Has anyone seen ‘From Russia with Love’? You know, the James Bond film before Daniel Craig came along? (Pierce doesn’t count!) The opening credits roll along while a solo female belly dancer is filmed in various angles and close-ups and silhouettes. Pardon the critique, but what the heck does belly dancing have to do with Russia? I guess Special Agent Bond likes his martinis and his women shaken.
The history of belly dancing is somewhat murky but is believed to have originated in Egypt or maybe India or possibly Asia Minor or was it Spain? One thing that I do know is that it was not the Motherland- far too cold for those outfits.
The opening of ‘From Russia with Love’ should really be the Trepak, their national dance- as it is often displayed in Act 2 of the Nutcracker.
Perhaps they could have hired So You Think You Can Dance season 4 winner Josh and one of my favorites Twitch from their rendition. I love that Joshua- who has no ballet training- has an absolutely gorgeous double tour, but his chasses at 2:37 are a mess. Methinks he could join my beginner jazz 1 class. All of us still have learning to do, don’t we? (Mr. Bond seems to need either history or geography)
I guess the shiny pants are too sexy for James Bond. Since we’re talking dance on film, check out this nice video with a little of my piece ‘Ritual Bounce’ and an interview about inspirations and aspirations for my work. Thanks to Sarah Faragalla, director of RAW St. Louis, and Brandon Sloan for shooting all of the footage.
I will leave you with this picture of my beloved former teacher, the one and only Marek Cholewa, aka the POlish dancing answer to James Bond (nevermind that he’s wearing a ladies’ headpiece- I made him wear it) and a few tidbits from my time in Russia, no belly dancing included.