Dancers…let’s work on your introductions.

Whether you are dancing nightly at a restaurant or performing at your first student hafla, your introduction is important. As dancers, we tend to focus on our choreography, our music and our costume…yet many times we tend to leave our intro’s for the last minute. I think many of us leave it to the last minute because we have trouble writing about ourselves or our pieces – get over it. This is the first interaction with you and the audience – make it a great first impression!  I recently asked Atlanta emcee Sig Sawyer what dancers should provide in…

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Tips for Performing with a Live Band

Performing with a live band is probably one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve had as a performer. As a dancer and a musician, it’s what I live for. I’ve often joked that if someone approached me with a gig to perform with a professional Arabic band 5 nights I week, I’d drop my entire life to do it. Interaction with live musicians is an experience I hope all…

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Sheet Music Resources – UPDATED 9/29/10

Updated this post on 9/29/10 with more resources.

I’ve taken it upon myself to get musicians in Atlanta to see my point of view – that Middle Eastern music is amazing and should be played often! In doing this, I’ve also taken it upon myself to collect a large amount of classical Arabic sheet music. Here is a list of sheet music resources that I’ve found to be very helpful:

http://www.angelfire.com/music4/bilbilau/sheetmusic.htm – UPDATED 9/29/10 Great resource for Balkan, Turkish, and SCA-type music

http://www.istanpitta.com/cds_books/
– UPDATED 9/29/10 Avatar’s Early Music Books. His arrangements are…

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Now Accepting Students for Private Sessions


I’m not currently offering weekly classes, but I would like to extend the opportunity for students to schedule private sessions with me. First lesson includes a 30 minute dance consultation – let’s figure out what you want to do and how you want to do it – and then we’ll dive into your hour session.

These sessions will help you get on the right track for your dance aspirations. I don’t teach…

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Sheet Music Craziness!

I read sheet music. I was trained as a musician to read sheet music. Learning pieces by ear has been a challenge to say the least, learning Middle Eastern songs by ear? HA! I need some guidelines before I can dive off that cliff. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve bought some Arabic sheet music compilation books and CD’s with sheet music files. I found these on all corners of the inter-webs and beyond. I’ll share my initial thoughts with each…

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Arabic Percussion

Last Monday two guests artists, Met’hat Mamdua and Khaled Abu Higazzi came to my Arabic music theory class class to give a lecture on Arabic percussive instruments. Mr. Met’hat is a very accomplished tabla player, who plays for Arabic singers all around Egypt – including Amr Diab! He also is involved in a Turkish band that recently played at the Sakia el Sawy this month. Mr. Khaled, who gave most of the lecture, specializes in the riqq and also performs regularly with ensembles and Arabic singers. After the lecture, which is summarized below, both musicians accompanied the class for…

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A journey into the Samaii Rhythm

On Friday, October 31st, I attended a concert at the Culture Wheel in Zamalek. The featured band was a group of musicians originally from Alexandria called the Samaii band. This concert was a showcase of songs all played in the darb Samaii, which is a 10/8 rhythm used in Middle Eastern music. The Samaii rhythm is most recognizable in the West by the Lebanese song Lamma Bada Yatathana. The concert lasted for only one and a half hours, and there were a total of 17 songs performed, with only one or two featuring a different rhythm. Below I will…

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Taxis in Cairo

Taxis in Cairo are an adventure to say the least. My friends and I use them all the time to get form place to place when we don’t feel like using the metro, or when we have missed the shuttles the school provides to Zamalek and City Stars, the local mall that is closest to us.
There are two types of taxis you can get in Cairo, a black and white cab and a yellow cab. Yellow cabs are usually a little nicer, and the drivers may speak some English. They work on a meter system, so you…

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