Teaching & Music

Ariadne

Well-known member
A few years ago someone on here (I couldn't find the old thread) ranted about teachers using non-middle-eastern music to teach their students and how they were doing them a disservice. I found it an interesting conversation at the time but now I just want to say, I get it.

As you know I just came from a Renaissance Faire and while there I was introduced to a delightful school/troop. They had all ages of students from little children, to teens, to adults. Their form was excellent and it was obvious that they were well taught. It was a pleasure to watch the more advanced students and I couldn't help but "awww" at the little ones. Unfortunately the beginning students performed to dance club music. Forgoing the whole being at a Ren Faire and hearing dance club music the dichotomy between the music, their costuming, and the style just about broke me (with the exception of moments of complete cuteness).

The worst part was that they could have been so much better with the right music. The musicality just was not there. You could see them going through the mental instructions of so many of X to this side then followed by... there was no connection between the music and the dancing other then staying on beat. These were some really talented girls with potential and a solid support of family and classmates. Why couldn't they have been taught with music that matched the style of dance?
 

Aniseteph

New member
Why couldn't they have been taught with music that matched the style of dance?
<sigh> I would say that I don't know, but it's probably something along the lines of making it "accessible" for them. :rolleyes:.

I'd take a certain amount of 4 left/ 4 right/ try not to let the counting show as par for the course for a beginner group, but ITA that the more pop/ dance club it gets the less scope for any musicality whatsoever. Like those techno-ified versions of Enta Omri, or anything Hooked On Classics where they take a bunch of well-known classical tunes and stick a disco beat behind them. Kills it instantly and stomps all over it's soul, IMHO.

Belly dance styling apart, how rude to inflict Wrong Music on people at a Ren Faire. IMHO.
 

Asra*

New member
What an odd choice for a Ren Faire! I'm not strongly opposed to using modern mixes of classics for certain applications, there are some of them I like, but I think at a Ren Faire of all places you would choose to use acoustic music, or at least something without a dance club backbeat!

I do agree that students should be introduced as much non-Westernized bellydance as possible. There are choices that are "accessible" that still have integrity and connection to bellydance roots.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
At the RenFaire in August, my gals are going traditional... except for one modern Turkish piece that we planned in order to see if anyone is actually paying attention. ;)
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
I haven't even thought about videos; I'm still trying to get the organizers to tell me what they have for a sound system. I'm beginning to think "organizers" is a relative term. Probably someone will have a camera phone that takes videos. Heck, I may even have one but have no idea how to use it. (Checks) Yep, I do.
 

Daimona

Moderator
Maybe some of your students have a video camera and is willing to give you a copy of it after the performance?
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
One of my students is getting married at an SCA event this Saturday. Her adoring husband-to-be has a video camera. We'll just force him to video everyone instead of just Candy. :)
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
A few years ago someone on here (I couldn't find the old thread) ranted about teachers using non-middle-eastern music to teach their students and how they were doing them a disservice. I found it an interesting conversation at the time but now I just want to say, I get it.
THAT might have been me... >.>;;; *curls up into the fetal position and twitches at the thought of "Hips Don't Lie"*
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Oh, dear, there she goes twitching again. Could someone get Farasha a nice glass of ice tea and a bottle of clonazepam while I put Hossam Ramzy on the stereo?
 

Aniseteph

New member
Oh I've probably had a rant or two about using the right music too, Farasha.

I now have Hips Don't Lie fighting Lama Bada in my brain (woah, the autocorrect had problems with Lama Bada. Although it seems to have got the hang of it now. I love educating my tablet :rolleyes:).

I once sat through a group doing a 10 minute Shakira medley; at least it felt that long. Not cool.

I've seen some Things, man... <sits under table with Farasha, gibbering incomprehensibly and having flashbacks>
 

Darshiva

Moderator
I don't mind some of the cool techno stuff coming out of the middle east. Actually, I'd go so far as to say I like it. And there are definitely arguments for using that music as a bridging mechanism for dancers who, due to the political climate in their country *coughaustraliacough*, are resistant to anything middle eastern but STILL want to bellydance. It becomes a lesson in diplomacy.

I wouldn't recommend using techno & ME-west fusion in oriental classes but it definitely has its place in the classroom, and should be deployed thoughtfully.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
I once sat through a group doing a 10 minute Shakira medley; at least it felt that long. Not cool.

I've seen some Things, man... <sits under table with Farasha, gibbering incomprehensibly and having flashbacks>
Oh, honey, I am so sorry. That sort of thing can scar a person for life. Have a couple of chocolate covered clonazepam while I go get another glass of tea.
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
*gratefully takes chocolate and tea, and shares with Aniseteph*

If done well, I like the more Westernized stuff, under certain circumstances. They make a great warm-up, and they can be a guilty pleasure, but when you have to put up with Shakira EVERY WEEK, sometimes repeated two or three times a class, it can make a person want to murder kittens! >______<;;;

ESPECIALLY Shakira... >.> #notaShakirafan
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Then there's the stuff that's definitely middle eastern - and even GOOD middle eastern - that has been so overplayed that its like fingernails on a chalkboard. My favorite to biotch about is "Sahra Saeeda" (drum solo). It is a VERY nice drum solo, it really is, - but I hear it at least 10 times at Rakkasah every year, and at least 2 or 3 times at just about every smaller festival and halfa I attend. It makes me want to strangle myself with my veil!
 
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