Thursday, 9 February 2012

Harem dancers: Liana Orfei

These are yet more examples of the "harem dancing" (i.e. fake belly dancing) that featured in old movies. Today's clips are a bit unusual in that they both feature Italian star Liana Orfei. Liana has featured as a Babe of the Month over at Peplums, which is where I first heard of her. I'm guessing that Liana was Italy's version of Julie Newmar - a good-looking starlet who could dance a bit but never became particularly famous for it. What I most like about Liana's style is that she reminds me how far I've come since my first class. That sounds bitchier than I mean it to, because she's certainly very charismatic and I guess audiences enjoyed watching her throw shapes.

She made her last film in 1971, having savoured roles like Camilla, Queen of the Vulga in War of the Trojans, Queen Texen in The Giant of Metropolis, Dalila the Philistine Queen in Hercules and Samson (synopsis: "Three strongmen hunt down a murderous sea monster"), The Lion Tamer in Casanova '70 ... you get the idea.

This is from Attack of the Moors aka Kings of France aka I Reali di Francia (1959). Her costume is lovely and I'm quite envious of her sandals!

And here she is as Merith, leaping about in 1961's Nefertiti: Regina del Nilo:


I'm wondering if clips like this are as interesting to you as they are to me. When I started this blog I had half an inkling I wanted to document these kinds of dance scenes, because when I started out back in the Caboniferous Period they were my version of YouTube. Now that YouTube actually exists maybe collating them on this blog is redundant, but I have to admit that I have a real soft spot for them because they were my gateway to actual belly dancing (and the costumes are often sensational). If you have an opinion, please either politely let me know in the comments below or vote in the poll at the top of the right-hand sidebar. Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. I really kinda like her costume in the second one. Understated elegance with intersting accents. Maybe even a little ahead of it's time, as far as belly dance costumes go. :)