Middle Eastern Dance:
In Mainstream Movies, TV Shows, Music Videos

Belly Dance in the Mainstream

It is interesting to consider how much of belly dance filters into the mainstream conciousness, and fun to be able to rent a regular movie or watch a tv show with a bit of belly dance in it. It is also interesting to consider how the dance is (and has been) viewed in the popular perception: as romanticized exotica (part of the "orientalism" movement); as something cheap, sleazy or decadent; as indicative of the evils and temptations of women; or with respect, as a legitimate dance form of another culture.

The following entries (culled from my own experience, the medance list, and entries emailed to me) are movies, tv shows and music videos that have shown some snippet of middle eastern dance. Most snippets are fairly brief, but a few are more lengthy.

For more detail on specific movies, tv shows, try out the Internet Movie (and TV) Database (IMDb) at http://www.us.imdb.com.

Mainstream Movies

The Advocate - (British or British/French production)
"...about the misadventures of a lawyer in 15th century France...tires of the city and moves to a small town..Amina plays the "love interest", a gypsy...a very good, very funny movie with a tiny bit of dancing."

Before Sunrise
Shows a belly dancer for less than a minute and Julie Delpy's character explains that it is actually a birth dance meant to aid a woman in childbirth. "...belly dancing...in an elegant, non-campy way..."

Betty Grable movies
"...Speaking of Betty Grable a couple of her movies have middle eastern themed musical numbers. One is a duet with Alice Faye that also includes dancing by the Nickolas Brothers. The song is the _Sheik of Araby_. Another movie takes place on a carnival runway and doesn't have Betty Grable dancing but has her sabotaging the dancers who work for a rival.

"By the way one last thing the Bailey book describes the ideal showgirl of 1935 as being 5'4", 120 lbs, and 34-26-35." --Sadira

Dennis Hopper film. Moky of the Mideastern Dance Exchange Troupe appeared.

Bo Derek belly dances. She actually took lessons from Shareen El Safy for this; the movie also shows glimpses of other belly dancers.

"Here's another 'Unidentified Dancing Object': The belly dancer in a movie called Domino, starring Brigitte Nielsen of Red Sonja fame. She was very pale and slender, in a red skirt if I remember correctly, and shown only briefly...." --magdhur

The Fringe of the City (?)
"Lucy [Egyptian ME dance star] appeared in the film of 1994 (?) called something like *the fringe of the city*... set in Cairo it basically follows the lives of a family living in the slum district of Cairo. Lucy plays a part of a 16 year old girl who lives to dance because it is the only way she can express herself in a place of such hopelessness. She danced a beautiful number , with jazz ballet influences. (In the story very shortly afterwards the man who plays the daff for her, who is infatuated with her, falls over a cliff in a drunken ecstasy.... intersting film :-) )" --Jenny L.

From Russia With Love
James Bond Movie, Sean Connery vintage. "Caught bits & pieces of "From Russia with Love", BOND, James Bond. Does anybody know who the bellydancer is during the opening credits and during the gypsy camp scene? Is it the same dancer for both segments?" --Adrian

"There are two references to dancers in the cast listing from the Internet Movie database, but it's not clear if they're both in the segments referred to: 'Leila .... Dancer' and 'Lisa Guiraut .... Belly Dancer (uncredited)'." --ecb

"...to the best of my recollection, Lisa Guiraut .... Belly Dancer (uncredited) - she's the one who dances in costume at the camp. Leila, who was working in the London clubs at the time, is the one in the credits & over the titling.... Probably a result of Lisa not knowing that title credit isn't automatic & must be negotiated & specified in your contract: where, what size, when (before or after film, who,etc.)....." --Morocco

Hammer House of Horror: Countess Dracula
"...most of the victims were gypsy/bellydancers." --Barbarella

Movie made by The Monkees around 1968. "Several dancers in one "harem fantasy" scene; most are go-go dancers but a few appear legit."

"The 1965 movie starring the Beatles. The boys go to an Indian restaurant in London. The entertainment is a belly dancer in a gold costume who dances to "A Hard Day's Night," as rendered by a sitar and Indian band. The sequence is fairly long." --Stefania

The Hit Man

How To Make an American Quilt
" I was watching the movie "American Quilt" this weekend where the girl is supposedly doing a thesis on women's crafts worldwide and the second time the wierd tribal sounds come up in the background, I said "That sounds really familiar ..." and then IT"S GUEDRA .....I swear it was!" --Me'ira

John Goldfarb, Please Come Home
With Shirley MacLaine, Peter Ustinov and Richard Crenna. "...takes place in the fictional country of Fauzia...and has extensive belly dancing scenes. Shirley even gets a lesson and performs. The movie is also very funny and quite entertaining."

The Jungle Book (live action)
There's a brief scene of a dancer in an Indian bazaar dancing rather like the Indian gypsies in Latcho Drom.

The Man With Bogart's Face
"...excellent movie; the longest belly dancing scene I have seen in a movie/on TV. 6-7 minutes. Very good!"

The Man With the Golden Gun
James Bond movie. "I can only tell you about the dancer at the beginning of the Man with the Golden Gun. She's an English Actress called Carmen de/le Sautoy." --Ruth

James Bond movie, Roger Moore vintage.

Once Around

Peter The Great (TV Movie)
"...available on tape, but usually must be ordered not rented. Worthy of more appreciation than most brief scenes."

Princess of the Nile
"The 1954 movie 'Princess of the Nile' has a lot of dancing in it." --Barbara Kohler

"...the 1950's movie starring Rita Hayworth. Yes, she does the dance of the seven veils. It is choreographed more like a modern dance piece, with some figure 8's and undulations thrown in. I believe it was choreographed by a well-known modern dance choreographer--Valerie Bettis comes to mind." --Stefania

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Son of the Pink Panther

"Last night I caught a few notes of a familiar dance tune [my mind and eyes were only half on the tv] and this film was on. Can anyone tell me who the dancer was, it was only a brief glimpse as I missed most of it but it looked like she was in a pale coloured beledi type dress." --Ruth

"From the Internet Movie Database... Franciszka Hedland was the Bellydancer. The IMDb doesn't have any more info about her; if you do, the IMDb provides a mechanism to add that info to their database. Videodrome is the only movie listed for her..." --ecb

"The music used comes from an old tape called 'Super Belly Dance'. I love this tape but don't think it's available any more. Mine is almost worn out from playing it so much." --Shadia

Wholly Moses
Dudley Moore comedy; belly dancers featured briefly to help symbolize the decadence and decay of Soddom and Gomorrah

Mainstream TV Shows, TV Movies

The Adventures of Sinbad
TV shows Hercules, Xena, and Sinbad often feature snippets of ethnic, pseudo-, and maybe even real ME dance with interesting/colorful costuming. The snippets, though short, add nice touches of ethnicity, dance and color to the shows. "...looks like belly dancers on 'The Adventures of Sinbad,' which is broadcast on the cable channel TNT (not sure if it's only local to D.C.) [10 Mar 1997] at 9 p.m., ET..." --Zafirah Iman

"...another dancer sighting. On the '70s TV series 'Banacek', the Polish-American detective attends a Greek party which includes a lively belly dance performance by a Mediterranean-looking woman. Also in attendance is Cesar Romero, playing a Greek-American (!), who enthusiastically shouts 'Opa!' at the performance. The credits list her as simply 'Little Egypt.' (...at Greek party, go figure...)" --Paul Popowitz

"In 1960, one of the women who also worked at the first club I ever danced Oriental in (such as I could at that time!) for a couple of weeks, was Lorraine Shalhoub, a Lebanese-American beauty, who used the name 'Little Egypt' & later had her name officially changed to Lorraine Egypt. You can see her photo (big safety pins in the costume & all!) on the cover of the 1963 Roulette Records album: 'How to Belly Dance For Your Husband' (!). Warning: DON'T listen to the music in the album - it'll produce extreme puking! (& is a prime indication as to what the American public thought b. dance was in the early '60s, if you didn't believe me before this....) She disappeared from the E. Coast area in the mid to late '60s. I heard she'd moved to the W. Coast, but I can't be sure. Liked her, hated him [her manager/boyfriend] for the way he treated her." --Morocco

