This is Egyptian born Mona al Said in an assaya (cane or stick) performance. Born in Egypt, Mona’s response to family disapproval of her dancing career was to flee to Lebanon. From 1970 to 1975 she danced at the Casino Lebanon (Casino du Luban) in Jounieh, about 20kms from Beirut. In 1975 she returned to Cairo to headline at the Meridian Hotel nightclub, 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.
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 quite honestly 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 bellydance legend Mona al Said in a performance filmed at the now defunct Omar Khayyam nightclub in Regent Street, London, sometime in the 1970s. Though born in Egypt, Mona moved to Lebanon to avoid the anger of her family at her decision to become a professional dancer. It was in Lebanon that she first became well known.
The 1970s were a golden time for Arabic nightclubs both in the ME and in the UK. Beirut was known as 'Paris of the Mediterranean' and if you've ever been to Byblos in Lebanon you will no doubt have heard the stories and seen the photos of the Hollywood 'names' who used to bring their huge boats into the harbour and then while away the evenings at the harbourside restaurants. When Lebanon plunged into civil war in 1975 many musicians, dancers and clients relocated to the UK. Visitors from the Gulf no longer went to Lebanon, they went to London instead. Asmahan of London writes an interesting piece in the Golden Serpent telling of her days as a dancer at the Omar Khayyam in its heyday.
Trivia: Unfortunately the Omar Khayyam club in London is often remembered for the bomb that was found there hidden under a seat back in 1984.