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DVD: Kamellia


  • The Barefoot Princess, oriental bellydance
    Film Simona Cocozza et Samantha Cito.
  • Le Ventre de la Danse:
    Parmi les cours de danse orientale proposés à Paris, celui donné par Kamellia est d'autant plus original que celle-ci est une Japonaise qui a quitté son éducation stricte pour se confronter à la danse du ventre, aux émirs et aux cabarets du Moyen-Orient, à la musique d'Oum Kalsoum et à une expression chorégraphique d'une totale liberté qu'elle nourrit avec une discipline de samouraï. Ce vécu, ce savoir, Kamellia sait nous le transmettre avec générosité.
    Un film de Philippe Vallois, 62 minutes.
  • Danse du Ventre à Jérusalem:
    En Israël et à Jérusalem particulièrement, de plus en plus de femmes s'adonnent à la danse orientale et sont friandes de musiques égyptiennes. Malgré les tensions et les conflits politiques, elles n'hésitent pas à partager leur passion avec des musiciens arabes. On peut voir dans cette démarche beaucoup d'humanité et une volonté de paix future.

Les 3 DVD sont vendus 50 euros.

« Art is a spiritual path »…. « The barefoot Princess », by Simona Cocozza and Samantha Cito
Published the 15th June 2013 in “REVISTASALA1”
By Cosette Galindo

“The Barefoot Princess”, a delightful and original non-fiction film was internationally introduced, among other modern works, during the seventh edition of the “Festival Granadino de Cines del Sur” (Granada Festival of Southern Movies, Spain).
This original and delightful film about the famous Korean Japanese dancer, Kamellia (Kameza in Japanese), manages to match both the quest for one’s self path as well as the expression of a vocation, dance, and more particularly belly-dance.
Kamellia’s powerful personality gives rhythm and tune to the sequences, adding a light sense of humor which actually could come from the tragic experience of being teared apart.
Reaching her sixtieth birthday – the climax of maturity in Japanese tradition -, Kamellia invites us to think about the meaning of a live which has been winding between the loss of origins, the feeling uprooted in a foreign country, and a retrieved wholeness by becoming an universal artist. What was lost turns into desire, into a path towards the origins as the aim of a spiritual land.
Kamellia says she needs to “clean” her memories; she seems to be in quest of pureness, a sort of wholeness into herself and with nature.
Such a search for roots brings the dancer to her birth land, Korea, where she will travel down the depths of the earth. The lava stalactites she finds can figure the mother’s womb, the matter of our beginning. And the spell of her name brings us back to origins since “Kamellia” reminds “Kame”: “the holly”, “the completeness” in Japanese language.
A new sense of time uprises then, different from the chronological one. “Slowly but surely”, says the dancer, giving us a slight hint to her deep mistery. She walks barefoot across the world, back to roots, beyond any national or political border.
Kamellia’s loneliness stands out all along this journey, as well as the purity of her silence, and her means of expression, in harmony with the material-spiritual wholeness of reality.
Origins can though remind pain, rejection, exile and banishment. As it happened in the father’s home, and when the environment happened to be hostile in Japan. Therefore, it is important to make such a come-back by retrieving ancestors, by dancing upon their tombs, and integrating death and forsaking.
The mother’s figure stands up all over this search: not only the biological mother, but also the Cosmic Mother, like in Corean culture, where goddesses and Shaman-women are so relevant.
Kamellia remembers her own mother –a professional diver- as belonging to a peculiar community: women who would go far down the sea to earn their living.
“Only woman go to the Sea”, points out Kamellia, telling us she was into her mother’s womb while she was diving.
For Kamellia, the sea is a place of origins, safety and identity. Even more: a path to new territories, to horizon and hope. Once again, archeology becomes a sort of eschatology, an existential aim thanks to all the different experiences we commonly call biography.
To go back to womb, to get out from womb. Everything comes from our center,“hara” in Japanese: the heart where desire and personal strength settle. For this main reason Kamellia was seduced by “belly dance”, as a way to self-honesty and to express her feelings. Body becomes a cosmic metaphor, a flower reaching its splendor, then slowly declining, expressing a natural cycle.
Once more, what was lost (youth, beauty) turns into desire, like a trend towards knowledge and its transmission to new generations.
The princess manages to deeply reach young girls and women who, maybe feeling uprooted themselves, decide to follow her path.

1. Is Kamellia a person, an artist or a spiritual path?
There is no doubt she is an artist, since she considers art as a spiritual path.
But even after forty years practicing dance, she hardly mentions herself as an “artist”, this word seems too “noble” to her. Her travel never ends, it keeps going on trough music and singing.

2. The film is done under a biographical point of view. Was this Kamellia’s choice? How did you manage to build up such a close dialogue between the artist and the audience?
We decided that during the making of a short film on her, “Princess of oriental dance”, for her pupils used to call her “Goddess”. In the beginning, dialogue kept a certain distance, since Japanese culture requires high respect in relationship between master and pupils.
But it got closer after sharing everyday’s live two months along, and being welcomed in her family.

3. We can see in Kamellia both the expression of femininity, and a sort of spiritual androgyny as well: an ordinary relationship seems unnecessary, whereas an erotic-mystic link to a higher identity principle only matters.
Is Kamellia only in love with the divine, or is she able of human love?
Kamellia has been in couple different times along his life. As for androgyny is concerned, we would better think that she has reached the time of maturity and another type of aims.

4. Belly dance means a hopeful path for many western women, who often suffer from living covered and controlled by a patriarchal state. What do you expect, in terms of social impact, from this non-fiction film?
Belly dance is getting fashionable, almost like gymnastics. But the film shows this dance as an artistic expression. Nowadays, particularly in southern countries, many women can hardly express their femininity; may this film promote respect on feminine expression.

5. As women and film directors, can you imagine a time for femininity commanding the arts, the poetic role of the social, as well as the political organization of cultural institutions?
We definitely hope femininity will reach a higher dignity level in arts. And that discrimination will decrease. Kamellia is a symbol: anything is possible, since she has obtained anything through femininity.