"There is a dancer who actually changed her name to Little Egypt (born Lorraine Shaloub.) She also appeared in a broadcast of Chayefsky's GIDEON (and was thereupon profiled in a TV GUIDE piece about her 'ancient art'. I would assume that this is the same.)" --W. Linden

"Regarding the 'Little Egypt' sighting on the tv re-run Banacek, I can confirm Morocco's post that this was the dancer known as Little Lorraine Egypt, who often performed as 'Little Egypt', and that she moved to the West Coast. I believe that she is now divorced from her manager/husband. When I spoke with Lorraine several years ago regarding her career, she mentioned her tv appearances (also incl. Batman) but seemed most proud of her performances that benefited charities including St. Jude's Children's Hospital." --Donna Carlton

"Yes, it was a red outfit [that she wore], might have had some white as well. Also, it *was* a fast Turkish dance, with quite a few spins; it fact, it ended with a spin. Romero's Greek character shouts an enthusiastic 'Opa!' in approval. If I didn't know he was Cuban, I would have thought him Greek myself." --Paul Popowitz

"Regarding the 'Little Egypt' sighting on the tv re-run Banacek, I can confirm Morocco's post that this was the dancer known as Little Lorraine Egypt, who often performed as 'Little Egypt', and that she moved to the West Coast. I believe that she is now divorced from her manager/husband. When I spoke with Lorraine several years ago regarding her career, she mentioned her tv appearances (also incl. Batman) but seemed most proud of her performances that benefited charities including St. Jude's Children's Hospital." --Donna Carlton

"Yes, I remember her dancing on 'Batman', in an episode with Burgess Meredith as the 'Penguin' running for mayor of Gotham City. Sounds as if Ms. Shaloub's had an interesting career." --P. Popowitz

The Bionic Woman
Actress Lindsey Wagner performs some sort of improv veil routine/dance when she's caught in some middle eastern setting.

The Bold and The Beautiful (US tv soap opera)
Hunter Tylo (actress) performs, "it was pretty obvious she hadn't had any lessons".


In episode "Try and Catch Me" which is available on tape, Mariette Hartley decides to take up belly dancing. "Her instructor is marvelous - very charismatic and knows what she's doing. Worth watching!"

"Also, there are a number of Columbos that have just a minute or two of belly dancing as a background scene." --Barbara Kohler

This is the episode that sparked a lot of debate on the med-dance mailinglist and many people to write in to the show to complain. Some people didn't mind the portrayl, but the majority of those who voiced an opinion were dismayed/outraged.

"Did anyone else see Cybill Monday January 6? She was planning a stag party for her ex-husband, and auditioned a 'bellydancer' named Destiny. Although I didn't actually see anything, I have the feeling that Destiny would have failed the panty police (she actually said at one point 'make sure he brings lots of folding money. I want my g-string to look like a hedgehog'). She wore a gold coin bra and a white sheer skirt which appeared to be sewn to a white belt, and that covered her from her waist to her hip. Cybill didn't want to hire her because she felt that it was exploitation, but Maryann encouraged her because Destiny could 'pit an olive with her navel' and Maryann wanted to see that. Flipping coins I've heard, but pitting olives? Anyway, I think I'd have to classify this one in the same catagory as the episode of the Simpsons with a 'bellydancer.' Actually, Destiny didn't even dance." --Susan

"I saw the Cybill episode with a lady dressed as a belly dancer. This situation is REAL here in Los Angeles. Girls will put on a costume from Fredricks of Hollywood (like the one in the Cybill show) and sell themselves as belly dancers to perform at bachelor parties, etc., even though they will not belly dance, but exotic dance! These women would NEVER, EVER be seen in an Arabic, Greek, Armenian, Egyptian, etc. venues, only in the above mentioned situation, like the Destiny character on Cybill. She did not dance, she just looked pretty.

