It’s this time of the month again when I bring you my belly dancer of the moment. Last month, I strayed from the golden era dancers to feature a contemporary belly dancer who happens to be my ‘cousin‘. But I am going back in time again to introduce you to Houriya Mohamed who taught Tahiya Carioca, my favourite belly dancer, how to dance before starting to resent her for stealing the limelight from her. Houriya is nowhere near as pretty nor as sexy as Tahiya but she dances beautifully and I love the mise en scene from the opening scene of the lady en silhouette reading the dancer’s coffee cup to the supporting belly dancers emerging from oversized coffee cups. I also like the lyrics which only those of you who speak Arabic will understand. The clip is from a 1949 film, Fatima wa Marika wa Rachel, about a man who falls in love with three women, each of a different religion!
This month’s belly dancer is very elegant for a change, and as a result perhaps a little boring. She is beautiful though, and her movement very graceful even if it lacks a little fire. And I also love the set which is actually one of King Farouk‘s palaces — the film from which the clip is taken is about the events that led to the king’s deposition. As for the dancer, she is Amira Amer, the daughter of Aziza Amer who was one of the stars of early Egyptian cinema, appearing in the first silent Egyptian film, Leyla. Amira on the other hand didn’t have a long or successful career. She appeared in only 9 films and doesn’t even have a wikipedia entry. Perhaps I should remedy this. She is very lovely!
This month’s belly dancer is almost as vulgar as last month’s, especially when she sticks her tongue out and Rushdi Abbaza (who married 5 times including the two greatest Egyptian dancers, Tahiya Carioca & Samia Gamal, also Sabah before she became scary!) tries to take it to put in his mouth. Yuk. Anyhow, the clip is of a very young Nagwa Fouad (before she started to look like a transvestite) dancing rather well I have to say, and being quite progressive in her movements. I particularly like how the cardboard figures of musicians and supporting dancers become animated every now and then. Perfect entertainment for a cold, wintery Sunday!
Here is a perfect example of why I hated belly dancing when I was young. She is fat and vulgar, and if not quite obscene then definitely indecent. Hind Rostom was a huge star in her days although it was more for her acting than her belly dancing. She was the Egyptian version of Rita Hayworth as you can see in this clip where both the song and her dancing are remarkably similar to Put the Blame on Mame in Gilda. I still hate her belly dancing but the clip is amusing. I love the belly dance chorus, and the gaudy colours. A jolly way to wish you all a Happy New Year!