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Thread: Zills

  1. #11
    Junior Member Taletha's Avatar
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    I was also a musician before I was a dancer (the flute, yes, the flute :p ) and zills were pretty easy for me to pick up too. I find the less I worry about them, the better I do and also that warming up with them (because all musicians have to warm up) during practice helps a lot.

  2. #12
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    Okay, this is going to sound bizarre, but bear with me.

    A few weeks ago, a friend and I were asked to bellydance at a birthday party at a local dance club. We were staying for the party... and we both had our zills with us...so we wore them while we danced the night away to the DJ. Lots of zill rhythms fit with the 4/4 beat of most dance music, so...

    Yeah, it works and it's a relaxing way to practice and MOVE at the same time. Try it!

  3. #13
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    I can dance a bit with zills, but Im just so busy with the zills that I dance really uninteresting...I just think they doesn't ''add'' anything for me, i prefer a veil, a stick or anything

  4. #14
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Winnii
    I can dance a bit with zills, but Im just so busy with the zills that I dance really uninteresting...I just think they doesn't ''add'' anything for me, i prefer a veil, a stick or anything
    I think practice can make things better

  5. #15
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    Default I think one should start early

    I also had music experience before starting zills, and I learned how to play them in drum class. I know how to play very complicated things. Yet, when I tried a simple hip drop with them, I was desperate to see I couldn't coordinate. Of course this got better with lots of practice...
    Now, I have started teaching a beginners class. I put zills in their hands from lesson number two. Simple things. Can you believe it? In only 7-8 lessons, and without practicing much, they can do simple steps with zills, in a variety of rhythms, not just the usual boring tekadum, tekadum, tekadum.

    I think one should not wait before introducing zills. I believe dancing and zills should grow together. It's much easier this way. An experienced dancer (or advanced student) will be frustrated at feeling a beginner again, and will most likely throw them away and decide she doesn't need or like them. And it's a pity!!!

    I am organizing a workshop with Morocco (yes, THE Morocco) in Athens next month, and she's giving a zills lesson too. Believe it or not, from the advanced and professionals who called to enroll, there were many who didn't know the first thing about zills, or "very little". Such a pity! Today zills are not the fashion in Egypt, but if you see old Egyptian movies, the dancers were all most proficient and they zilled away happily. It was an expected thing.

    Apart from the joy they give, I believe it's an excellent exercise in coordination, ability to perceive rhythms etc etc... You become more of a musician, something that is very useful for a dancer, if she wants to become a complete artist.

    Irene

  6. #16
    V.I.P. chryssanthi sahar's Avatar
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    Zills are not difficult, if you play them with the right technique. And you don't need to exercise extra choreos withs zills. If you know the technique, you can play on every song which has the right rhythm. There are different systems for playing zills in the different belly dance styles though. The easiest is the Arabian system, which I play and teach. In the Arabian system you play zills only on 4/4 rhythms while dancing. And there is a difference between playing zills as a dancer while dancing and playing zills as musician while sitting with the orchestra. Musicians play zills to different rhythms and with different patterns. Dancers use only few patterns, in order to be able to concentrate on the dancing and have the zills go more or less automatically.
    By the way, Irene, you were one of my zill-seminar participants, weren't you? You didn't tell me, that you already have been giving zill lessons, I was surprised to read about it.

  7. #17
    Member Rebecca_'s Avatar
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    So here's how I learned how to play zill. Like everyone else, I at first had a hard time combining playing zill and dancing at the same time. So I just started by standing there and playing zill, and then walking to the beat and playing zill, and then doing hip drops and playing zill... and slowly worked my way up. It was still really hard and I still have a lot of work to do!

  8. #18
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chryssanthi sahar View Post
    By the way, Irene, you were one of my zill-seminar participants, weren't you? You didn't tell me, that you already have been giving zill lessons, I was surprised to read about it.
    Some of my favorite classes have been ones in which the teacher brought us moves fresh from her own teacher, or a workshop. I think it is very natural to want to share something new immediately. My only exception to the practice is if the teacher can't teach or perform the move well, or if it is too advanced for the students to attempt.

    My primary teacher has us play zills in every class (at every level). I think this is a great approach. I think that if a dancer doesn't learn zills at the beginning, they are much less likely to learn at all...it's like driving a stick-shift car as compared to an automatic.:p So teaching basic zill patterns along with basic bellydance seems ideal.

  9. #19
    V.I.P. Lydia's Avatar
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    Default zills

    Zills are my best friends,if i forget them ,because they are in another back i go all the way back home to pick them up ...people love it when you play zills on stage,it just give that magic to your show....i did extra zills classes for the girls that did not go on holiday this summer and most girls picked it up ok...if you find it diffecult to play and dance at the same time,start with something realy easy while you play do the step that is most easy for you,put that on ,,automatic pilot,,as i say in class and do your zills start with easy pattern and feel the music,i use for teaching in the beginners class 3 differant combinations of playing zills and it works realy well for the students ...happy dancing

  10. #20
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    Default Yes, I did - I think!

    By the way, Irene, you were one of my zill-seminar participants, weren't you? You didn't tell me, that you already have been giving zill lessons, I was surprised to read about it.[/QUOTE]

    Yes, I did come, and I enjoyed it very much, it was so well organized and clarifying etc etc... and most of all I am very happy it was a chance to meet you - I hadn't realized from your posts here that you are such a sweet and wonderful person! If only it wasn't for the total total beginners who got in there - and I cursed myself for not asking Maria about what level it was about.
    On the other hand, as I said before, and everyone has written on this thread, it is totally different to know how to play zills as a musicians - as I had been taught. I mean, I have played the zills in student concerts and I played very difficult rhythms like variations and fillings of karsilama etc... - but ask me to play those while dancing and you'll roll on the floor laughing!
    When, on this forum, I read about "Arabic technique of playing zills" I didn't realize you meant "the fact that most Arab dancers play just tekadum tekadum" - I thought it was some sort of finger technique or some sort of different method that would help me and I was eager to grasp. That is why I also told about the seminar to Marina who is a professional and was looking forward to something other than what she already knew. I felt bad afterwards towards her. Maybe you do have those "advanced secrets" in your pocket, but you just couldn't show them to a mixed class in which some people had never even put zills in their hands before, 'cause they would get confused with too much new information. I totally understand this! (I'll have to push you in a corner when you next come and get them from you, LOL!)

    By the way, I don't understand why ban all other rhythms other than 4/4 for zill playing. If one knows how the rhythm goes, why not? Karsilama, for instance, which I mentioned before, and is 9/8, sounds beautiful with zills, so does chiftetelli (of course this is 8/4 which is similar to 4/4) Why limit ourselves? Is it an unwritten law for Egyptian dancers? I'll have to watch my old Egyptian movie videos again to listen what they do! WHEN I have the time, because right now, September and October, is new student time, and we are loaded with work!!

    Anyway, sweet Chryssanthi, let me profit from this chance to tell you again how much I loved meeting you - and I will love meeting you again at the CID conference and at the Morocco seminar. I told her you were coming and she was very glad.

    Sorry I have to finish abruptly but they will cut electricity in five minutes because they are doing some work in the building.

    Love,

    Irene

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