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.
This is a conversion from an old VHS video tape to digital so the quality is not the best but there have been so many enquiries about whether I had this particular piece that it seems that nobody minds a bit. So here’s Egyptian bellydancer Mona al Said performing her drum solo. Yes this is the (in)famous gold bikini drum solo but IMHO Mona could wear a sack and it would still be a fantastic performance.