Sunday, May 8, 2011

Deepen Your Musical Knowledge with Awalim

This coming Saturday at Floorspace Studios in Athens, Ziah and Majda of Awalim Dance Company will be offering dancers and musicians a unique opportunity to really dig into the details of Middle Eastern music with two unique workshops, hosted by Sulukele and Christy Fricks Bellydance.  I'll be making a road trip to experience these workshops, finally check out this studio, and make some new friends among the Athens belly dance community!

From noon until 2:00, Ziah will teach a zill intensive.  Over the years, I've seen many dancers struggle to get more comfortable with playing zills.  Adding another layer of movement and rhythm can be challenging, especially for dancers who have not played an instrument in the past.  And sometimes, playing along with the rhythms of non-Western music can be difficult.  Ziah has developed a great set of zill drills that will help dancers improve their comfort and skill level -- and provide teachers with content they can add to their classes.  Ziah will also be laying the foundation for the next workshop session by sharing her extensive knowledge of Middle Eastern music with tips on the zill patterns and accents that best accompany various traditional rhythms.  This workshop is a prerequisite for the next one, at 2:30...

...which will be "Emoting to Middle Eastern Music through Dance: An Exploration of the Maqamat," taught by Majda.  Many dancers have learned the basics of Middle Eastern rhythms and can name a beledi, masmoudi, zeffa... but this music also has an intricate system of tonal modes as well, known as Maqamat -- and each is designed to convey specific emotions.  The dancer's job, of course, is to bring these emotions to life for the audience -- resulting, ideally, in a state of "Tarab," or enchantment (learn more about Tarab here).  North Georgia is fortunate to have an expert in Middle Eastern music in Majda, and she will discuss the various modes and how best to intepret them through movement.


Each workshop is $35, or register for both for $60.  Click here to learn more or to pre-register.  Oh, and here's a link to the Facebook event.  Hope to see you there!

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