Monday, 8 April 2013

Stars of the 1980s: Elena Lentini

On Saturday I took a workshop with the phenomenal Razia Star, who always brings something fresh and tasty to the creative table.

Attendees were asked ahead of time to think of two gestures: one that says something positive, and one that says something not-so-positive. My first thought was 'two thumbs up' for my positive gesture because (A) Roger Ebert had just died and (B) I do it all the time in conversation (it started as a dorky joke to punctuate sentences ironically and now I can't stop myself from doing it ALL THE TIME. Mum was right: if the wind changes, you do stay that way).

If a belly dancer suddenly gave the audience two thumbs up that would probably be odd, so I didn't share it with the group. My negative gesture was going to be hiding my face, because I am cripplingly self-conscious, geddit?, but then I opted for hunching my shoulders.

Razia encouraged us all to find a way to use those gestures to our advantage, particularly the negative ones. The idea is that you can modify them into something beautiful and expressive, or use them as reminders to self-correct.

By coincidence, today on Pinterest I spotted a video of a dancer who takes that idea to an extreme: Elena Lantini.

The description read:
Scott Wilson & Elena Lentini, 1981: A dancer from Minnesota that I talked with at 3rd Coast Tribal recommended checking out Elena Lentini as an example of an belly dancer who has made introversion work for her! She is apparently very protective of her image, so video is not widely available, but I can see what the dancer I met meant. Very entrancing & intense.
I am not sure that even I would spend this much time with my back to the audience, but then again this is heavily edited so perhaps over the course of her set she spent far more time facing them! Either way, she really is fun to watch and her costume is droolilicious. Enjoy!


  1. Whoa-- her ZILLS!!! I love everything about this video!

  2. Yes her zills are something else. I had the best classes with Elena & Bobby. Those were the days. M