gypsybelly dance museumgalleryshopmusicbelly dance infoalmeh
home | museum | shop | music | info
Little Egypt

Little Egypt

Titled in french 'La Danse Interdite' this picture with Mark Stevens as promoter Wayne Cravat and American actress Rhonda Fleming (born 1923) as Izora, a cabaret dancer in old Cairo. The movie earned the label 'children no admission'.

Rhonda, the "Queen of Technicolor" because of her highly photogenic green eyes and flaming auburn hair, performs a belly dance on Cravat's request. This movie from 1949, directed by Frederick de Cordova, told the story of a so called 'hootchie coochie' dancer who created a controversy at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair in Chicago.
This dancer by the name of Little Egypt - whose real name was Catherine Devine - performed in such an erotic way that the result became a tempest of outrage.

The Columbian Exposition as it was known, was commemorating the four-hundredth anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the New World and the first international exposition to feature a separate area for amusements. An entire Cairo street was build at the exposition. It was there that 'bellydancer' named 'little Egypt' shocked the audiences. Well that how the legend goes for the ones that didn't believe little Egypt was a real person. Anyway, 'Little Egypt' became a disputed dancer as the years went by.

Elvis Presley himself did a song on her and a movie made the story immortal.
In the movie American impresario Cyrus Graydon (Minor Watson) hopes to re-create an authentic Cairo street at the World's Fair, and to that end he ties up with fast-buck promoter Wayne Cravat (Mark Stevens)