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Egypt’s Male Belly Dancer Khalil Khalil is Big in Japan

Global demand for male belly dancers is more than you'd expect...

Egypt’s first liberated male belly dancer strikes Asia, as he tours across 12 cities in four countries, including China, Japan and Korea, where dancing and teaching an art as provoking as legendary.

Rebellious and determined, Khalil started when no one else could picture a man performing the highly-sensual dance. He fought taboos with family, society and show business, proving that Oriental dance, which he terms “the representation and evolution of Egyptian ancient culture.” has no gender. He also struggled against a low demand, in a patriarchal society where being some artistic expressions are only reserved to women.

As the arrival of the nu-Shaabi era and its elastic singers and animators, the idea of men moving their hips gained acceptance, and demand began to soar, scoring a large number of fans and followers in Egypt and beyond. “Most men in Egypt know about belly dancing. I can assure you that many of my friends are excellent dancers but few or almost no one dares to show their dancing in public,” he said last year in an interview with CairosCene.

Having performed in the Caribbean in Santo Domingo’s prestigious “Maunaloa Theater” and later in Dominican Republic, he also traveled to perform Caracas, Venezuela, and Santiago de Chile, both in South America.  In 2013, he held a private show for the Kuwaiti Royal Family, and he then moved on to Argentina, where he decided to invest and produce for his show “Layali Al Helmeya”.