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  1. #1
    Member Ahava_Melantha's Avatar
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    Default Egyptian vs 1970s Am Cab

    I was curious, for those who are primarily into Egyptian style, do you find 1970 American Caberet teachers and technique harder? Do you find the style to be a bit harder on the body? Just curious.

    I got a dvd (will not name names ) and some of the stuff so far seems kind of hard on the body. I am viewing it right now. I have another by another dancer from the 70s n 80s generation, and some of her stuff seems hard on the body too.

    any ideas ladies n gents?

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    From what I have seen AmCab often moves the body to its extreme range - nothing subtle there. Much of the movement also seems to be generated with the legs so there is little core engagement and protection for the back. It also can include things like floorwork (okay if you are fit and flexible but red flagged for student walking off the street), sharp drops (including the dreaded flop-over and Turkish drops). All up - yes, I find much of the technique "potentially damaging" - and it would get a black mark if I used it while getting an assesssment in my dance certificate!

    Ironically it is harder on the body - but easier to do than (modern) EGyptian technique. Just push it out there.

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    Member Ahava_Melantha's Avatar
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    thanx Kashmir. As always I find your replies very helpful. I was curious if it was just me or what. I have several dvds by different artists from 1970s era and their style seems fairly hard on the body, to me anyways.

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    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    My first regular teacher was more into the American Cabaret style. Comparing her to my later Egyptian style teacher, she was more regimental about technique and positioning, involved more extreme isolations, with back-bends, floor work, and a continuous high-energy performance. Some of that might just be due to differing teaching styles and personality, but the AmCab seemed more about being noticed and getting attention, while the Egyptian was more into connecting with and communicating through the music. (I'm sure that'll offend some people!) As a beginner the Cabaret was easier to do since it just involved uniform moves.

    Both are darned hard, but each has its merits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    including the dreaded flop-over and Turkish drops). .
    Could you explain to me what a flop-over is? Sorry! English is not my native language!
    Last edited by Nadya Sabina; 03-27-2015 at 01:03 PM.

  6. #6
    Administrator Salome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahava_Melantha View Post
    I was curious, for those who are primarily into Egyptian style, do you find 1970 American Caberet teachers and technique harder? Do you find the style to be a bit harder on the body? Just curious.

    any ideas ladies n gents?
    I'm not a practitioner of Egyptian oriental though I've studied over the years. But my teacher was 70's / 80's era Am cab and that is the style I've carried on so I'd like to chime in from that side. American Oriental (though it has changed some over the years) demands more athletically of a dancer on a couple levels I think. The performance aspect is one of those. Egyptian can be informal, some dancing, some stopping to chat with an audience member, the singer, she might stop and sing... and I'm talking about native dancers. The musical tempo is generally low key in comparison. Having up tempo sections inside a song and a drum solo (that is worked with differently) the pace is over all medium and steady. In comparison.

    In a classic Am cab routine structure you have at least two up tempo songs and a drum solo. And in the old school version you did a 9/8 after your drum solo!!! It is not an informal style, there is a performance orientated expectation, so you are physically engaging at a higher energy level.

    Something that people often comment on is that Egyptian style works more intimately with the music. And it kind of infers that in other style this is not true. What I would say is that yes, Egyptian style does work harmoniously with its music. But so do the other styles. They are not the same, that is why there are styleS Turkish Oryantal responds perfectly WITH Turkish music. The music is different and the dancing is different, as it should be.

    Am cab was heavily influenced by Turkish Oryantal, which is very high energy. And the music is dramatic and high energy. Fast spins, fast travelling steps, covering the stage space. The stylistic expression of the movement vocabulary is expressed in ways that demand physical strength, stamina, flexibility and so forth. Things like head flips, head rolls, knee turns on the floor, floor work, different drops to the floor etc. A good dancer understands how to move the energy around on her body, cycling it in, moving it internally and this is a very real part of Amcab. it's not all up and out and being shot into space, but in comparison to Egyptian there is more movement and energy going outward. I don't mean to leave out the fact that in Am cab and Turkish there are slow sections and the music goes there too.

    I think Ruby Beh is a really good example of what I'm talking about.

    Am cab is not hard on your body if your body is in condition to perform. There have been times in my life that I've been out of shape, or took a break and started back up and I use common sense and don't push myself past where ever I'm at athletically. Having done this style since I was a kid, I can tell you that I don't have any injuries as a result.
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    Member Ahava_Melantha's Avatar
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    oh ok. thank you. I am more into Egyptian style, but I do acknowledge that you can learn quite a bit from learning or dabbling in other styles.

    and yes, I agree about Ruby Beh. Love her stuff.

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    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Well, I've been trying to decide how to counter some of the previous statements without being unduly harsh. (Nothing subtle? Just push it out there? Seriously, Kashmir?) Thank you, Salome, for stepping in and putting it beautifully.

    By the way, I never did a Turkish drop or flop-over in forty years of dancing.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadya Sabina View Post
    Could you explain to me what a flop-over is? Sorry! English is not my native language!
    It is when you fold at the hips, so your chest is against legs - putting your full body weight on a single joint.

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    Well, I've been trying to decide how to counter some of the previous statements without being unduly harsh. (Nothing subtle? Just push it out there? Seriously, Kashmir?) Thank you, Salome, for stepping in and putting it beautifully.

    By the way, I never did a Turkish drop or flop-over in forty years of dancing.
    Didn't mean to be harsh - just how the dance appeared to me from videos of a similar time frame from the US and Egypt. (Yes, I realize this would only be a small sample of what was out there). The extreme movements are still seen by some US dancers - sorry it has never appealed.

    Glad to hear you looked after your body. Ironically, I did used do Turkish drops when i first started.

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