan.
1947:
British and Indian leaders agree to the creation of Pakistan.
 
India become independent.
 
Jamila Salimpour, now a young divorcee, starts to study oriental dance via famous Egyptian movies. Her Armenian landlady introduces her to the large Armenian community in Fresno, California, where Jamila danced for social events.
Leona Wood moves to Los Angeles where she continues her career in commercial and fine art painting.
1947 -1950:
Civil War between Greek Army and Greek Communists.
1948:
Gandhi is assassinated.
1949
Sol Bloom dies.
1940s and 1950s:
Professional music and dancer circuit springs up at nightclubs at Greek ports (Athens, Pireus, Smyna, Istanbul, Alexandria, Beirut)
 

1950

1950s:
Arabic and Far East music begins to influence Greek Music. The dancing in Greek movies starts influencing how people danced at home.
1950:
India ratifies their new constitution. Nehru is the first prime minister.
1952:
Jamila Salimpour begins teaching dance classes.
1953:
Dora Stratou Greek Dances Society Founded
1956
La Meri retires to Cape Cod.
1958:
Jamila Salimpour moves to San Francisco and begins dancing at 12 Adler and the Bagdad.
 

1960

1960s:
Serena opened her New York City studio.
1962:
Greece becomes a provisional member of the European Union.
1965
Leona Wood and Tony Shay found the Aman International Folk Ensemble in Los Angeles, California.
1968
Jamila Salimpour creates Troupe Bal Anat.
Ruth St Denis dies.
1969 - 1975
Bal Anat reigns as the highlight of the Renaissance Pleasure Faire.

1960

Leona Wood was an outstanding folk dancer, costume designer, choreographer and artist.

1970

1970s
Turkish and Greek-influenced bellydance becomes the cornerstone of Vintage Orientale belly dance in America.
1971:
Egyptian officials inform a reporter for Saudi Aramco World that the Turks (who ruled Egypt for 400 years) are to blame for the existence of bellydance in Egypt. Turkish officials enthusiastically agree. "Of course it started with us. Everybody knows that." Nadia Gamal, dancer extraordinaire, begs to differ with both. "The Turks have nothing to do with it, " insists Miss Gamal. "All they did was to introduce the sagat [zills]." She says belly dancing originated with the Phoenicians, the ancestors of prsent-day Lebanese. It was performed by virgin maidens about to be sacrified to the gods.
1978
Leona Wood is engaged by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to tour with them and dance to compositions based on folk themes.
1979
Leon Massine dies in Germany.
1970s - 1990s
Bellydance performers and teachers flourish in Athens and Thessaloniki. Opening schools/teaching dance. Dance influenced by Arabic and Turkish Styles

1970

Mish Mish as interviewed on AlessandraRaqs: "One of the big changes was the introduction of a more Egyptian style of dance to the West Coast by Shareen El Safy in the last 1970s. Before that most of the dancers I worked with did a combination of Turkish, Greek, and Arabic style dance... It was hard for me at first to switch from the five part routine using popular songs like ‘Mustapha’ and ‘Hadouni’ to the highly orchestrated, more sophisticated music composed especially for Egyptian dancers."

1980

1980
Serena and Rip Wilson publish a passionate protest, Spring Cleaning, against what they perceived as a rising tide of dance-by-the-authentic-numbers cultism. (Habibi Vol 5 #9)
Leona Wood receives a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to stage a Kwakiutl winter ceremonial for Aman.
1981
Greece becomes a full member of the European Union.
1988
La Meri dies in San Antonio.
 

1990

2000

2000s:
Oriental dance and music becomes a big item in nightclubs all over Greece.
2007
Serena Wilson died.
 

2010

2011
Jan 25: Protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Eighteen days later, President Hosni Mubarak resigns. Subsequent unrest and uncertainty causes tourism to tank and Islamic fundamentalism to rise, leading to rapid decline of professional belly dance in Egypt.

2010

"When I first moved here there were many places that had belly dance. The Sheraton, Marriott, City Stars, Nile Pharoahs, Nile Maxim, and at least about 4-5 other boats on the Nile that were very high profile. There were about 3-4 very high profile nightclubs on Haram street... Sheraton has closed and Mariott no longer has dancing every night, and the high profile clubs have closed on Haram Street. There were many reasons for this happening but mostly, I believe it was due to the revolution which happened January 25, 2011. We have still never fully recovered from that." -- Aleya of Cairo, interviewed in Chynna Girl magazine, May 2014.

REFERENCES

Some American institutions dedicated to making history accessible:


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