This is Brazilian born bellydancer Gisele Bomentre performing during a game show on Lebanese tv. She became a well known performer in the hotels and nightclubs of the Middle East, firstly in Lebanon and later throughout the region. Her career in the Middle East really started when she came to the attention of tv director Simon Asmar. To place Gisele in the Lebanese bellydance timeline, she’s of the same era as Amani, Bushra, Samara and Australia’s Amera Eid. Gisele has since returned to her home country of Brazil where she teaches and performs and has developed a career as a singer.
Trivia: Simon Asmar, who’s credited with starting the careers of bellydancer Samara and singer Fares Karam amongst many others, was released last year after spending 12 months in jail while local police investigated his links to a Syrian murder victim.
This is part one of a performance by Lebanese bellydancer Nariman Aboud. In this clip she wears a black and red catsuit costume that was all the rage in the 80s, even Nagwa Fouad had one that’s very similar.
This is the drum solo section of a stage performance by Lebanese bellydancer, Neriman Aboud. Neriman is now retired. Her costume is a catsuit, half red and half black (which is great if you barrack for Essendon LOL).
Trivia: Maybe the catsuit was all the rage back then as Nagwa Fouad wore a very similar outfit, in the same colour combination, in one of her videos.
This is Iraqi born bellydancer Samara performing on a Lebanese tv game show. In this clip, she wears a faux snake skin bedlah and starts her performance with slow music and some serious backbends all while wearing high heels.
Samara moved from Baghdad to Beirut in Lebanon in the early 1980s as a university student. She also began taking dance lessons from Nadia Gamal who encouraged her to find herself and develop her own style. Samara made her name in Lebanon being most popular during the mid-1980s. However, the Fanoos website is unabashed in describing Samara as ‘…an average dancer with boring tableaux’. The site continues with a bit of background, “In 1986, she (Samara) became a mother and had to shortly stop dancing or making appearances. Because of problems with her spouse Tarek Osman which ended in a divorce, her career was also put on hold and she disappeared for a long while before making a weak comeback in 2008. Samara was however busy giving private dance classes and opening belly dance institutes in all countries of the Gulf, and in 1997 she opened her first Academy in Brazil.” Well, you could shoot pumpkins through the holes in that quote, but we’ll move on……. Samara’s rise to fame seems to have been thanks to her connection with Simon Asmar, I guess you could say he was the Lebanese Simon Cowell of the time. Asmar developed talented artists, not only bellydancers but singers too, and showcased them via his tv talent show ‘Studio el Fann’. He also either directed or produced many of the Lebanese tv game shows where bellydancers or singers performed. The tradition continues as Asmar’s son Bashir has worked as a producer’s assistant on the Lebanese tv bellydance competition called ‘Hezzi Ya Nawaem’. For those who’ve never seen the show, its similar to the tv programme, ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, but with bellydancers only.
This is a short piece by Lebanese dancer Nariman Aboud (ناريمان عبود). The clip’s from a Lebanese tv game show. Nariman wears a red bedlah and in this clip she performs with a troupe of debke dancers .
The beautiful voice of Lebanese singer Samira Tawfik. Born Samira Cremona in Beirut, Lebanon in 1935, the story is that her talent was first discovered by a musician who heard her singing as she sat perched up a tree.
Samira Tawfik struggled for recognition in her home country early in her career. After a move to Jordan she became well known for her songs on Jordanian Radio, recording her first song, “Meskin ya kalbi Yama Tlawaat” (Poor heart, how you suffered). When the question of adopting a stage name arose, Egyptian musician Taoufik Bayoumi said “Ettaoufik min Allah” (Your success will come from God) and as a result, she adopted the stage surname Tawfik (‘Taoufik’) which means ‘success’ in Arabic. She has appeared in several movies including “Al Badaouia Al Ashiqa” (The Bedouin Girl in Love, 1963), directed by famous Egyptian director Niazi Mustafa.