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 such a golden oldie that I’d completely forgotten I even had it, but what a gem it is! The dancer is Egyptian born Mona al Said and this is her taksim performance from one of the old ‘Shwaya Baladi’ VHS tapes. Despite Mona wearing the same black net costume, this clip is different from the long performance we all know where she starts with a veil trimmed with long gold fringe. LOL, if you don’t believe me: (1) The music is different. (2) Mona’s position in relation to the white staircase, on the right of screen, is different. In this clip the entire performance is on the same level as the staircase not on the level below as she is in the longer clip.
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.
This is Egyptian bellydancer Mona al Said performing to the old Abdel Halim Hafez song ‘Kari’at Al Fingan’ (The Fortune Teller/The Coffee Cup Reader) and the khaleeji song ‘Wah, Wah’.
Again this is a conversion from an old video tape to mp4 with quality to match but ‘back in the day’ these VHS tapes were all there was and we had to take what we could get 🙂