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Jalilah’s Raks Sharki

Jalilah (by James St. Laurent)
  • country:Egypt / Lebanon
  • region:Orient
  • style(s):
    • Oriental
    • Raks sharki
  • label:Piranha Records
  • gender:female
  • instrumentation:instrumental

Raks Sharki – dance of the East, commonly known as bellydance in the West – is the classic dance of the Arab world. Jalilah is a critically acclaimed professional dancer and internationally recognized.



Born in California of German and Mexican descent, Lorraine Zamora Mutke Chamas a.k.a. Jalilah, is a truly international spirit by birth. That doesn’t mean she would water down the ancient arts of Arabic dance with spices from other kinds of dance from around the world. On the contrary, having started out on her mastering of raks sharki in her Berlin years in the 1980s, she went to the roots to study the traditions on location and directly from the masters.

Jalilah has performed all around the world at all types of venues. During a 11-year period starting in 1984, she visited Egypt multiple times, finally staying almost a year in 1995 to perform, study and perfect her dancing. She toured and performed with some of the most celebrated groups like The Musicians of the Nile, Sharkiat and Salamat. Her extensive experience in working with a variety of musicians and performing with live music enabled her to produce together with top notch musicians Mohktar Al Said, Hossam Shakir and Ihsan Al Mounizer in Egypt and Lebanon a series of belly dance music entitled Jalilah’s Raks Sharki for the recording label Piranha of Berlin, Germany. The series is held in high esteem by dancers worldwide.

Jalilah’s solidly selling, pioneering Raks Sharki album series has grown to seven releases over the years, plus a ‘best of’ selection that adapts to the new time length demanded of todays dancers. just Produced with master musicians on location in Cairo and Beirut, this series combines the music’s traditional roots with a professional dancer’s distinct sense of what is expected and needed in a professional belly dance routine.

Apart from that, these recordings of course showcase some perfect contemporary Arabic music.

A memo (just to make sure, since the times they have been a-changin’ indeed): All genders welcome! For listening and dancing pleasure alike.

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