"Let's face it, we have been trying for decades to educate the masses on the ART of Oriental Dance. But it is still seen as exotic by the ignorant and uneducated. Unfortunately, we are not able to get prime air time on network tv to educate these people. Therefore, we must carry on our quest to educate those who are still ignorant and uneducated about ME dance, as we have been over the years." --Shahira

Entertainment Tonight/E! Channel
"This reminds me: about five years ago Entertainment Tonight did a story about ME dancing and gave the impression that it was becoming more popular. They, too, showed clips from Atea's instructional video and interviewed one of the women who appeared in it. As I recall, the lady's day job was none other than a doctor. I remember the E.T. hosts saying that ME dancing was not only great exercise, but it was *sexy* as well." --Megan

"One of my students saw the latest... [Segment on ME dance seen on the E! Channel, unclear from what show.] sounds just like this description... could it be a re-run? She said the ME info was respectfully presented, termed as sensual, not sexual, and that although sandwiched between other forms (stripping, etc.) it was NOT implied that they were the same thing. Also said they sent an actress (don't know who) to take classes and her report was that it was: fun, sensual, personally uplifting and an empowering experience for her... and that she went home and told her S.O. that she would be doing this for a loooong time. Wasn't there myself, but my student liked the way it was presented." --Aziza Sa'id

NBC show. 2 belly dancers do a surprise routine in the hospital emergency room for a straitlaced character's [Dr. Benton's] birthday. ME dancers Neena and Veena, sisters, of LA perform. They're real dancers (see below under Nick Fresno for more info) but I don't believe they got to dance much in this scene.

Get Smart!
"... an episode of Get Smart! where Our Hero and a Cosby impersonator were hunting for Kubitschek and his minions of ACB, the third spy network. There was not much actual dancing. In one plot twist Max was called to the Club Tonight by their dancer, Tamara, as Kubitschek had been threatening her partner, Tahday, and Tamara was their only hope of spotting the fiend. This exchange ensued:
Kaos Man: She's going to go into a Dance of the Seven Veils. If she takes off one veil, it means Kubitschek is at table 1. If she takes off two veils, he's at table 2, and so on.
Smart: What if he's at table 7?
Kaos Man: Then the cops come in and raid the joint.
However, she was shot before being able to finger him, leaving Smart to announce 'There's no Tamara.'" --Will Linden

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
TV shows Hercules, Xena, and The Adventures of Sinbad often feature snippets of ethnic, pseudo-, and maybe even real ME dance with interesting/colorful costumes. The snippets, though short, add nice touches of ethnicity, dance and color to the shows. "Two TV shows that have the occasional Bdance scene and use ME-sounding music are 'Hercules' and 'Xena'. ...The costuming is 'fantasy' but fun to look at anyway." --Joya

Highlander: The Series
"...an episode of Highlander: The Series entitled 'Reasonable Doubt.' In this show, there is a flashback sequence which shows Duncan MacLeod pursuing the bad guys into an opium den/brother in 1920s Paris. There are a number of women lounging about in Salome-esque type costumes and there is one lady in a green cloak who is dancing. She looked like she knew what she was doing. The costumes, by the way, are really fabulous--very lush, very Art Deco." --Robyn

"I was watching the TV Series Highlander the other night... (It was a re-run :( ) but it also had some un-historically costumed dancers in a 'Turkish' history scene. I almost cringed at the costumes, but the dancers weren't bad at all. Too bad they couldn't get the costuming closer." --Sannan

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
"On Entertainment Tonight recently I saw actress Salma Hayak doing something that resembled 'raks sharki' in preparation for her role as Esmerelda in the televised version of 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame.' The clip said she had been practicing to perform a gypsy dance for the movie; the actress herself said something about hoping to create a dance which demonstrated both sensuality and innocence. It's going to be on [Turner Network] in America this [March 16, 1997]..." --Rachel Newcomb

I, Claudius
Really great BBC TV mini-series from 1976, based on Robert Graves novels, which traces the Roman Empire from Augustus through Claudius. In the 13-part series, episode 7 "Queen of Heaven" opens with a Middle Eastern style dancer performing. She uses finger cymbals, does back bends, arm work, and wears a rather odd (to my eye) costume: a roman-esque robe over what look like shorts/briefs of some nature and perhaps a bandeau as well. The brief dance and dancer are presented respectfully and are rather interesting. As a side note, episode 1 opens with a troupe of African dancers (topless, lots of beads, short skirts) and a male drummer performing.

