Aisha Ali Tribute



Aisha Ali stands out in the dance community as the dancer with immense interest in authentic folkloric dances.  She is an internationally recognized authority on the dances of Egypt and North Africa and a top performer in the art of BD since the l960s.


She has performed in Cairo and Luxor and was the first American to dance with the Banat Maazin. a well-known family of Nawar Ghawazee gypsy entertainers from Upper Egypt.


In 1971, Aisha traveled to the Middle East to observe firsthand many traditional styles of dance not seen in the United States.  She made subsequent visits to Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia from 1973 to 1997 to document folkloric materials that were fast disappearing.  In l973 she lived with, studied and observed the Ouled Naïl in Algeria, a tribe famous for its dancing women.


For many years, Aisha contributed articles to dance magazines, Arabesque, on the east coast and Habibi, from the west coast. 

She has been published by the International Institute for the Study of Islam and wrote articles on Algeria and the Ouled Naïl for the International Encyclopedia of Dance published by Oxford University Press.


Very prolific, Aisha Ali has  produced numerous audio recordings and video documentaries including Dances of Egypt, Dances of North Africa, Tunisian Rhythms and Raqs Shaabi,  plus two volumes of Aisha Dances!


She is now in the process of editing the digital footage of gypsy performers at a month-long Saidi Wedding shot during her last visit to Upper Egypt.   At present she still performs and concentrates on her production company and publishing her large collection of research.  Ms. Ali tours internationally as a lecturer/performer and resides in Los Angeles where she has directed the Aisha Ali Dance Company for over 25 years.