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  1. #1
    Member Emma_Williams's Avatar
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    Default Picking out instruments shimmy

    Hi Guys,

    My teacher has told us countless times what instruments go with particular moves etc but i have forgotten (its been a while since i last took an egyptian class).

    What instrument should you shimmy to?

    I am learning picking out the instruments and dancing to them but not a lot of good when I cant remember what moves you can do to what instrument?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    You should shimmy when the instrument - any instrument - is making the right noise - like a shimmy. In addition to a range of drums, the qanoon makes this noise and the oud can as well. A big loose shimmy can be done to the right accordian piece too.

  3. #3
    V.I.P. PracticalDancer's Avatar
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    To Kashmir's point, it is not necessarily the instrument that matters, as much as it is the sound that the instrument is making. That is, I tend to perform several different types of shimmies -- there are probably more, but here are a few:

    The fast repetitive drum shimmy: This is when there is a strong, but repetitious drum section in a song, usually for 8 to 16 beats. This is a very accented, but rhythmic shimmy, usually a pronounced "up and down" shimmy with the hips (but the muscle motivation for the movement can come from a variety of places).
    Variation: the "choo-choo" shimmy, performed over a faster version of the beat, while traveling by moving the feet (in relevee) very quickly using small, tight steps. The key to either one of these is that you are dancing to the rhythm of the music, so in this sense, you are dancing to the drum. I would not recommend this for an entire song; but, it works well as an accent.

    The layering shimmy: this is simply an accent on top of a move, often done when there are several things going on at once, like when there is a triplet played over another rhythm while melody may be played. The choo-choo shimmy could fall to this category. Any shimmy over a traveling step, a shoulder shimmy with a snake arm, etc. Note: this will look best when you are really comfortable with all of the components of the music at once. If you are good, this looks great; otherwise, you will look like an "out of balance washing machine" (quoting the great Scheherezade).

    The taksim shimmy: A "taksim" (spellings vary, see also taqsim) is a section of music that is only melody, with no played rhythm. (That is, one can count beats, but none are actually played by the musicians.) These are probably the most powerful shimmies, because the dancer is interpreting the most tender emotional moments of the music. I have been told that in "traditional oriental dance" this is where shimmies belong. This type of shimmy can create a "private moment" effect so, I would not recommend staring intently at your audience -- the power in this one comes from the fact that you are effectively baring your soul and being vulnerable by interpreting a section of music that is actually more challenging to interpret. Common instruments for taksim include oud and kanoon; but what you are looking for is that section with no struck beat, that section that sounds like they are improvising.

    All that said, I have seen performances with no shimmies, performances with carefully placed shimmies, and performances that were NOTHING BUT shimmies. I would rather have a few carefully placed and well executed shimmies than a non-stop quiver fest. The audience can get overwhelmed, tired, and confused easily -- be nice to them, and let them catch their breath (so that you can, too!).

    regards,

    Anala

  4. #4
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Serena Wilson referred to the nothing but shimmy variations performance as "The Shimmy Bore."

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ranya's Avatar
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    There is a tendency in Cairo to just shimmy now... hate it!

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    I generally shimmy when there is a quaver in a melodic instrument or a roll in a drum. The kind of instrument doesn't matter as much as the type of sound it is making.

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