Dance my Tsifteteli

Dance my Tsifteteli

Ρόζα Εσκενάζυ – Χόρεψε μου τσιφτετέλι

Róza Eskenázy – Chórepse mou tsiftetéli (Dance my Tsifteteli)

Róza Eskenázy, a Greek Jew, was born in Constantinople c. 1895 and died in Athens in 1980. She was a legendary singer of tsiftetéli, rebetiko and smyrnneiko.
Boubouka Papas was a famous Greek belly dancer during the 1950’s to the 1970’s.

The old black and white film
its frames jerking slightly, a bit grainy
set in a smoky taverna
Róza singing
Boubouka dancing
in the middle of the small floor
her costume revealing bare legs
belly, shoulders and arms
her liquid movements
holding everyone in rapt attention
her hips undulating slowly, smoothly
forward and back, forward and back
slow hip circles
her eyes hidden beneath long black lashes
her hands lifting her lustrous dark hair
off her shoulders
all the parts of her lithe body
moving exquisitely to the slow tsiftetéli
skillful motions giving expression
to the sad, spellbinding music
a virtuoso performance of pure seduction
perfection unmatched before or since


Image: By Brendan from Vancouver , Canada (Boudoir Beledi Bellydance Troupe) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons