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Back to the Classics

The last of the New Songs To Improvise to each week was a Classic, Lissa Fakr.

I was using the version from the CD Jalilah's Raks Sharki by Mokhtar al Said, which is easily downloadable from iTunes and Amazon. It was a bit trickier finding a way to buy the cd (which strikes me as very odd, because it's , but you can get it from Piranha, in Germany.

The original singer, Oum Khalsoum, don't worry, it's only 10 minutes of it!

When researching this, I found a nice duet between Sherine, and another singer Ahlam (I think?). She's got a much sweeter voice, and may be a bit easier on the ear!

Translation here, on Shira's site.

My coaching notes are non-existent! But from what I remember about this class, I was emphasising how this is a *totally* emotional song, and to think about how you would want to tell this particular story. You might see yourself as talking to the man who treated you so badly, or as telling the story to your girlfriend, explaining how badly he treated you, and yet he thinks he can come waltzing back into your life... You might be over the heartbreak, or you might still be struggling with it... You could go into full “I will survive” mode...

Inspiration clips
My favourite of all time- Suhair Zaki. She was the first dancer to dance to the music of Oum Khalsoum.

Another classic dancer, Fifi Abdo. Look how the long 80s fringing makes the shimmies show up!

Lucy, who came to prominence in the 80s & 90s, and who still dances at her nightclub, the Parisiana on the Pyramids Road in Cairo.

Mona Said, who I specifically mentioned in class. Her rendition here is AMAZINGLY emotional and intense! Ignore the crazy hair, and focus on the fabulous arms. I apologise for the poor quality of the clip, I had to convert the video into electronic format and upload it to YouTube myself as I couldn't find it on YouTube, but it does include the full introduction to the music, which again, I mentioned in class, as being something that is lacking in most of the dance versions of the song that are available. Oh the joy of having a live orchestra at your beck and call!

And finally something to challenge my students' expectations (maybe), a male dancer, Hatem Hamdy (who performs as Tommy King). I suspect this was an impromptu performance, as he seems to be dancing on the Nile Maxim (the top Nile boat for entertainment, part of the Marriott Hotel complex), which is not a venue that would usually engage a male dancer. It rather looks as though he was in the audience and the dancer got him up to do a number!

And that's the last of the class improvisation exercises we did last term. I've enjoyed sharing some of my favourite music here. I may continue the series for a while longer, without actually having classes to do this with, just for fun (because, of course, we will be Moving On To Something Different when classes start back).


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 15th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
Oh thank you for posting the crazy Mona! I had it on my Youtube list but whoever had uploaded it had taken it down....
Aug. 15th, 2013 03:13 pm (UTC)
Don't worry- I'll keep it up! So long as no-one gets all third party rights about it. If I could link to a source for people to buy this video, I certainly would, because it's a brilliant record of early 90s Egyptian dance.
Aug. 16th, 2013 05:07 am (UTC)
This was so much fun to watch! Thank you!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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