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Thread: Maya

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    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    Default Maya

    Two questions ;

    1. The maya movement I understand was named after a dancer who did it flat footed in the 1960's, what was the dancer's name ?

    2. Of the Maya movement, I am trying to remember the movement after having learned it a few years ago and I am remembering the letter 'm' in that the movement starts from the centre of the 'm' and consists of; from the centre, push the left hip out then down and from the new centre then push the right hip out then down, ideally flat footed, although I believe it is permitted for novices to lift the heel slightly in executing the movement am I correct in my memory ?

    I learn by picturing the movement in patterns and shapes and I am trying at the moment to picture the Maya as it has popped up in class.

    Memory seems to suggest the maya is opposite to 'fish hips' in a way, again from memory, but t's been a long time.

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    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    My understanding is that maya means water in arabic, and that the move mimics water flowing downhill.

    I'm fascinated to see what the etymology of the move is. Paging Kashmir.
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    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khanjar View Post
    Two questions ;

    1. The maya movement I understand was named after a dancer who did it flat footed in the 1960's, what was the dancer's name ?

    Maya Medwar (alternately spelled Meduar). Jamila Salimpour gave it this name, which seems to have stuck and is now used universally. (Even Raqia calls it a Maya.)

    As I understand it, the Arabic word for water is الماء

    2. Of the Maya movement, I am trying to remember the movement after having learned it a few years ago and I am remembering the letter 'm' in that the movement starts from the centre of the 'm' and consists of; from the centre, push the left hip out then down and from the new centre then push the right hip out then down, ideally flat footed, although I believe it is permitted for novices to lift the heel slightly in executing the movement am I correct in my memory ?
    As it is taught by Jamila, it's a figure 8 up to down in the vertical plane. You contract the right hip up into the torso, slide the right hip out, stretch the right hip DOWN (key part) and then either bring the hipline back to neutral or start the movement on the other side. Jamila teaches the former now, the latter in the 70s.

    The flat foot gives a different look than lifting the foot, but I have seen dancers use both.

    Memory seems to suggest the maya is opposite to 'fish hips' in a way, again from memory, but t's been a long time.
    If you're talking about what Yasmina Ramzy teaches as fish hips, then yes, the Maya is the reverse of that.

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    Moderator Zorba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    If you're talking about what Yasmina Ramzy teaches as fish hips, then yes, the Maya is the reverse of that.
    I'm amused that Maya or Maia is the universal name for this movement, but the down to up inverse movement has 50,147 different names!

    "Fish Hips" is a new one on me - I think I like it though. I learned it as "Gooshy", Tribal dancers call it Taqsim for some strange reason, and I've heard other names for it as well which escape me at the moment.

    Maia is my very favorite movement - probably because I had to invest a ton of time and effort to learn it in the first place (and break my stiff male hips loose!)!

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    V.I.P. Greek Bonfire's Avatar
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    I hope it's my favorite move someday because I'm still working on conquering it. I've heard fish hips referred to simply as inverse figure 8. It's interesting how so many names are given to the same movement. Recently I heard the term Tahitian walk used for what I refer to as the Bedoin shimmy. But I diverse. Back to the maya, I have seen professional dancers also use the move on their toes, probably to give diversity to the move.

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    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
    "Fish Hips" is a new one on me - I think I like it though. I learned it as "Gooshy", Tribal dancers call it Taqsim for some strange reason, and I've heard other names for it as well which escape me at the moment.
    Well here's where it gets weird, and it all goes back to Jamila.

    The "goosh" as described in her manual, and according to Aida al Adawi, is different than what she teaches now. The old Goosh was sort of what we have called "Cairo 8" on here. It was a figure 8 movement in BOTH planes: horizontal and vertical. It was a horizontal figure 8, starting in the back and arcing around to the front, but then the slide through went down, so that the arc around had an "up" feeling to it. Sort it sort of went "in around and DOWN/through." Now she teaches it as a straight horizontal 8 back to front.

    "Toxeem" was so named because Jamila called the "reverse Maya" (for lack of a better word) the "Basic Taqsim Step" used in the taqsim part of the music. (Again, this is Jamila speaking, not me.) From Jamila to Masha to Carolena somehow this got turned into "Toxeem" but it's still the same basic down to up scoop on the vertical plane.

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    Senior Member Sophia Maria's Avatar
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    I agree with Darshiva, I had only heard that maya means water, and that is what the movement is supposed to look like. I know I've heard the term "fish hips" before, but I can't remember where...I remember the first person I learned from called a maya a "goosh" (kind of like the gooshy that Zorba mentioned), so she called out choreography like, "and now! Goosh! Goosh!" So far, in all the classes and workshops I've attended, it seems as if the only agreed-upon names that everybody understands are umi/omi, shimmy, and snake arms...

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    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    Maybe this website then, if it can be done, compile all the names and put them to the movement, and compile all the different movements and how they are executed, a glossary of sorts, which might become a known reference on the internet, which means more people visit ?

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    I heard Jamila named it. FYI موج maja means wave, ripple, surge (as in the sea) and undulate. I think this is the root of the word meaning "water" ماٴ (as above). Weird, I would have given it to the under-eight (as I call it) rather than the over-eight. Maybe that strengthens "it was named after a dancer" thing.

    As above, the out & down goes on the weighted leg (whereas for unders out & up goes on the weighted leg). There's been a number of threads on heels flat or not. My take is you drill with flat feet because it extends your range of motion but you perform whatever suits the style you are dancing. Egyptian is usually heels up.

    Quote Originally Posted by khanjar View Post
    Maybe this website then, if it can be done, compile all the names and put them to the movement, and compile all the different movements and how they are executed, a glossary of sorts, which might become a known reference on the internet, which means more people visit ?
    Many years ago armed with a dedicated database I started this. Then thought - what's the point? Sometimes it seems there are as many names as dancers. Then there are so many different tweaks you can make to a move. And on top of that words are so clumsy. In a workshop I just and follow; in class I just used one set of names - sometimes making up phrases for a one dance use.
    Last edited by Shanazel; 07-20-2012 at 12:46 AM. Reason: merge

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    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    I like the association of Maya with the letter 'M' - makes it easy to remember. I just assumed maya/maia meant water, although the reverse maya I've been more recently called a Suriya, also said to be named after a dancer.

    IMO if you learn to do them (or any hip move) flat-footed, which is harder, then you have the choice to do them with flat or lifted heels when you dance.

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