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VERITAS_ROSE's Photo VERITAS_ROSE SparkPoints: (0)
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12/29/10 11:37 P

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I am also an "Egyptian" dancer. I wouldn't call myself "trained" as I'm only at an intermediate level. I've also been checking into some Turkish styles, as I'm writing a novel in which the main character dances in Turkey (in 1867.) Does anyone have any good references for Turkish Dance? Particularly Romani styles? My teacher studied under Eva Cernik for a few years, so she's been teaching me some, but I would love to learn more!

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BPELTONEN's Photo BPELTONEN SparkPoints: (30,079)
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7/28/10 7:30 P

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Wow! Thanks for all the info everyone...I have a lot of learning to do!

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BRENNA_A's Photo BRENNA_A Posts: 221
5/7/10 3:52 P

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My dance instructor actually loved the egyptian style. Very much so - so maybe not everybody. but I hear you - I'm not into the belly-gothic fusion, or where they show their legs, incorporate hip hop, or whatever, I like to keep it pure.

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CELTICMELODY's Photo CELTICMELODY Posts: 1,829
1/19/10 12:26 P

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Re: the money situation, I feel your pain. I'm counting my blessing to be in the frozen tundra known as Illinois.

Raksanna and her Desert Flames will be going to the Belly Dancer of the Universe in February which IS in LA.

Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting different results


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MONIBELLY's Photo MONIBELLY Posts: 4,218
1/19/10 11:37 A

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I see Fahteim and one of my personal fav's...Leila Haddad are doing workshops at Rakkasah West. Oh the temptation. Now if Arnold will stop holding part of my husband's paycheck hostage for CA's failed economy, maybe I can get up there and check one or both out. It just seems so much easier to head north, then go south to LA.

"If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” -Albert Einstein



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SVELTENSTRONG's Photo SVELTENSTRONG Posts: 157
1/18/10 1:06 P

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I like Egyptian! I don't perform it, but I've always wanted to.

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CELTICMELODY's Photo CELTICMELODY Posts: 1,829
1/18/10 9:58 A

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Monibelly:

I'd check out Fahtiem: www.fahtiem.com

and send her an email. Yes, she is in LA but, perhaps you could come down for a workshop now and then. Even if you can only come down occassionally she is WELL WORTH IT.

At the very least, you can email her and ask her for her suggestions in finding a teacher closer to home. You can tell her that Kim (Zerlina) one of Raksanna's students took her workshop in the fall and suggest her.

She's terrific. She'll steer you in the right direction. Good Luck! And, hey, if you ever get to Chicago, come join us!!

BTW, I am going to the Randa Kamel & Raqia Hassen workshops in DC this spring, I am SO PSYCHED!

Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting different results


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MONIBELLY's Photo MONIBELLY Posts: 4,218
1/13/10 5:49 P

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All this talk and I am so green with envy. I love saidi, stick, cane... My teacher is not going to teach anymore, which, she wasn't possibly the best instructor, but it was a chance for me to meet with women who also loved the dance. I'm hoping that another student and I can go off and form something together. We both love Egyptian/Turkish and neither of us have ever soloed... so we're going to push ourselves, looking for workshops, etc to further our dance. I mean, for Pete sakes, we live in CA, half way between LA and SF, so what possibly stop us... except, kids, husbands, lack of funds, time...


"If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” -Albert Einstein



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RAKSANNA's Photo RAKSANNA Posts: 35
1/13/10 11:14 A

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Thanks, Celtic Melody. :)

AmandaRaqs, funny you should mention that about the Beledi. I have the same experience - when I first started to delve into Egyptian music, I loved the accordians and the passion of the music, but I was challenged to dance with it. Over time, I've been able to work with the music and develop to that "place" where I feel comfortable dancing to and with the beledi style.

CELTICMELODY's Photo CELTICMELODY Posts: 1,829
1/13/10 10:08 A

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My favorite:

Saidi Stick and cymbals. Raksanna's cymbal choreography is a real challenge.

I love it!

Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting different results


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AMANDANCES's Photo AMANDANCES Posts: 1,983
1/13/10 9:23 A

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For me, the music is really what I love, but for years I could never really "get into" accordion baladi music -- until we brought Karim Nagi to Kentucky for a series of workshops and he broke down the structure of the progression for us. Then my teacher, Nashwa Cahill, broke down the typical baladi dance response. And then Ranya Renee came out with that wonderful baladi dvd set, so now it's definitely my favorite. Performance Raqs Sharqi second, Saidi third, I guess.

I have two loves -- Egyptian and cymbals/sword. So I end up with two totally different presentation styles. It works for me. On Monday I'm a purist and on Tuesday I'm a fusionista.

What about everyone else? Where is Laurie? She's a big Egyptian style fan!

On our way to Mordor.

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RAKSANNA's Photo RAKSANNA Posts: 35
1/13/10 12:44 A

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Hi everyone! (and thanks for the great welcome, Amandaraqs!)

Habiba is delightful - great teacher, fun personality and inspirational.

I love Reda, too! And I truly enjoy muwashahat - in fact, I'm starting a muwashahat choreography to a beautiful piece named "Amayaguena" for my advanced class. It will be showcased at a hafla/workshop weekend I'm sponsoring that features Amani Jabril of Atlanta.

Muwashahat is a 10/8 rhythm that is absolutely GORGEOUS. The music has strong Spanish and Flamenco influences and is very well known.

Right now, we're finishing up a wonderfully fun cymbals (zills) dance to "Salame" that will be showcased on January 23, Saturday, in Sandwich IL, for our 1st Annual Awards Ceremony (dance show open to the public if anyone wants to join us - bring your hip scarf for open dancing directly following the show ... and the hotel is giving everyone 10% off accommodations if they want a room for the night).

Then, beginning on Sunday, 1/30, we kick back up again with the new routine.

Quick question for everyone - what is your personal favorite Egyptian style of dance? and why?


Edited by: RAKSANNA at: 1/13/2010 (00:54)
AMANDANCES's Photo AMANDANCES Posts: 1,983
1/12/10 10:20 P

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Yay Raksanna's here! You guys are SOOOOO lucky!


I haven't seen the muwashahat dances Reda did, but I think they would be lovely. I took a workshop on Classical Andalusian with Habiba of Philadelphia (it's one of her specialties) and found it incredibly complex but very beautiful. I wonder if the two are similar?

We don't do that much Reda-inspired dance in this area, but I still have a spot in my heart for that style. :)

On our way to Mordor.

Blogging our walking fitness journey here:
thereandbackagainforfitness.blogspot.com/


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LOGCABINCOOK's Photo LOGCABINCOOK Posts: 1,156
1/11/10 6:55 P

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Gotcha - those newer videos seemed more like what was described. Thanks!

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CELTICMELODY's Photo CELTICMELODY Posts: 1,829
1/11/10 4:10 P

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Yes.

I tried to post a link to Randa Kamel but, if you go to You Tube and do a search, you will see her videos.

Also, you can check out Raksanna's new website:
www.raksanna.com

Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting different results


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LOGCABINCOOK's Photo LOGCABINCOOK Posts: 1,156
1/11/10 3:06 P

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Thanks! I now see the difference!

The link you sent was of an old movie - is that what you meant to post?

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CELTICMELODY's Photo CELTICMELODY Posts: 1,829
1/11/10 12:22 P

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Certainly.

Here's a link to a Youtube video of Mahmoud Reda and the Reda Troupe. www.youtube.com/watch?v=wL1EHitZ-xo

current top Egyptian Egyptian style dancers.

While you are there, do a search for Dina and Randa Kamel. They are the current Egyptian style stars over in the middle east.

Edited by: CELTICMELODY at: 1/11/2010 (12:25)
Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting different results


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LOGCABINCOOK's Photo LOGCABINCOOK Posts: 1,156
1/11/10 11:49 A

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Since I am unfamiliar with some of the terms is there a website where I can watch video of Egyptian belly dances (the style not the nationality necessarily!) so I can see the difference? Thanks!

