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.