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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.



There are belly dancers who are elegantly sexy and others who are brazenly so. And there are those who are cute and Kitty Fotsaty, who I have featured before and who is my choice for this  month belongs to this camp. She is just adorable. Her smile seems genuine and her movement is gorgeous even if her shape is a little too lean for a belly dancer. She still manages to seduce, even more so in this clip from Bint al-Balad (the daughter of the country or the country girl depending on who is translating) with a fantasy New York skyline as a backdrop. I love how her dance starts en silhouette before she is fully lit and revealed to her elegant and entranced audience!



In fact, it should be my belly dancers for november as I have decided to bring you more than one this month. I don’t know much about them but they seem to be from way back when belly dancers dressed more fully and engaged in acrobatics, with one looking more like a whirling dervish gone mad than like a belly dancer. It is a departure from the sexy ones I have featured in the past, but I rather like the fully clothed style, especially the rather bizarre Edwardian dancer who thinks it is a good idea to dance with a wooden chair clenched between her teeth. When she is not dancing with the chair she reminds me of the show girls in Victorian and Edwardian postcards. Here is one of Miss Gabrielle Ray as “Frou Frou” in the Merry Widow, although looking at her costume she could have easily been a belly dancer!

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