Jesus of Nazareth
The TV mini-series (1977) directed by Franco Zeffirelli with Robert Powell as Jesus, Michael York as John the Baptist. "[The series] of course has a Salome's dance, though it isn't as belly-dance-ish as one would wish. Still... Reminds me of an exchange I had with a friend over this scene. She noticed that the camera actually spends very little time on the 'dancer' herself, more focusing on audience reaction. She thought it was because that way the dance could be even more erotic in viewer's imagination than could be allowed on screen. I assumed it was because the actress playing Salome couldn't really dance and that way she could be dancing at all, erotically or not, in the viewer's imagination!" --Tim Tikker

Lois and Clark - New Adventures of Superman
In one episode, "Lois made a vague attempt at a bellydance (mostly she wafted a blue veil around). Great costume though which was gold coin with a pastel blue skirt and veil."

The Love Boat - 2 hr episode, "Spoonmaker Diamond"
...involving a cruise to Greece and Turkey and jewel theives. "The woman performing was probably the most talented performer I have ever seen (...including live performances, etc.)."

Macmillan and Wife
"The dancer was dancing to the music of a live band in a restaurant. She seemed authentic. Macmillan's wife was talking to some man as they ate lunch. I didn't catch the name of the episode." --Claudia Dixon

Magnum PI
In an episode in which T.C. winds up in Morocco, in a restaurant. "She looks quite authentic."

Married With Children
"I caught a promo for Married with Children for Monday night. A dancer in a ME type costume,(harem pants and midi top) but they are in a strip bar. Geezhs!!!! Not this theme again. Seems to me the latest thing for these sit-coms are strippers in bellydance garb. What can we do to stop this? You don't see the strippers in ballet costume. Right, ME dancers are sexy, are they trying to make a stripper, OK on tv by putting her in a less reveling costume, while still keeping the sexy angle? Where do we start to change this misconsecption?" --Claudia

"Not only is there a dancer, It happens to be Peg Bundy [lead actress] moonlighting there for whatever reason. And, yes, they use the harem girl outfit because of *coverage*, note the face veil... it's plot device. No I don't condone it, just expaining it. Of course they could have used a cowgirl (with a bandana on her face) or any other number of ideas, but *harem girl* always seems to be the first, and last, idea the writers come up with....." --Mona N'wal

"It aired in my area last night. Same tacky plot we've all seen before; housewife disguises self (6" x 6" face veil) as belly-dancer/stripper to entice husband back into her bed. Big surprise when veil comes off. Just like Clark Kent's glasses make such a difference in his looks. How stoooopid. I only watched it to see what the hooha was about. Sorry I did." --Joya

Max Headroom
Suhaila appeared dancing in an episode, briefly.

Mork and Mindy
(maybe need confirmation)

Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher
"There was a bit of dialogue that went something like:
Parent: what's going on?
Nick: This is a bachelor party. These are bellydancers. Those are impressionable young children.
"I won't burden you with the idiotic plot of how the students ended up at the bachelor party in the first place (they were out to offend a lot of people). Anyway, the two dancers wore straight red skirts with gold threads woven through. The material was light weight but not totally sheer. They also had arm coverings (wrist to mid-arm) of the same material, plus gold bra and belt sets with egyptian fringe. They looked a lot alike (about the same height, same coloring, etc.) and they both had long dark curly hair which they wore down, so that covered most of their shoulders and chest area. You couldn't see a whole lot (except, of course, their stomachs). They did very basic stuff--shimmies and a few hip lifts. I saw zils on at least one of the dancers, but she didn't use them. The men tended to dance *with* the dancers--not touching them but standing very close. The man that escorted them to the party made some mention of how they normally danced in a club. I wasn't quite as offended as when I saw Destiny on Cybill; then again, I have higher expectations for Cybill than I do for Nick Freno. At the very least, the costumes looked better, and the women actually looked as if they could dance (I had the feeling they weren't supposed to distract too much from the so-called acting that was purportedly going on in the background)." --Susan Salpini