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CELTICMELODY's Photo CELTICMELODY Posts: 1,829
1/11/10 10:52 A

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Hi, Amanda!

I'm an "Egyptian" trained dancer. Ruthie74 & I are both trained by Raksanna in the Chicago suburbs.

www.raksanna.com

In fact, we both teach for her as well. She actually travels to Egypt several times a year to study with Egyptian teachers (Including former Reda Troupe dancers and now trainers Atef Farag & Magda Ibrahim)

So, we "Egyptian" dancers are out there. :)

I look on Egyptian dance similarly to ballet, in that, I think it is a great foundation whether one chooses to do more of a classical style Raks Sharqi or tribal. I think learning the folk dances of Egyptian style such as: Haggala, the muwashahat, and saidi are beneficial for adding layering into your dancing.

The Reda Troupe, for those that don't know, was started in Egypt by Mahmoud Reda who traveled through out Egypt collecting all of the regional folk dances. He then formed Egypt's premier dance troupe.

Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting different results


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AMANDANCES's Photo AMANDANCES Posts: 1,983
1/10/10 11:20 A

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Egyptian primer

First of all, it begins and ends with the music. Egyptian dancers have a long tradition of BEING the visual representation of the music. That means if you turn off the music, you can actually still sort of "hear" it by watching the dancer.

Egyptian is made up of 2 main subsets:
1. Raqs Baladi
2. Raqs Sharqi

(Now you also see Raqs Shaabi taught in workshops, which is a little weird considering shaabi dance is street dance, and in its culture is never choreographed or "performed" on a stage. You will also see region-specific (or "folkloric") dances like Bamboutiyya and Saidi taught, and those dances share a musical tradition with Baladi.)

As I've been taught, by both musicians and dancers, Baladi music has a set structure, but involves improvisation inside that structure, like Jazz. There are basically only a few actually baladi tunes, but each musician will freely improvise around those set tunes.

The stucture of baladi moves from the inside out -- small intricate music moves to larger grander music to finally a faster and less complicated finale. The dance mimics this structure.

Sharqi music is what baladi evolved into in the early 20th century. It still moves throughout the song, building to a final climax, but doesn't progress through the levels of complication like baladi. It moves through rhythmic sections -- which are centered around a main musical theme, but vary in each section. Think of a classic Sharqi piece like Set El Hosen -- you can still hear the main themes in each section, even though each section has a different rhythm or feel.

Baladi dance is internal and deceptively simple. There isn't a lot of complicated footwork or crazy layering -- you as a dancer simply follow the same path as the music. But the movements are internal, and those internal movements create a physical sensation in the body, which is how the joy of baladi is expressed.

Raqs Sharqi is more of a stage art. Baladi can be done on stage -- and often is -- but it's more suited to a smaller more intimate environment. Sharqi music is more orchestrated, so the dancer has more options to choose from when she is deciding what part of the music she wants to express.

Sharqi technique is my next post, and there are two basic schools of thought on how it should be done, but both are influenced by the national folkloric troupes, and all the problems of such (Raqia Hassan and Aida Nour are the promoters of these styles.)

BUT you have dancers like Mona Said and Fifi Abdo who bridged a gap between baladi and sharqi, and who have decidedly baladi technique but with a more sharqi presentation. That's the technique I prefer, because it feels best on my body.

Egyptian style is very relaxed, and the tension in both the body and the movement is usually in the "up" or "in" accents, usually paired with the Tek or Ka of the drum, or upward-rising accents in orchestral music. The Dum or downward flowing accents usually happen as a result of the release of the tension. Like a "drop."

Egyptian musical structure has its own way of being interpreted, which could be an entire book! Karim Nagi and Hossam Ramzy promote illustrating the Lawazim in the music, which are the little orchestral "trills" interspersed in between lines of melody or the singer's lyrics. As the music modulates, so does the dancer, changing pace or direction as the music does.

