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Thread: The little heard from 6/8...




  1. #1
    Mega BHUZzer Doozer's Avatar
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    The little heard from 6/8...

    Now that I've grown up as a dancer considerably and the dance and music has more importance than costumes, I'd love to know about the movement vocabulary for 6/8's. I know one move that's appropriate for that rhythm, what my first bellydance teacher called 'swivel hips' or what you all might know of as the 'washing machine.' I know, pathetic.

    Bhuz is such an amazing resource for dance information so that's why I posted here. Plus my teacher doesn't answer her phone on weekends. ..l;,

    What are your favorite songs? Videos? Is this a 'no prop' dance? Is it a traditional 'cane' rhythm?

    If someone could be so kind as to give me a clue I'd be grateful!


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    Ultimate BHUZzer ssipes's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    Well, there are more than one 6/8 rhythms that get used in Middle Eastern music. Some are Moroccan, Andalusian, or Persian.

    The songs that I am most familiar with that use 6/8 rhythms are classical Egyptian pieces from the Golden Age. The composers at this time often brought in obscure, old, foreign, etc. elements including rhythms and time signatures. Inevitably, these pieces are not 6/8 throughout, but rather include some 6/8 as one of several rhythms transitioned to.

    Off the top of my head, golden age Egyptian pieces/songs that have 6/8 sections include:

    We Daret El Ayam (Mohammed Abdel Wahab)
    Leylet Hob (Mohammed Abdel Wahab)
    Balesh Teposni (Abdel Halim Haifez)
    Al Rabia (Farid al ATrashe)
    El Hob Kollu (Baligh Hamdi)

    Also, it shows up quite frequently in oriental intro pieces.

    I don't do special steps, I just modify the timing of other steps.

    In the context I'm familiar with (Egyptian golden age music) I'm generally not using a prop of any kind.


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    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Zumarrad's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    To me the time signature has a swinging, waltz like (3/4) feeling. You'll find little chasse steps are good if you want to travel, and you can layer other things on top as required. The movements you'd choose would depend on what you know about the particular rhythm and dances associated with it, and also, even more so, the rest of the instrumentation.


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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    I like a backward walk with 2 little pelvic undulations (back) as the leading foot rolls from toe to heel.


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    Mega BHUZzer Doozer's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    This is great stuff!

    Anala, I think I know what you're getting at....do you alternate feet? Do you lead with your tailbone instead? So it's step, roll roll, step, roll roll....


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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    The first scoop is done as the ball of the foot accepts the weight, the second scoop is done while the heel finishes the contact with the floor. I lift the sternum up out of abdomen as the active leg swings back, so I quess you could say it is a back walk camel with an extra rapid pelvic scoop (as opposed to my terminology of roll being forward like a wheel). The count is - and a one two three and a - the and a - is while the leg is the airbourne state as it steps back and the chest lifts and the one count is the ball of the foot at it contacts the floor. Thre is the heel finishing up with the extra 2nd tiny scoop. I know you have seen and more than likely done this one. It is an alternating step. I lead with the chest lift on the and a.


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    Mega BHUZzer Doozer's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    Ohhhhhh....NOW I have it. I wish I could take classes from you! It's not a step I've done very much but it's very elegant and beautifully blends into other steps. Thank you for bringing this one up, I'd forgotten.

    Ssipes, you are a fount of musical knowledge. I'm YouTubing the songs you listed so I can get a feel for them. Thank you.
    Last edited by Doozer; 09-11-2010 at 07:05 PM. Reason: Had to give credit where credit was due!


  8. #8
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. anala's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    I wish I could take classes from you!

    I wish you could too! I am cheap and easy.

    I dont think we pay enough attention to the backward moving steps as we tend to be a forward driving species.


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    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Zumarrad's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    I always forget about that little backwards undulation... it's lovely.


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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    I agree. Backwards undulations can be delicate and juicy at the same time too, and quite unexpected. We almost always see the forward undulations, not always the back. It's like biting into a peppercorn in your salad.


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    Official BHUZzer bnwspots's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    The others here have given you good advice. If the piece has a 6/8 section, just modify the steps and really no props.

    Interjection from Drummer Hubby: if the song you are working with is all 6/8... find out what country it's from. (He plays these for me and I'm able to instantly tell they are accented differently) Here is the notation for doumbek.

    Moroccan - from Uncle Mafufo (w/heavy accent on 3 & 6)
    D d K t t K
    1 2 3 4 5 6

    Persian - from Persian 6/8 - crispyneurons
    D kTk D tktk
    1 2 3 4 5 6

    Alexandra King gave a wonderful workshop on 6/8 and all the different styles that go with the dance. Persian would not be one I'd want to tackle with out researching the rhythm and how to apply the moves. There is pantomime (putting on make up) and specific steps/moves, all with a coquettish feel and expression. I have not mastered the persian styling, and would need to really brush up on it.

    I think I've seen (what some call) a Tunisian Twist done with the Moroccan and Egyptian (with 6/8 segments). It is the double hip twist forward, while you are changing weight. Has anyone else seen this or use it this way?


  12. #12
    Mega BHUZzer Doozer's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    I think we may have been taught the Tunisian Twist with a double hip twist forward, changing weight to a 6/8 now that you mention it.

    Had no idea of the differently pedigreed 6/8's, good stuff to know Bnwspots, thanks! Now if I could just find a couple of videos that illustrate the 6/8 clearly for my unpracticed eye...


