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Movie Notes

When you are beginning bellydancing there is nothing like a movie to satisfy your imagination.

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a short description of your favorite movies that feature belly dance sequences (or even just great costumes), and we’ll add them to it.

Cecil B DeMille’s old Bible movies are great for inspiring your fantasy and costume sense. No doubt they have helped popularize bellydance since the early 60’s.

American movies rarely use real professional bellydancers because of the actors’ union (they are usually actresses in a costume) but once in a while we get a glimpse.

China Syndrome, starring Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas and Delilah.
Jump to a movie review for details on this classic 1979 flick.

The Story:

RING Ring, Ring RING
“Delilah, wanna be in the movies?” asked Joshua Leeds from the Live Wire company in Hollywood California. I was selected out of 50 different acts that auditioned for the part in “Power,” the working title of what became China Syndrome. The film starred Jack Lemmon, Jane Fonda, and Michael Douglas.

Joshua went on to tell me how I had been selected, but only with one musician. I had auditioned with a couple of amateur but enthusiastic musicians a few weeks earlier in the Hollywood office. We drove up from San Diego and did our entire presentation where the messenger announces the arrival of an exotic gift from a neighboring kingdom. The other musician brings in a large velvet bag and carefully places it on the floor in the center of the room and motions for everyone to stand back. He begins to play the clarinet and the bag begins to move slowly and out slips Delilah to mesmerize and entertain her recipient.

The audition was perfect, so we weren’t surprised when they said we had the gig, but taken back when they cut one of the musicians.

When we arrived, the people we auditioned for were not directing the scene and those that were didn’t care to use us in any way shape or form of a real performance. They just wanted me to kind of make Jane look uncomfortable and be the focus of the camera man. So as far as dancing goes it was dull, but it was fun to be in the production.

It’s one of the best and most important movies I’ve ever seen!


The Middle East has always been big on musicals, and that means bellydance and music is a very important part of the Middle Eastern movie scene. Fadil Atrash was the major star of a golden era of bellydance movies. See

India, too, pumps out movies with lots of great costumes and dance.

Satin Rouge
Here is a fabulous recent movie that I recommend to all bellydance lovers. It’s about a middle-aged woman’s adventure of self-discovery through bellydance in the cabaret scene of Tunisia.
It’s directed by 32 year old female director Raja Amari.

Visionary Belly Dancing
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A Companion to Absolute Beginning Bellydance with Delilah