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Ana Fintizarak

I used Ana Fintizarak for the first time ever yesterday in class. I don't know how I've come to overlook this classic for all these years!

I'm quite happy with what I'm teaching this term. I'm using combinations as the technique hook, and using a different song/piece of music each week for improvisation purposes. The combo is essentially created so that it can fit into the song fairly easily, so that the students can insert it into their dancing. The combination is designed so that it can be simplified, or made more complex, but I try to get learners to work those out for themselves, rather than me spoon-feeding them all the time, and sometimes they come up with variations and adaptations that I hadn't even thought of, so that's all good! Then in the improvisation section, I encourage them to use the combination, or parts thereof[*], and what I find is that they get the start of the combo, forget what was supposed to happen next, and go off on their own improvisational journey. The combination becomes the springboard for something unexpected and unknown! It's working out well so far.

Last week (first week of term) we were using Ala Rimsh Ayounha as the song, and I had three different versions for them to play with, one fairly plain version (nice easy counting, nothing terribly unexpected, so quite easy to dance to), then went on to the Farouk Salama version, which has a taqsim in the middle of it (a bit unexpected, and challenging), then the Yasmina Aheb Masr version, which has a bit more pep, and includes actual singing.

Last night was Ana Fintizarak. I was using the Farouk Salama version, for its 60s cheesiness, and Hossam Ramzy's version because, although I do find a lot of his music boring, this arrangement uses different instruments for different verses, which I thought would be an interesting exercise in interpretation for my students, and actually it was. Personally, I'd have quite liked to use the oud version (the details of which I can't remember without pulling out my mp3 player & checking, and I'm nicely comfortable right now, so I'm not going to) as I do love a bit of oud, and we can always use the shimmy practice.

I seem to have created an expectation in my classes that I will have the translation of the song that we're working on, or at least be able to provide an indication of what the song is about. Some people may not care two hoots what the song is about, but most of my students do like to know, as it gives them a starting point for interpretation. It's good for me too, to make sure I keep expanding my own knowledge and learn more about the music and how I can interpret it. Sometimes I have to suggest an interpretation which isn't necessarily how an Egyptian might hear the song, but which 21st century English (and in one case Roumanian) women can understand and express. So the general theme of Ana Fintizarak, "I am waiting for you", is perhaps most properly done as a rather despairing lost love type of affair, but I was happy to suggest that it could be done with a greater element of certainty that he will be coming back. Or that he was going to be bringing chocolate cake when he did... I have no shame!

Next week, it's Ana Mosh Arefni. There will be no happy clappy to that one- it will be deep dark misery all the way!

[*] Once a lawyer, always a lawyer. Nobody else I know uses "thereof".



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 16th, 2014 01:05 am (UTC)
used it for years one of my favs.
Jan. 16th, 2014 02:03 am (UTC)
I've got no idea why this one has never really been on my radar. But I really should try to work on it a bit more. I'm going to see if I can edit the Samasem version out from the middle of her Oum Kalsoum Medley. It might make a good useable version- not too long, and arranged for dancers.
Jan. 16th, 2014 03:52 pm (UTC)
There's a *stunning* solo violin version on Cry to the Moon by the Henkesh Brothers/Sands of Time. Not sure it's danceable at a student level, but it is definitely effective at conveying the emotional content of the song.
Jan. 18th, 2014 09:37 pm (UTC)
Ooooh... that's a nice album. *is tempted to buy more stuff on iTunes...*
Jan. 16th, 2014 03:50 pm (UTC)
I've always heard Ana Finitizarak as an expression of delicate hope, the kind of hope that has to be nurtured along to survive above ground but has deep roots under the surface (everything is gardening with me now ;-)
Jan. 20th, 2014 12:01 am (UTC)
Me too. It's not quite "I waited and you never came. WAAAH my life is OVER", more "I waited and you didn't come, and I kept quiet about how it made me feel but oh I really wanted to see you and hope you'll realise how important you are to me because it hurts when you don't."
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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