Egyptian "style" is all about how you interpret the music. Although there are specific Egyptian techniques for accomplishing movement, I think we're seeing a general evolution here, with new thoughts on anatomy and kinesiology affecting how we generate movement. Which is why we can have 6 different ways to do a hip lift :)

more later :)

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Blogging our walking fitness journey here:
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DENI47's Photo DENI47 Posts: 4,064
1/6/10 8:01 A

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Yes - would love some discussion on Egyptian. While our troupe is primarily cabaret, we have not differentiated much between different styles. I have been told my personal style is very "Turkish", so I would like to see the difference!

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TALAMAR's Photo TALAMAR SparkPoints: (21,982)
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1/5/10 7:22 P

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I am interested. I've been a Turkish dancer all my life. Since 2007, I've been a member of an Egyptian dance troupe called Amethyst.

I have problems every now and then because there are some combos that are essential in Turkish that you simply don't do in Egyptian.

It is really cool and fascinating learning new ways to move and dance.


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PURRBALLS's Photo PURRBALLS Posts: 7,964
1/5/10 7:03 P

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My original class was Raqs Sharki....the one I'm in now is better in technique and style but the instructor sure isn't sure what style it is!

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MONIBELLY's Photo MONIBELLY Posts: 4,218
1/5/10 6:37 P

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Same... my first workshop was Egyptian, which I loved. My teacher is American Bellydance... kinda embracing the styles of Egyptian, Turkish and folkloric... maybe a little too theatrical at times... but in my area, not many choices and I just love the music and sisterhood. I would at least love a thread, because a friend and I are thinking of branching out on our own...

"If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” -Albert Einstein



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PUMPKINPHD's Photo PUMPKINPHD SparkPoints: (37,534)
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1/5/10 5:05 P

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I'd be interested. Most of my teachers have been Egyptian style (with maybe a little Cabaret & Turkish & folkloric thrown in). My current teacher, Amara, is primarily Egyptian. She's very good about giving us background & history (of styles, music, cultures) & I find it all very interesting. She often points out, when we watch videos of dancers or someone brings up a particular performance, which things are Egyptian and which are other styles.

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LOGCABINCOOK's Photo LOGCABINCOOK Posts: 1,156
1/5/10 3:10 P

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Well again, me is ignorant! (insert graphic of Bill the Cat here) Do you have a website or something that could help me discern the styles/categories/etc? (Maybe be useful for others?)

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AMANDANCES's Photo AMANDANCES Posts: 1,983
1/5/10 2:48 P

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The thing is, Egyptian isn't really a "style" per se -- it's really a completely different animal from Tribal, with different physical and musical expectations, and just ... everything's different!

It's so much more than what many people THINK it is, and the connection between region-specific dances in Egypt/North Africa and the Baladi and Shaabi, eventually leading to Raqs Sharqi -- it's practically as different as ballet and tap dance.

I think too many people have seen what I call American Shaabi and assume it's actually Egyptian because either a "famousname" instructor said it was, or because it was performed to Egyptian dance music.

Maybe just a thread, for starters? LOL.

BTW -- I LOVE American Shaabi, so I'm not picking on anybody!! :)

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LOGCABINCOOK's Photo LOGCABINCOOK Posts: 1,156
1/5/10 2:10 P

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I am pretty ignorant on my styles but my teacher calls what we do Middle Eastern. I watched a Tribal video last night and decided it's a little too out there for me, though I liked some of the ideas. Dunno how many folks would go for a specific style of dance group, we seem to be small just as belly dancers!

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1/5/10 1:49 P

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I love Egyptian, but I am sort of at my max for groups. LOL I took Sahra Saeeda's Journey Through Egypt Part One almost a year ago and am looking forward to the next installment. :-)

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AMANDANCES's Photo AMANDANCES Posts: 1,983
1/5/10 12:49 P

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I'm thinking of starting a team for Egyptian dancers. Or rather, dancers who actually perform Egyptian style :) It seems we get no love these days, when everybody's into Tribal or Suhaila style or the new American styles.

Anybody want an Egyptian dance, or actual Middle Eastern dance team? I was thinking if we did Middle Eastern, we could also talk about Bedouin, Kaliji, and Turkish/Lebanese too.

Any interest?

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