Monday, 10 October 2011

Stars of the 1980s: Dina

Haven't done one of these "Stars of" posts for a while, so why not get back into it with a polarising figure? Dina Talaat Sayed Mohammed was born in Rome in 1965 and has been generating controversy ever since she first took the stage. A common complaint from other dancers is that Dina doesn't really "do" anything other than show up and look like a porn star very glamorous in a very in-your-face way. Love her, hate her or be mortally offended by her, you have to admit that there are not many people in the world who have so much charisma that they can get away with half of what she does (or, depending on your point of view, doesn't do) and be so hugely successful at it.

As this astonishingly florid piece I found on Worldcrunch shows, Dina can still move the occasional journalist to Victorian levels of purple prose. Here's a sample:
"... the last grand dame of Egyptian belly dancing has a toned figure that might tempt an imam. And with her black velvet eyes, sculptured silhouette, wrists adorned with bracelets and index finger sporting a diamond the size of the Ritz, Dina Talaat Sayed Mohammed is a picture of grace, beauty, luxury, serenity and voluptuousness. Sitting in the lounge of the Hotel Raphael, recounting her extraordinary life, she takes your breath away."
Ye gods. If you feel confident that you can handle that jandal, by all means follow the link. For my own part, I'm not bowled over by her style, but I am hugely impressed by her insistence on living her life on her own terms. So there.

Now, I know I've headed this up "1980s", but I tend to date the stars in the "Stars of" posts from when the dancers first became famous, not from when their careers petered out. With that in mind, here's a recent-ish clip of Dina performing in what the poster described as a "Xena, Warrior Princess" costume:



And here she is again in an older clip, not wearing one of the costumes that first brought her notoriety:

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