Last month I nearly forgot to post my belly dancer. Not this month when after watching a few I decided on Hermeen. She is a little plump but very enticing. In fact adorable, both her looks and the way she moves. An added bonus is the marvellous setting and lovely camera work. The clip is from the 1956 film Neda el-Hobb (The Call of Love) and the song she is dancing to is called Zahret el Rabi’ (The Rose of Spring). I love the opening sequence with the camera focusing on her beautiful hands before panning to the Qanun, one of my favourite instruments — as an aside Julien Jalal el-Din and the Kindi ensemble are coming to Rich Mix, so, go if you can. He is a marvellous musician and a fascinating man. Anyhow, back to delightful Hermeen, my favourite moment is when the cameraman films the water with the musicians and Hermeen reflected in it rather than focusing on them and because the water is very still, the action is dreamy but real enough and quite beautiful. I also like how she seems to glide on the edge of the pool. All in all a delightful sequence with a gorgeous belly dancer that should brighten up this sad autumn day!
I nearly forgot about my belly dancer this month. It must have been all the fun I was having in the US. Anyhow, I thought I would change it up a little this month and give you a male belly dancer. He is not the most famous one. That honour goes to Tito Seif who is Egyptian and who I will feature soon but this one is Turkish and he is called Diva. His movement is pretty incredible but his straight shape interferes with the enjoyment of the dance as it is not quite so suited for belly dancing. Still, he is fun to watch, particularly against the camel mural!
You are lucky today. You are getting three clips in one. Just found this on youtube without unfortunately much explanation but they all seem to be of a very young Tahiya, possibly before she became the huge star she was. Not sure. Anyone who knows, please tell me. In any case, she is particularly beguiling in the third dance where she is as always incredibly sexy without being vulgar, but there even more so with an element of purity which is not something you would normally associate with belly dancing!
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!