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  1. #21
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraliche View Post
    However, when I watch Randa's, she dances ... more like a sampler plate rather than an apetizer. And it is closer to what we learn as "oriental" in workshops. Maybe is this the trend?
    The majency is part of an Orientale. How long it is depends on a number of factors. I remember learning a choreography to an ultra-short Orientale - under 7 minutes - the majency was about 4 bars!

    Fifi was well known for being able to hold an audience. Randa doesn't have quite her presence and her dance is aimed for a more short attention span audience.

  2. #22
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I really like Rakscandi's description. I guess it reads like it could be the description of the full show because she mentions the styles you might get in a majency.

  3. #23
    Member Shems's Avatar
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    Just saw that this was mentioned, so I thought I'd share:

    Oriental Entrances

    and for more articles if you are interested in what I've posted:

    Category: Articles

    <3

    Shems

  4. #24
    Member Outi's Avatar
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    Hello everyone! Long time no see

    Many good points here! As it has been said mergences (from French) are entrance pieces.

    Now we have to to think the difference of Egyptian show and western one. Egyptian will last up to one hour with one or two costume changes. So the entrance piece is only short part of the whole show.

    Here mergences are composed for dancers. They are traidmarks. Many famous mergences which are used now widely in West have been composed to big stars (Nagwa Fouad did pay so much money to have new music like Set El Hosn, Pink Lady). Dancers can change their mergence. They just have new one composed to them - and pay for it. If the dancers use their own entrance piece using one and same music for one to two years would be fine. Some dancers use the same mergence for years and years.

    Mergences which are composed now are very different than the ones composed 30 or 40 years ago. The times are just changed. People are used to different musci now-a-days. Before the mergences were longer (10+ min) now they are mostly only 4-7 min. Now they are often sectioned very distinctively with different styles (balady, saidi...). Before even if there was parts and different sections (ie. Set el Hosn) they were more homogenously one song.

    Some cases in mergences are named after the dancer it has been composed. Also they might be named only Oriental (especially with Egyptian teachers copied - stealed music!- cds) in cds.

    As the mergences are trade mark of the dancers they use some parts of the music also for exits. As they have orchestra this is very easy to do. The reason why I always include finale in my cds, is that dancers can exit with music and when using the same melodies as in entrance the whole dance performance becomes more polished.

    The "songs" are totally different than mergences. Those are sung by singers, heard from the radio, available in cds, known by "all" the population etc. So using any song as mergence would be "wrong".

    Somewhere I red a dancer using Alf Layla wa Layla for entrance piece. So wrong! It would never happen here. I do understand that performing in West IS different. Sometimes there is time limit (5 min), the customers wants 20 min show etc. As the time is usually so limited I DO understand that dancer wants to enter with a song (for example with this Alf Layla wa Layla), but then I would just write differently (enter with "insert the song name"). This is mostly just languge thing. But it would help the western dancers to understand that there actually are entrace pieces, music composed only for entering the stage.

    What dancers do during this mergences? It differs. Dancers can just enter to stage. If you are world famous dancer with a lot of stage chrisma you can only present yourself walking around the stage (ie. Fifi Abdou). On the other hand some dancers feel it's place to show your skills, so they enter and after show how they dance. This is opposite of the "songs" where there is extra level of feeling and interpretation of the lyrics, the whole background of the song and it's story.

    Before my time in Cairo I didn't have a clue about different music. Of course I knew about different folkloric styles and their music, but I also put all the Umm Kalthoums songs in one pile I thought about "Umm Koulthoum"-style. Of course I didn't think that there is one, but it made my idea of dancing to them more easier to understand. It was just my very limited knowlidge of Egyptian music. So being more spesific about mergences, what they are and what not, will help western dancers to understand more.


    www.outiofcairo.com

  5. #25
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Outi, that is a wonderful, thorough, and educational post. Thank you for sharing!

    I just want to provide a little context as to why dancing to live music in the West is so different, since you mentioned that over here dancers will use "songs" for their entrance (such as Alf Layla), and how that isn't how it's done in Egypt.

    It would be wonderful for us dancers in the West (and I am speaking for myself in the US here) to have the opportunity to dance to full Egyptian bands for a full hour with costume changes, to be able to get a band that has a large repertoire of Arabic songs and that is able to compose mergencies for us, but unfortunately that is not the case.

    Over here, the live music scene is mostly "dead" and what little there is of it is very different. When I get to dance to live music, it's either as part of a larger show and so I get only up to 7-10 minutes or it's just my show and I get to dance for 20-30 minutes tops. The bands here are a mix of Greeks, Turks, Arabs, Armenians, and Americans. I have noticed that at least in my area, most of the bands have a repertoire that is mostly Turkish (and Armenian, and Greek), and the Arabic songs are usually just the classics. So for a dancer like me who leans very heavily towards Arabic music as opposed to these others, it's very hard to select music, and in the end we have no choice but to use one of these classics as an entrance. Sometimes I feel like I am dancing to the same 3 songs again and again... yet having a choice, I still prefer live music to recorded music. It's a wonderful experience.

    So I hope this helps clarify why it is that we do it "wrong" over here

  6. #26
    Member Outi's Avatar
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    Yes, I know. I have been there

    I only succest that then dancers pay attention to words how they discribe what they are doing.

    Using "Entering/Entrance with Alf Layla wa Layla" instead of "Entrance Alf Layla wa Layla".

    This might help other dancer who doesn't know the differense of mergences and "songs" to understand what's happening with the music. Other thing would be teachers to teach what's mergences just like Safran was going to do. I did not really know this before I came to Egypt. I might have had a vague idea, but not really 100% clear picture.


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    Last edited by Outi; 10-07-2011 at 03:09 AM.

  7. #27
    Member Kraliche's Avatar
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    Dear Shems, Outi and Yame

    Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with us.

    I wondered if I might look stupid to ask this but now I am glad I asked ... I learned a lot more than I expected!

    Yame, your explanation really helped me to understand "real" situation in the states, I really appreciated it.

  8. #28
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraliche View Post
    I wondered if I might look stupid to ask this but now I am glad I asked ... I learned a lot more than I expected!
    Never be afraid to ask! Many of us are glad you asked as well.
    --
    Daim.

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