  13. #13
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    I just found a great video!

    'Mary Ellen zill solo based on 6/8 rhythms'

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48XT_Kt4Ces]YouTube - Mary Ellen Zill Solo based on 6/8 rhythms[/ame]

    Some of it I recognize, most of it I don't!


  14. #14
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. anala's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    How's this? Pretty sure this is Persian 6/8

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf0yFXY3BGM]YouTube - Persian Solo - Horacio Cifuentes[/ame]


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    Official BHUZzer bnwspots's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    Quote Originally Posted by anala View Post
    How's this? Pretty sure this is Persian 6/8

    - Persian Solo - Horacio Cifuentes
    Thanks Anala! Yep! And that is the styling sigh that I need to brush up on!


  16. #16
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    This is one of my favorite vids. He is so elegant, controlled, delicate and still has a very male vibe.


  17. #17
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    I got sucked into watching his other clips, lol.

    That Persian gave me a whole new vocabulary of arm movements to think about in regards to 6/8.


  18. #18
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    I've been looking for info on the song "Aala Aish" by Abu Bakr Salim for years. The oddly accented, waltzing cadence is very intriguing. I think it's a 6/8, but it might be a 3/4 or something else. Is this uniquely Yemeni? Anybody?

    It's here, but you'll probably have to turn off the ads running on the page to hear it clearly. ابو بكر سالم - على أيش


  19. #19
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    I can't get to it...keeps buffering too much to hear. Does anyone have an mp3? Couldn't find it on YouTube.


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    Advanced BHUZzer SandraDances's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    Golha-lovely Persian piece.

    I had a nice performance on youtube with a 6/8 section, but they took it off because of licensing issues.

    You can use most movements with 6/8, you just have to know where to break them down, where to stretch them, etc. Just play with it and you will see. Some of them are very waltz-like, as Zum said. That helps the American ear with it.


  21. #21
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    Quote Originally Posted by Doozer View Post
    I can't get to it...keeps buffering too much to hear. Does anyone have an mp3? Couldn't find it on YouTube.
    I've looked on YouTube and searched through Google, in English and in Arabic. If I had found a better option for including it, I would have used it, but the site where I first heard it is gone now. This link should spawn the standalone Real player http://www.6arab.net/listen/204374.ram, which may stream better than their embedded player. If it doesn't, PM me, and I'll send you the workaround.


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    Advanced BHUZzer Elibelinde's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    Quote Originally Posted by anala View Post
    I like a backward walk with 2 little pelvic undulations (back) as the leading foot rolls from toe to heel.
    You probably know this already, there's a cool way to transition into the back undulations, and it forms a rhythm transition as well:

    Walking forward, step down left, half circle forward, step down right, half circle forward, etc then when you want to go backwards segue into the double back undulation.

    For some reason a lot of people have trouble with the half circle step but it's really just half a hip circle, it also looks incredible from the back.


  23. #23
    Advanced BHUZzer Elibelinde's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    Other ideas for 6/8: try, heel toe toe, 1-2-3 1-2-3, as you come down on the heel the hip drops, etc - going from heel to toes - let the hip ride up and down, it's a beautiful step.

    This can be done with a running shimmy, and/or a hip twist and also with a "flamenco" upper body; (6/8's or 12/16's) are part of the "Andalusian" rhythm vocabulary too so this styling makes sense. Also you can turn on the step.

    Plus, 6/8's are kind of a natural for various forms of 3/4 shimmies, except that instead of doing a 3 count shimmy to a four count measure which would be one-HOLD two three, two HOLD two three which counts to 3 hip beats on a 4 beat measure.

    With the 6/8 you are actually just going tok tok tok/tok tok tok etc, 1-2-3-4-5-6 - emphasis on the 1 and the 4.

    I usually start quick and up DOWN two three DOWN two three, so forth, with footwork as desired, ie scissors steps so forth (trying not to fall down as usual)...l;,

    There is a LOT of 6/8 music in the Andalusian genre ie North African as well as Flamenco.


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    Mega BHUZzer Doozer's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    I wish I could SEE these movements. Is the hip circle on the first one vertical or horizontal?


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    Advanced BHUZzer Elibelinde's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    Quote Originally Posted by Doozer View Post
    I wish I could SEE these movements. Is the hip circle on the first one vertical or horizontal?
    The hip circle is horizontal. Think of yourself as drawing a half moon on the floor with your hips.

    I will see if I can film this for you in the next few days. We finally got a digital video camera and we don't know how to use it but we are gonna find out...l;,


  26. #26
    Mega BHUZzer Doozer's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    He ha....I'm a visual/tactile person so it would help very much.

    I tried listening to the music but my computer doesn't have the correct codec, whatever that is. I'm switching machines so maybe that will work.


  27. #27
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    Nope...didn't work.


  28. #28
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    Doozer, does this site work for you? Abu Bakr Salim on MyDiwan
    Estela_bellydancer likes this.


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    Mega BHUZzer Estela_bellydancer's Avatar
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    i would love to see more 6/8 in accion :)


  30. #30
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    Re: The little heard from 6/8...

    Oooooh, very cool....I love it! NOW those movements Anala and Elibelinde are making more sense. It is much easier to envision them now that I can listen to a song with a consistent 6/8 rhythm. Now I need to learn Arabic so I can navigate that website. Tourbeu, you're my hero!


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