The 6 Degrees of Separation is a fun game to play. It’s funny how our dance journeys are linked by time and space. I remember when the music cassette, “Dance with Gladness” by the Brothers of the Baladi in 1982. My favorite song on that tape was Ah Ya Zane, so I used that song to audition for a local dance show. I loved the way the music was arranged for belly dance routines, so used the other songs on the tape for restaurant shows. I also liked the font used on cassette, so I took a chance and wrote to the Brothers to find out which font they used. And I was so surprised when I got a reply from Michael, giving the font name. So I ended up using that same font on my belly dance business cards.
I liked the next 3 cassettes that came out too: Food of Love, Beyond the Tenth and Further Journeys. After Further Journeys, their music started coming out on CDs, so I went out and got those too. My favorite song on Food of Love is Tamzara, so I created a 9/8 Karshlimar Tambourine Dance Choreography that looks awesome with 4 dancers.
The Brothers came to perform at one of my shows back in 1993, so it was a treat to have my dance troupe perform Tamzara “live” with the band. I also created a solo choreography to Rampi Rampi from Beyond the Tenth.
It’s great when a musician is aware of the dancer’s needs and arranges their music in a format when you can play it straight through for a restaurant show; or use the individual songs for different purposes.
Here are some of the steps used in Tamzara. We hit the tambourines on the hands and hips, like in most tambourine dances, but we also “drum” the tambourines overhead, which looks nice when you have hanging streamers on the tams:
1. Intro about 8-10 cts.: The 4 Dancers Run to center stage with tambourine "jingle" in R hand–arm at low level to above head. Note: the dancers enter from opposite corner, but end up in front right, front left, back right, back left in square formation
2. Turn-inside of square, 6 cts. or 2X, (when drum start) tambourine starts at low level then up, low level then up (end up with L hip facing audience diagonally)
3. Soft hip thrusts-6 cts. or 2X, Tam in R hand goes up 3 cts., down 3 cts.,
4. Basic Karshlimar step-4 times, L foot leads in front, R side, back, L side w/hop and/or hip shimmy (Tam in R hand hits L hand at chest level)
5. Basic Karshlimar-4 times, L foot leads in front, back, front, front w/hop and/or hip shimmy (Tam hits L hand-chest level to L side)
6. Hop-hop-hop/Shoulder shimmy to R-4 times, L foot leads w/Tam jingle-jingle-jingle/hit-hit-hit
7. Turn to L/hip U-D Tam hits R hip, turn to R/chest-chest, turn to L/hip U-D Tam hits R hip, turn to R/chest-chest (then change lead foot to R)
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What is your favorite song by the Brothers of the Baladi?