Archive for sword

new playlist for the next show…

Finding the right mix of music

At our upcoming show “Sequins and Shimmies” we only have time for a short group improv set. 

We’re using a mix of traditional, American, and Egyptian pop music. With our mixed group all onstage together, we’ve planned to use each song a certain way:

  1. Chorus and Center Dancers, to “Lilith’s Groove Garden” (Dolphina’s Goddess Workout Music). This is a song we haven’t used before, but it has a good tempo and since John Bilezikjian is playing, it’s automatically awesome.
  2. Slow Combos and Sword, to “Isis” (Desert Wind). This is a short song so the plan is not to repeat anything. Good luck, gals!
  3. Chorus and CD, to Habibi Ya Albi (Ehab Tawfiq). But this time when the advanced dancers go out to dance together as Center Dancers, all of them will go as a group. I told them to take the lead playing finger cymbals since only two dancers will be left in the Chorus Line to “bookend” the Center Dancers. We like LOUD cymbals!

Do you think it’s weird to use such a song for Tribal? We love the feeling and it makes a good finale: Habibi Ya Albi

When you only have a short time segment for Tribal, what criteria do you use when putting a music playlist together?

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and a new Sword Dancer is born!

We’re really enjoying the new Tribal Sword Combos! One of the newer PRISM Dancers, “Akila” joined us at our Hafla performance this past weekend; it was her first sword performance ever… and it was a success!

tribal sword dancers

l-r: Pixie, Kawakib, Akila, Galiyah

Sword handling and balancing skills take time to develop. Although sword dancing was never my “specialty” as a soloist, I’ve taught sword dancing before, and many of my students began using a sword in a choreography to a Desert Wind song, “ISIS”.  But – I think that the relatively quick changes of GROUP IMPROV dancing necessitates that the dancer develop her sword skills more quickly than when dancing a choreography. It may be too early to tell about that, but it’s what I suspect… Have you taught or learned by both methods? If so, what do you think?

Anyway, the dozen combos we’ve been using this spring are called the “Beginning Blade” combos. And now that we’ve used them in several performances and everything seems to be working well, I now feel free to play around with some variations… so here comes more sword fun!

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Swords with friends!

We’re putting the finishing touches on the Sword Combos!

It’s been so much fun adding this new element in our dancing. We’ve been refining the basic blade moves after class, at rehearsals, and even in a couple of shows this spring! The dozen combinations we have right now are a great start – with the lead changing to add another layer of interest, they’re just enough for an entire song-length performance using swords.

Refining tribal moves takes some time because there are so many transitions, they all have to be clean and clear; and the only way to really work them out is in real time, with real dancers (and swords!).

Meanwhile I had some time to create a teaser video clip from our latest show, at the local multicultural fair. Enjoy!

Video intro: Tribal Sword Combos

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