This is Egyptian born bellydance superstar Mona al Said.
Mona’s response to family disapproval of her decision to pursue a dance career was to flee to Lebanon and from 1970 to 1975 she danced at the Casino Lebanon. In 1975 she returned to headline at the Meridian Hotel nightclub in Cairo, dancing there until 1976. It was at this point that she went to the Omar Khayyam nightclub in London and she performed there from 1976 to 1980. She has retired from regular performing and now teaches festival workshops and private classes.
This is Egyptian bellydancer Mona al Said in a performance from many years ago. If the music seems familiar you’re right. The piece is now well known to dancers after it was released by Suhaila Salimpour with the title of ‘Raks Jamila’ on Arabian Musicals Vol.1.
Lebanese dancer Rindala also danced to this music using the same, or almost the same, choreography as Mona. If you’d like to compare the two, Rindala’s performance is also here on TheCaroVan. Rindala’s wearing a bright green bedlah.
Mona al Said (منى السعيد) dances in a scene from the 1986 Egyptian film ‘Koum El Shoqafa’ (كوم الشقافة) which starred Said Saleh, Magda Nour El Din, Hisham Abdel Hamid and Shahera. In this scene Mona al Said is in the audience in a nightclub and is persuaded by the singer to get up and dance. Mona could dance in a sack and still mesmerise the audience!
Background trivia: Koum al Shoqafa/Kom al Shukafa are ancient catacombs near Alexandria in Egypt. The name means ‘Hill of Shards’ and dates back to the time when people used to bring food in pottery containers to the catacombs as offerings. As they didn’t want to take the containers home again they would break them and leave the pieces (shards) at the site.