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  1. #11
    Member Outi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janaki View Post
    1. Put their hand under the left breast (like cupping ) just momentarily. I asked one my teachers and she said it means to express love. I have always thought it got to be true because the heart is on the left side.
    They are pointing the heart, in sorrow or love depending of the song. If there is "alb" in the lyrics, it's quite safe.

    The big upper body undulation just is not Egyptian style. It's American. So Egyptians don't do it.

    As for the upper body: Many dancers do the movements too high. The movement comes from the spine, exactly from the point where women has the hooks of the bra (or even inch lower). This way it will look more effortless, natural. And it will keep better posture.

  2. #12
    Member Ariella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janaki View Post

    3. I have also seen egyptian dancers placing the hand/plam on the stomach. I was told many thing like love/affection/feeling/mood etc., etc.,
    Funny you mention this... if I'm improvising on my own to really good egyptian music(no pop) and I'm in a particularly emotional part of the music, I often find myself placing the palm of my hand on my stomach. I was never taught this throughout all of my dance instruction, so I try to avoid doing it in performance because I don't know if it's appropriate.

    Actually now that I think about it, ever since I really got into belly dance I'll occasionally place my hand on my abdomen whenever experiencing strong emotion. I never made the connection to dance until now.

    I'm really curious to know if anyone else has seen dancers doing this. I wonder if it's taught, or it's something we just do as a reaction to emotion.

  3. #13
    V.I.P. janaki's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    In this clip Dina does a lot of gestures in the first part of the dance to Tahtill Shibhak. I guess she is interpresting the lyrics. I checked the meaning of the lyrics, some I kinda understand but some I am not sure. I am intreagued by a gesture she does at 1.19ish, she places her hand on the side of the shoulde and she flicks her fingers.

    Check it out!


    Cheers
    Janaki

  4. #14
    Member sultan's Avatar
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    "Is Sephardic dance Too Sexy"

    Judith Brin Ingber : Dancer, Writer

    My ancestral Sephardic sisters danced to bring joy to the hearts of grieving men and boys according to the Bible as I showed on a previous thread. But the Bible records that the dance was done by women only with men as the audience.

    In modern Sephardic dance, it is done by both genders with lots of physical and sexy contact among the dancers. Such contact is a definite no-no among Islamic fans of "belly dance" and would be considered inappropriate.

    If I may confess, upon reviewing the dance moves it makes me wish I could find the Fountain of Youth and could turn into a handsome Prince Charming. This along with ballroom dancing is what I would be doing every week!


  5. #15
    Member sultan's Avatar
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    I enjoy the video of Dina's performance but cringed at the repeated gesture she makes at her own throat.

    And just another cultural observation: in virtually each video of Middle Eastern dance, the audience is separated by gender. Among us Hispanics that is totally abhorrent!! Men and women are meant for each other and we are NEVER separated by gender. The difference being that cabaret entertainment is almost exclusively for married couples, not for singles as this type of entertainment is viewed as an affirmation of the marital bond.

  6. #16
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    I’ve also heard that you shouldn’t do multiple ribcage drops, but I can’t remember where I read that. Maybe it was on that bellydance move dictionary website?

    Here are some really interesting pages about Lebanese gestures: Talking with the hands
    Inadvertently flipping people off - Suha Azar of Lebanon - tribe.net

  7. #17
    Senior Member sedoniaraqs's Avatar
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    Egyptian Posture

    In general, most American and other western dancers do not have good upper body posture and do not have enough upper body energy and movement. And when they do move their upper bodies, it is in a way that is very different from the Egyptians. (and btw I talk incessantly about Egyptians only because its what I know; I'm less familiar with Lebanese or Turkish dancing)

    Watch Fifi, Mona, Dina, or Suhair very carefully and you will see that almost all of their movements flow into or out of the upper body. Fifi is my favorite for showing students because her upper body moves are exaggerated and are very easy to see. Their heads move, their chests move. No, not so much in chest pops or locks, but the movements they do involve the whole body. They stand up straight with their center of movement and gravity forward and more in the solar plexus. The emotional energy flows from this place, and they lead movement from here.

    In contrast, many western dancers have a dead zone from their navel to their head, except of course when hammering out lifts and drops. Many western dancers want to hang back in terms of their center of balance, reaching forward only with isolated body parts. As just one example, I have a real problem teaching students to do weighted hip movements. Think of Dina locking her hip forward and up. Her weight is forward, her upper body is right over where the movement is, and she is moving her weighted hip. Forget for a moment the mechanics of the weighted hip articulation, student's often do not even want to assume the posture required because it is a body language that causes them emotional discomfort even if they are not conciously aware. I tell my students that we (Americans) are a conflicted product of the sexual revolution and our puritanical ancestors -- we expose our bodies with clothing, then hide our bodies with our posture and body language.

    As for teachers who say "its a shoulder shimmy not a breast shimmy"...aarrghh!!!!! Watch any female dancers from any country where this dance is indigenous. They are shaking their breasts!! When a teacher says something like this that is in such total and utter contrast with what you can see with your own two eyes, be very very suspect, and wonder what else you are learning that might not be true!!!

    And heaven forbid, if you are one of the teachers saying this, maybe you need to stop and rethink what and why you are teaching.

    Sedonia

  8. #18
    Member Outi's Avatar
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    Sedonia:
    I think the difference for moving one's whole body comes from the muscles a dancer uses.
    Western way: In beginning students start the movement with outer muscles (don't know the names). With these muscles is very easy to follow directions (left, right, front, back) and to completely isolate the body. This very good way to start, actually the only way. In Am. Cab. in my limited understanding this is the way to dance.

    Egyptian way: After years and years of practising, students may find out their inner muscles (the ones really close their spine). This the Egyptian way. Now isolation is not so strickt and the directions are not so clear. I have been dancing like this a long time, but I noticed this in intellectual level only last year, after almost 15 years of dancing.

    In latter the upper body is only following the pelvis movements, not activly doing something itshelf. In Am. Cab. the upperbody moventes are done activly together with pelvis movents and bigger muscles are involved.

  9. #19
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Donya and Sedonia:

    The only American instructor I've ever had who stressed the Egyptian and American difference in the use of muscles is Shareen el Safy, which is why I sing her praises whenever I can.

    I think it's like Donya describes -- to me, it's a more interior, internal feeling to use Shareen's (Egyptian) technique. BECAUSE it's so interior, it's more personal and it makes the dance feel COMPLETELY different to me.

  10. #20
    Moderator Safran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ariella View Post
    Actually now that I think about it, ever since I really got into belly dance I'll occasionally place my hand on my abdomen whenever experiencing strong emotion. I never made the connection to dance until now.

    I'm really curious to know if anyone else has seen dancers doing this. I wonder if it's taught, or it's something we just do as a reaction to emotion.
    I've also heard about that. I was told that stomach is where Arabians feel the pain for love. That's where their broken heart is located But I cant really pinpoint the source (like with most of the tidbits and facts I know... argh!)

    But about the shoulder/chest/brest shimmies - Khaled Mahmoud was in Tallinn this weekend and he emphasised that if you want to make this shimmy intensive, make it small, specific and shoulder-based to make sure it looks decent. and I sooo agree...

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