"The dancers described [above] are Nina and Vina (hope I spelled the names right), who are incidentally, twins. Both are accomplished dancers, trained in ME dance and East Indian dance (classical, folk and filmi styles). One of them (I believe Vina...) has **starred** as the Filmi dancer (a lead part) in East Indian films (the kind with all the flirting and singing and dancing....) I've seen both ME and Indian performances by these gracious and attractive dancers and they are quite good. It was very interesting to see them in this show, and it was VERY clear that they had been asked to limit their dancing... The costumes were simple, matching Egyptian style cabaret, the kind with sequined patterns appliquid onto the skirt and beaded hems.... and I'm relatively sure they were be-wigged.... If I recall correctly, they both have long, straight hair, not the curly masses seen on TV. One of the ladies actually had a speaking part (Gosh! The belly dancer Speaks!) and their overall acting (what limited amount was required) seemed natural and at ease. One nice thing, I didn't notice ANY references to stripping (Yeah! that at least is a win...) On the whole, I thought the presentation, while constrained and not spectacular, and certainly not what these dancers are capable of, was not particularly detrimental to our public image... For all that I'd never heard of Nick Freno before, he certainly did us a better turn than Cybill did." --Aziza Sa'id

On America
"... saw a tasteful, well presented segment on 'Belly Dancing' on CBS - On America. The segment openned with background on Vickie, a supervisor at an auto repair shop. It continued showing 'Sarah' dancing at a performance and teaching a class in Poughkeepsie, NY. What was so nice about the interview was that they talked about the how 'Belly Dance' is an art form, not stripping. And how BD developed the inner woman and promotes friendships between women. The costumes were nice, and the dance combinations were very good." --Aziza Fadwa

Simon and Simon
"...an old episode of 'Simon and Simon'. In this episode the brothers need to hide out over the weekend to work on a case so they go to an Emotional Aerobics seminar (sort of an encounter group) being held in a hotel. As they enter the conference room, there are two dancers on stage. One looked quite professional, the other like an amateur. At the end of their short performance, the seminar lead introduces them as 'Ann' and 'Pat', the therapists." --Robyn

The Simpsons
A "belly dancer" dances with Homer at a bachelor party, they are photographed together and the picture scandalizes Marge and others. In an effort to apologize to the dancer for having viewed her in a demeaning way, Homer and family track the dancer down at her other jobs which include mud wrestling and a burlesque show. "I was disappointed that 'belly dancers' were portrayed as being scandalous once again, but others claim that the character was actually a stripper/exotic dancer and not a bdancer. Even so, she was called a belly dancer and 'dressed' as one...the public doesn't appear to distinguish between bellydancers and strippers/exotic dancers or have any sense that bdance is actually about DANCE." --Kim

Star Trek
3 episodes featured pseudo-belly dance: Wolf In the Fold, The Cage, Whom Gods Destroy. "One of the episodes 'Wolf in the Fold' had a belly dancer doing a modified Turkish Drop in one of the opening scenes. Instead of dropping onto both knees simultaneously she actually goes down on one first. The effect is just about the same. What is nice about this piece is that you can use the VCR to view one frame at a time to see how it is done. I don't remember anything else about the dance she did. I do know that she was a real dancer from California because Cassandra knew her." --Jana

This Old Pyramid
Documentary on PBS about "some western Egyptologists who went to Egypt to try to build a little pyramid, with local labor, to prove their theoris about [how the Great Pyramids got built]." There's a party outside with live music and an Egyptian dancer, shown for about 45 sec.

"I am happy to report a Sighting of a dancer on television that was NOT scandalous!!! She appeared for a minute or two.. on an episode of NOVA entitled "This Old Pyramid" part of a four part series entitled "Secrets of Lost Empires" Which actually is about the building of ancient structures using traditional methods.

