I am in the land of belly dancing, for a whole month! So, I hope that this time I will be able to go somewhere to watch one of the country’s famous belly dancers live. Until then, I offer you my choice for this month, a cute vintage belly dancer, Zeinat Olwi, who is not so much sexy as like a 1940′s athlete with a gorgeous muscly body which she moves beautifully. I also love the beginning of the clip en silhouette, both her in three different windows then the musicians, with each tableau looking like a woodcut from the 20′s or 30′s. A delightful scene. And for those who don’t speak Arabic, the woman’s voice you hear halfway through is asking her silly companion to build her a swimming pool which he should fill with champagne rather than water. Perhaps I should consider doing this in Sicily although I am not sure who I would do it for! Oh, and the beautiful lady who makes a worried entrance at the end is one of Egypt’s greatest actresses, Faten Hamama, who was once married to Omar Sharif.
I can’t say I particularly like Soheir Zaki but I am very amused by her. In fact, I am amused by the whole clip from a 1972 film, the time of my youth when I thought that all belly dance and dancers were incredibly vulgar. She kind of justifies my erroneous youthful stand. She is definitely not classy, nor beautiful, being rather too plump for my taste but she dances well. And I love her 70′s orchestra, not to mention the scene itself with the bored ladies and the overexcited gentleman trying to get close to her. A real blast from my past even if I never went to night clubs like the one featured, nor watched films like this one then! Anyhow, I hope you will be as amused by her as I am!
I have been very lax about posting recently. A combination of deadlines and too much travelling but I am back now and I promise you not to forget my belly dancer of the month any longer. So, for this month, I am offering you a double bill: a beautiful dancer, Randa Makhoul, gyrating to the music of Mashrou3 Leila, my favourite Arab group. I didn’t know Makhoul but am glad to have discovered her. She is pretty, has a gorgeous body and dances beautifully. What more to ask of a belly dancer. Perhaps to have the class of a Tahiya Carioca but not many do, so, she will do, for now and at a later stage in other clips. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy her and Mashrou3 Leila as much as I do.
Last month I forgot to post a belly dancer. Too much travel and work but here is my choice for this month, a very young Tahiya Carioca who as you you may know is my all time favourite. It is a rare clip from a 1936 film called The Police Station (I think it is the right translation for Khafar al-Darak) where she must have just featured as a dancer as the first film mentioned in her Wikipedia entry dates from 1942. And even if she is already moving beautifully, you can see from her expression if nothing else that she is not yet an experienced dancer. Still, she is totally lovely and definitely worth watching whether you are a Tahiya fan or not!