Blog Archives

Week 2: Choreography Challenge

I hope you have finished your week one choreography, because it is time to move on to week two.

Beginner Track:

1. Pick a song for your first piece and listen to it a lot. 2. Organize footwork. 3. Adjust the two combinations to fit the first 1-2 min of the song. 4. Write them down.

The goal for this set is to get a feel for the music that you have picked. The best way to get comfortable with a piece of music is to listen to it. When I am going to dance to a song I will listen to it 5-10 times. I will get to know it. Put it on repeat in the car while your driving (this is not the time to dance) or while you clean the house. Get the song in your brain.

Next step is to organize your footwork. Sit down with you notebook and listen to your song. As you listen, draw the path on the stage that you would take while dancing. You can break up your path by counts or by parts of the song. This is an important step to help give your dance some movement. Once you have the footwork, adjust your two combinations from last week into the middle of the song. We will work on the beginning and the end next week.

Lastly write down the dance steps you have put together. You can you use any words or drawings you want, but please write it down. I find writing down choreography helps with memorization and organization. It is also a good habit to start.

Advanced Track: Fun Music Challenge

Окончание Моравской народной песни English: Th...

Image via Wikipedia

Choose a song that you love (I mean can’t get enough of) and choreograph to it. I want you the step outside your comfort zone and choose a song that is different. Some examples are the new pop or rock song on the radio, a 70s acoustic folk song, and classical music. This is not the kinda of piece that you may use for a performance, but this is a chance to experiment with different styles and different moves. Ideally you want a song the really inspires you and then let the creativity flow. Have fun with this one I hope to see some of your work (if your willing) on facebook.

-Nara

I want to apologize. Due to technical difficulties it may be a little while before I can get my choreography video for week one online. I will post it as soon as possible.

 

Finding the Best Dance Music

Now that we have started the March Choreography challenge, I am sure there are some people out there wondering “how will I find music for all of these dances?” Finding belly dance music is often hard, especially because the music we dance to is not that common music that is found in the western world. If I were living in Egypt, I could find great belly dance music listening to the radio. Sadly that is not the case. I am actually in Asia at the moment, so all I can hear on my radio is Korean pop (Super-junior anyone?). So I went to the internet for help.

Music Ideas: When I first started in belly dancing my music collection was minuscule. It sent me into a bit of a panic, because I didn’t know where to find more music or what music would work for which style. Over time, I collected a very large collection and realized what I like to use. It took time to figure out what kind music you like and what kind of music I like to use for choreography. Often those are the same, but not always.

1. For tribal dancers, I think there are many choices. Some of the great names in tribal music are Solace, Gypsy Caravan, Pentaphobe, and Beats Antique. There are also some great techno remixes of Arabic songs that are wonderful as well. Though some dancers don’t like this, I am a huge fan of using western music in my tribal dance. Many of the dances I will choreograph this month will be to popular western songs. Please don’t be afraid to experiement.

Hugely popular for Tribal. Worth a listen.

This band has the best song names. The weirder the name, the better the song.
2. For Oriental/Cabaret dancers, stick with famous stuff (easier to translate). Some artist to look at are Hossam Ramzy, Emad Sayyah, Chalf Hassan and Oum Kalthoum. Some are more popular and others are more classical. You can also check out the egyptian pop chart at last.fm http://www.last.fm/tag/egyptian%20pop

Classic Hossan Ramzy. He is extremely popular in Egypt.

Oum Kaltoum is the first lady of Egyptian music. Great for classical pieces.

A note about lyrics. It is important when performing to a song that you have a rough translation of what the song is about. Middle Eastern songs can often sound happy and really be about something quite sad. If you are performing for an Arabic audience, they will notice that your expression does not match the song. Please do your research for performance pieces. Also of

Finding Music (some of these are obvious):

1. Youtube: It is not a place to buy music, but if you want to hear a song … it should be there. Also, they often have lyrics or translations for the famous ones. I love being able to find anything on you tube. It saves me money from buying music I don’t like.

2. iTunes – I find that iTunes is useful in finding a great deal of music that I need. It is especially good if you only need to buy a song for a performance and don’t want to spend the money on the whole album.

3. Amazon- I really like amazon for their choices on music (especially world music). They have the option of Mp3 downloads for instant access and they ship worldwide for things not available on Mp3.

There are some other not-so-legal ways to download music which, I am not going to suggest. You are on your own with those, sorry.

I am planning to post later this month on how to cut music using free music cutting software (Audacity). The first step is finding the music. Good luck and let me know what you think.

-Nara