It’s been a while since I gave you my belly dancer of the month. Too much traveling and too many different things to work on but my life has been a little more relaxed recently and here is my choice for this month, a resplendant Samia Gamal who with Tahiya Carioca, is my other favourite belly dancer. And like Tahiya, she avoids being vulgar despite the suggestiveness of her movements. Every time I watch her I wonder how her jaws don’t ache with that wide fixed smile she has throughout her dances. She is very young in this clip taken from a 1954 film called Raqsat al-Weda’. The choreography and set are delightful, her body and movements absolutely gorgeous and the characters watching her very amusing despite some tragic expressions! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
I am very late with my belly dancer this month but it actually works out because I am going with today’s Valentine theme and giving you an incredibly charming Shammi Kapoor relating the story of how he fell madly in love with a belly dancer (Samia Gamal?) when he was very young. You don’t see any belly dancing in the video, just a couple of pictures of the belly dancer (?) and a delightful Kapoor telling the story of life really, and missed opportunities. The other side of Valentine!
Well, it is that time of the month again and very timely too given all that is going on in Egypt. I should really be featuring Tahiya who was very engaged politically but I had a picture of her and Farid in my previous post, so, am going with the other great dancer of that time, Samia Gamal, in a very early film where you also get some of the film action (sorry if you are not an Arabic speaker) and a divine dance with the camera focusing on her beautiful midriff to start then panning to her shadow then finally on her and the motley drooling men watching her. One of my favourite clips of hers. I need to find the film (Agaza fi Gahanam, 1949) and show it at Koshari Street. Very soon we will have screens in there to show classic black & white Egyptian films and street food scenes from around the world!
I finished the year with my favourite dancer and I start the new one with my second favourite dancer, Samia Gamal, at the height of her fame when she was 30 years old and still had a wonderful body — there were periods when she was quite fat (at least by my standards). Anyhow, her movements are sinuous and graceful, and never vulgar. She did have an irritating habit though and that was her permanent wide fixed smile that seemed silly at times. Not here though!