"In this show, a group of archeologists lead a team of Egyptian masons through the building process of a small 16 meter tall pyramid. At the end of the show, the builders celebrate with song and dance... a fire-breather, a cane dance and a middle eastern dancer who performs in what I can only describe as a mini-beladi dress of black and red lace... She performs outside on a large group of oriental rugs.. there is a nice over-head shot to show the layout of the musicians, rugs and dancer. Unfortunately, the shots are brief... What I liked best was the celebratory feeling generated by the crowd..." --Dawn Devine Brown

Xena: The Warrior Princess
TV shows Hercules, Xena, and The Adventures of Sinbad often feature snippets of ethnic, pseudo-, and maybe even real ME dance with interesting/colorful costuming. The snippets, though short, add nice touches of ethnicity, dance and color to the shows. "Two TV shows that have the occasional Bdance scene and use ME-sounding music are 'Hercules' and 'Xena'. I was channel-surfing one evening and came to a screeching halt when I heard the music on 'Xena'. How often does one hear ME music on TV? Not too often in my neck of the woods. The costuming is 'fantasy' but fun to look at anyway." --Joya

"On at least one show there was some interesting-looking group choreography done by the Amazon characters...it looked vaguely African dance style to me..." Also..."On the episode entitled 'Cradle of Hope', Xena poses as a dancer to sneak into a castle. She (and the other dancers) do lots of snake arms, spins, and 'drama' though not much else. Xena does do, at one point, a kneeling backbend to the floor with snake arms and she is wearing a harem-like outfit: red/gold bustier (so her midriff is covered), blue harem pants, and gold belt with long fringe in the front and back center (though there wasn't really any hip action going on). Oh, and yes, she was also wearing a brief, shear face veil which was supposed to disguise her. All in all, it was clearly ME dance and music that was going on, though not expert but then the character isn't supposed to be an expert in it. On the plus side I thought it added a nice bit of color and a bit more than usual (the backbend) for this sort of thing; dancers were 'dramatic'/vampish rather than being slutty. On the negative side, the dancers were dancing for men only, the leader of whom would pick one of the women to sleep with that night, so it was a bit of the old dancer as sex object/whore thing. One gets tired of that being the only way or context in which ME dance is shown." --Kim

Music Videos/Concerts

There have been bunches of reports of videos with bellydancers in them, I just haven't been able to track them all down yet. Any help would be appreciated, as always.
Unfortunately I can't remember what rock group or song, but I do remember the video because it had snippets of two women dancing with swords on their heads and dressed in India/ME-style costuming.

Eric B. and Rakim
"Did anyone watch MTV's AMP on Saturday night? It's their new electronic music show... Anyway, they showed an Eric B. and Rakim video with a lengthy clip of a belly dancer. And it was a real dancer, not some video bimbo. From the quality of film and style of costume I'm guessing that it was a video clip from the 70's or early 80's... perhaps even a film clip from "over there." Only thing I would complain about is the camera angle... yucky midriff reigon close-up. :-P" --Jennifer

Guns N Roses
Rumor has it they featured a belly dancer on stage at some point while touring. I've no idea if true or not...

KC and the Sunshine Band
"I rarely watch MTV over here, but because of your post and something to watch over tea...lo and behold....and old KC & Sunshine band with at least one (blond lady, looks familiar...from that video by Phaedra??) real dancer, several very chic-quasi-dancer types looking gorgous, dark and lucious...turbans, lame and all....lasted the whole song....was one of my favourites by KC (KC as well as further back, the Doors-oooo!-are from MY generation!!) Of course the title just escaped me....." --Feyrouz!

The Spin Doctors
"Cleopatra's Cat" featured what looked like a pretty authentic cabaret ME dancer, though briefly.

Currently married to ME dancer Mayte Garcia, she met him originally when he hired her to dance. She is said to be dancing in some of his videos but I don't know which...

Their video "Mysterious Ways" features a professional bellydancer as well as video footage somewhere in the Middle East/Turkey including the interior of what looks like a nightclub with a singer and (possibly another?) dancer. "Numb" features ME dancer Morleigh Steinberg, view from behind, at one point briefly. During U2's Zoo Tour they hired ME dancers to tour with them and dance live on-stage during "Mysterious Ways". Latest sources indicate 3 different dancers were used at some point during their multi-year tour, including Morleigh Steinberg who danced during the outdoor leg of the tour, and I believe she's the dancer you occasionally see in compilations/videos of live concert footage. I believe she also had the longest run as tour-belly dancer.

"I am a good friend of U2 and I know the dancer that was in the video. ( if I am correct) Her name is Yasmina, she is French Algerian, she lived in Dublin, Ireland, when I knew her, and I think she did part of the tour..." -Hossam Ramzy

Last Modified: 15 Jun 1997
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