Bal Anat Algerian Dance

The Ouled Nail are a semi-nomadic tribe from the Algerian mountains.  Some of the girls are trained from an early age to be entertainers and to dance as a means to earn money.   Jamila Salimpour worked with several of these Algerian dancers who made their way to be professional belly dancers in the West Coast clubs.  Jamila learned as much as she could about the Ouled Nail from books and film.  And she studied her Algerian nightclub peers and learned from them not only the traditional Ouled Nail dance but also the staged version for the cabaret stage.   When she debuted her Algerian dance in Bal Anat, it was with the guidance and full support of these dancers.  Jamila even styled her iconic headdress after the Algerian dancers.   Jamila typically set the Algerian dance as a solo, and Don Iococa was the first dancer cast for the piece.  

After taking over direction of Bal Anat, using her collected research with her mother, Suhaila expanded the choreography to include more dancers and traditional elements.  While it might seem simplistic in comparison to some of the other Bal Anat dances, the Algerian dance is always an audience favorite.

Jamila Salimpour wearing her iconic headdress for Bal Anat fashioned after traditional Ouled Nail costuming.
The Algerian Dance with Bal Anat at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in the early 2000s.
Bal Anat Algerian Dancer in Belgium 2018. Photo by J. M. Schneider.
Bal Anat Algerian Dance in Belgium, 2018. Photo by Guillaume Dedeurwaerder.
Bal Anat Algerian Dancer in Belgium 2018. Photo by J. M. Schneider.