SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2008

9:00-11:00 am RM 203C - KAJIRA DJOUMAHNA, Hawaii
"Fun and Easy Hand Percussion and Dance Steps sfor Traditional and Alternative Styles of Belly Dance."
Type of Class: Learning how to play Kashiklar and Cymbals in an incredibly easy manner! Skill Level: Open to All Skill Levels and Dance Style Preferences
Kajira’s method of teaching finger cymbals is fun, easy, musically correct and very informative. You will come away with handouts of several standard Middle Eastern patterns for both fast and slow music as well as a few interchangeable patterns that will fit *any* 4/4 and 8/4 rhythms common not only in traditional Middle Eastern music but also useful for today’s popular World Fusion music. You will then be broken into groups, each playing a different pattern, so you can hear how they all fit together, demystifying cymbal transistions so they're as easy for you as your dance step transitions are!
We will spend a few minutes learning to identify what rhythmic pattern you are hearing and how to feel/find the “one” within almost any time signature, and what "those numbers" mean in time signatures. You will leave with full understanding of "downbeats," "upbeats" and the other 2 parts in between them in one count, so your playing can become more fun for you as your confidence grows *and* more interesting for your audience. Live bands will love you, too!

Included in our time together will be learning to play kashiklar (Turkish wooden spoons used for dance for centuries), which in some cases sound *much better* than the metal zillar/sagat/cymbals when using Gothic, World Fusion, Asian Underground, World Beat and other popular music used for ATS, Tribal, World and other Fusion BellyDance Styles. Just because you like the modern sound doesn’t mean you must “hang up your zills” and step further outside the realm of BellyDance. Quite the contrary!

We will not spend the majority of our time sitting down. As dancers, we must learn to find the beat and to play our instruments while actually moving so their oneness with our steps and music we choose can be felt, and the mystery of how it all fits together dispelled. In this class we will work with both Traditional Middle Eastern music and Non-Traditional "Alternative" music, using medium fast and slow moves as appropriate. (Yes, you *can* play to slow rhythms without overpowering the music! I'll show you how, no matter what styles of BellyDance you prefer and whether you love dancing in groups or as a soloist.)

Besides all that, you will of course learn the 3 basic sounds made on cymbals and how to vary them for accenting patterns, close audiences or quiet music. And, you will be given a few helpful ideas for “no excuse” practicing, whether you live in an apartment or have animal companions whose ears are bothered by the high notes we can’t hear.
If time allows, we will also talk briefly about the history of cymbals, rocks and wooden instruments played with the hands in dance and how these instruments predate all of the world’s major religions, going back to the time of Isis and Cybele worship and before. Walk away with a smile lit by understanding and the knowing that you have gained invaluable insight into the Art of BellyDance’s hand percussion!
Bring your finger cymbals and any other hand percussion "discoveries" you enjoy to share with the class. You may also bring "mystery music" you love but are having trouble with, as if time allows, I'll try to help you find the one in it or any other question you have about it. I will bring several sets of kashiklar to borrow in class and will have some to sell, as well as a few sets of cymbals. If you know ahead of time that you'd like to purchase kashiklar, please let me know so I can try to accomodate everyone's needs. I know these instruments are hard to find, but well worth the trouble! Feel free to contact me about them, or any other questions you have about the class: 808.891.8891 (24 hours except between Sept. 10-30.)