4.22.2011

Fun with Melaya Leff

The Melaya Leff is a sassy, playful and spirited performance dance that fits under the umbrella of Egyptian Bellydance.

Typically the dancer is dressed in a shorter (knee-ish length), colorfully loud, ruffled dress. She wears high heeled shoes and a head piece that matches the liveliness of the outfit. Now comes the Melaya Leff part.
The Melaya Leff is a large black (light weight) cloak usually trimmed with paillets around the edges to give it a fun little shimmer.
The dancer arrives on the scene wrapped in her Melaya Leff and right about then with the help of the music you begin to suspect that the Melaya Leff will not remain a cover up for very long.
The dancer takes on a playful, flirty and sassy character, wrapping and unwrapping, the black cloak. She ties it unties it, hangs it over her shoulders, twirls it around, all while being very casual and effortless in her fun dance.

I am including several videos of Melaya Leff performances but this first one is ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS -- not just because of the Melaya Leff but it contains SO many of the elements that we have studied or are going to study in Egyptian bellydance. Please read the description found on youtube that accompanies this video (click on the youtube logo on the video -thank you lebdancer for posting!). You won't be sorry!




A great performance from Mona Amar.


Sometimes you see it done as a duet.



I just had to include this delicious demo by Tito Seif.



Of course, one cannot talk about Melaya Leff without at least mentioning Mahmoud Reda (more on this important figure soon). The amazing dancer, choreographer and director of the Reda Troupe. He is the link that connects the Melaya Leff you see in the old black and white videos to the more modern version that is danced today. He did much to promote Raks Sharki (bellydance) and many other egyptian folk dances.
Here is a clip of his Melaya Leff choreography.



Now it's your turn to have some fun with it. We'll be playing with this fun and flirty dance next week in class, get ready!

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