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Thread: Zills

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alyssa View Post
    There is a definite consensus around where I dance, but I want to know if you all agree.

    To be a professional belly dancer it is neccessary to play zills. If you don't use another prop (i.e. trays, candles, swords, snakes, etc) it is unnacceptable.

    I am currently struggling on the zill front so what is your opinion?

    i think learning how to play zills helps in understanding the music and rhythms better..in addition to strengthening the wrists and adding dexterity to the fingers.
    i too struggled at first when i started learning, but i think what helped me to learn quickly was my musical ear..my problem is dancing while playing..

    i can walk while playing, but when i start to dance i mess up. at least now i can do hip drops while playing.

    considering that i don't have a live teacher anymore to teach me, becuase that was how i started to learn, i ended up having to purchase a dvd. what i found helpful in the dvd, was hitting out the rhythmic pattens with your hands on your belly so that your body gets a feel of the rhythm.

    but just continue practicing and you will master it. I have definitely seen improvement since i started learning how to play zills. it's the only prop besides the cane that i really enjoy looking at.

  2. #12
    V.I.P. Mya's Avatar
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    I'm with you on that one!

  3. #13
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    That's a good idea! My parents get upset when I play them too loudly. Thanks for the tip!

  4. #14
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    If where you are this is a requirement - then you'll either have to move or knuckle down A little practice often is best I think. Stop once you can no longer get it right. At the other end do push yourself out of your comfort zone - otherwise progress will be very slow.

  5. #15
    Member Viv's Avatar
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    Not that I've been around much lately but here's my two cents worth.
    I have known a few dancers that play lovely zills when they dance, pros and hobbiests alike. I don't think you have to play to be a pro but you should at least understand the basics.
    I've also known a few that are amazing zill players so long as they aren't moving. Ask them to move and play? Bad idea. I think everyone should learn the basics of zills, but keep in mind some of us are wired to play in the orchestra, not the marching band. Either way, if you want to learn to play, practice, practice, practice.

  6. #16
    Junior Member Nabila Nazem's Avatar
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    Just a thought ... last time I checked, zills were musical instruments, not props.

  7. #17
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    This question is very interesting because in the USA, there's always been a tradition of dancer-musician...if you don't play the drums and the zills, you're not a dancer. It seems to be different in Europe where zills are not that popular and when you reach Cairo, I've been told that zills are linked with Ghawazy = unrespectful women so dancers like Randa or Dina would never play them because it would mean that they would be looked down...

    I'm based in France but often travel in England and so far the excuses for not playing zills I have heard are :
    -it's not fashionable
    -it's not class
    -it's too noisy
    -it's annoying

    Personnaly I love them and try to encourage people to play them.

    Now Tribal is getting bigger over here so people are more interested but the problem is the teaching...most teachers who dare teaching them have no method and the result is pretty disastrous.

  8. #18
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellydeluxe View Post
    This question is very interesting because in the USA, there's always been a tradition of dancer-musician...if you don't play the drums and the zills, you're not a dancer. It seems to be different in Europe where zills are not that popular and when you reach Cairo, I've been told that zills are linked with Ghawazy = unrespectful women so dancers like Randa or Dina would never play them because it would mean that they would be looked down...

    I'm based in France but often travel in England and so far the excuses for not playing zills I have heard are :
    -it's not fashionable
    -it's not class
    -it's too noisy
    -it's annoying

    Personnaly I love them and try to encourage people to play them.

    Now Tribal is getting bigger over here so people are more interested but the problem is the teaching...most teachers who dare teaching them have no method and the result is pretty disastrous.
    well I do personally find them noisy and annoying!
    A zill class is my idea of hell..

    I leaned in the early years and drove myself nuts with the clanking.

    I used them once or twice in performance with a live band before I realised nobody could hear them anyway.

    I stage manage events and have to go over this time and time again with dancers who want to use them as a feature. Whilst they may annoy your neighbours at home, they mean nothing on a big stage with music, it is like talking with no microphone, just your lips moving.

    I saw Camelia use them once in a Shamadan section on a boat and that was OK but I have never seen them used in Cairo otherwise in Raqs Sharqi pieces.
    It certainly isnt as popular in live performance as it used to be.

    I think it is more en vogue in Turkey?

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline_afifi View Post
    well I do personally find them noisy and annoying!
    A zill class is my idea of hell..

    I leaned in the early years and drove myself nuts with the clanking.

    I used them once or twice in performance with a live band before I realised nobody could hear them anyway.

    I stage manage events and have to go over this time and time again with dancers who want to use them as a feature. Whilst they may annoy your neighbours at home, they mean nothing on a big stage with music, it is like talking with no microphone, just your lips moving.

    I saw Camelia use them once in a Shamadan section on a boat and that was OK but I have never seen them used in Cairo otherwise in Raqs Sharqi pieces.
    It certainly isnt as popular in live performance as it used to be.

    I think it is more en vogue in Turkey?
    Thank God it's not only me who finds them annoying, and boring too. I saw a dancer use them in Cairo many years ago, but you couldn't hear them at all, so she could have been playing anything, and she only used them very briefly. Turkish dancers use them nearly all the time, and I've been travelling to Turkey for nearly 20 years, and all the dancers I saw used them. They tend to use the great big heavy ones which are the only ones you can actually hear, especially outside.

  10. #20
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mya View Post
    I love zils. LOVE them. I still suck at them though. For me they're a bit different than other props because they let you play with the music and be a part of the music even while you dance.

    I don't think it's a prerequisite, but i definitely think it adds something to your dance that for me is far more down to earth than a sword or veil or wings.
    Thank you so much for the tip, Mya! I'll buy a pair of baby socks and try it! *hugs you!*

    I just hope I don't get any funny looks from Hubby when I come home with a pair of baby socks... Oo;;

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