30 January 2015

Homecoming 2015 Playlists

As promised, here are the playlist for General Skills for ATS® and Dancing in Flow® with Carolena at Homecoming 2015. Plus a few resources for DVDs, books and downloads mentioned in the classes.

The Romany Trail part 1
FCBD® DVD downloads
FCBD® and Helm music downloads and samples
Carolena's Music Theory FAQs
Their Heads are Green Their Hands are Blue by Paul Bowles, book
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles, movie by Bertolucci (remember to turn down the volume until John Malkovich dies!)
Raqset al Sagat, by Helm, great way to learn tribal rhythms

24 January 2015

Welome 2015! L1L2L3 24 Jan 2015

Today in L3 Drills and Improv, we addressed the Moroccan Six zil pattern and the feeling of circles in the music.

The song we used was Sadats by Cheb i Sabah (see playlist below.) We tried to match the feeling of the music with circular steps:

Arm circles with floreos - vertical circles [arms] with little spinners [hands]
Barrel Turn - vertical circle
Pulse Turn - vertical circle
Wrap Around Turn - horizontal circle upper body
Circle Step - horizontal circle lower body

I wanted the students to understand that American Tribal Style® is not meant to be a historically accurate representation of the North African cultures, but rather a way of bringing the feeling of the cultures to the audience via the dance. We talked a bit about the Gnawa and Griots. I recommended reading Paul Bowles, especially Their Heads are Green and Their Hands Are Blue, where he mentions that Egyptian music sounds like a square and Moroccan music sounds like a circle.

We looked at some videos of Gnawa trance music and ritual, to give the students a visual to apply when playing the zils like gargabas and the circular nature of the pulse in the music.