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Thread: Music for a quick change - your thoughts?




  1. #1
    Master BHUZzer shems's Avatar
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    Music for a quick change - your thoughts?

    So I want to throw a quick change into one of my shows, out of bedlah into baladi dress, but I want to keep the feeling of the show going.

    Have any of you tried this? If so, how quickly were you able to pull off the costume change? And what kind of music did you have playing while you were gone to keep the flow going.

    Maybe I should get somebody to join me and help me dress....:-)


  2. #2
    Advanced BHUZzer Hala Jamal's Avatar
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    Re: Music for a quick change - your thoughts?

    We did this with the troupe show last Canada Day. I did my solo in a bedlah and had 45 seconds to music to slip into my khaleegy dress and put on all the jewelry. We played 45 sec of khaleegy intro music while 3 of the dancers casually walked on stage and pretended to chat and show off their jewelry/hair/thobe to each other (to set the tone). Then the choreo music started and the remaining 3 of us entered. See it here:
    If you look closely on the R beside/behind the stage you can see the changing kufuffle.

    As a soloist, you need another performer to entertain while you change: the zill player in your band showing off (like Sayed in Yasmina of Cairo's band), a Tahtib stick twirling handsome guy, a saidi style horse costume, a taxsim musician stepping forward for his solo, a Greek man doing some show-off macho Greek kicks and drops (the drunken sailor dance is a crowd pleaser), etc.

    A short but lively piece of music could work too. Keep us posted.
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    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Music for a quick change - your thoughts?

    Would you just be pulling on the beledi dress over the other costume and tying on a hip scarf? Maybe you can rehearse the costume change and figure out the quickest way to do it. Would it be easier to start with the beledi dress on and then quickly remove it off stage and return in bedlah?

    I think upbeat music for the transition would be good. I found a 32 second intro piece on an old album (now CD) Dances for Festive Nights.
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  4. #4
    Master BHUZzer shems's Avatar
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    Re: Music for a quick change - your thoughts?

    I was hoping to quickly get out of one and into the other, neither costume is really well suited to being layered over the other, but they are good ideas.


    Thanks for the ideas (EMI is blocking the video - boo). Now to find a high kicking Greek. ;-)


  5. #5
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: Music for a quick change - your thoughts?

    You could try a first song with a long finale/fade and leave the stage early, or a second song with a long intro and come on late, but that may confuse the audience. Unlike a full nightclub show with a live band, if the dancer walks off stage and the band starts doing something else, it's obvious the show isn't over. I think it's hard to recreate that experience with recorded music, because if it's just you and you're not there, people wonder whether something went wrong that you left or if you missed your cue to come back.
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    Ultimate BHUZzer dunyah's Avatar
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    Re: Music for a quick change - your thoughts?

    If it's a stage show with an MC, the MC can cue the audience that you will be leaving and coming back mid-way through your set. You can think of something clever to say that conveys that message. Or you could recruit a student or colleague to come out with a push broom and ceremonioiusly sweep the stage while you are gone, or something. Is it a casual or more formal type of gig?
    Last edited by dunyah; 05-15-2012 at 06:57 PM.
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    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Zumarrad's Avatar
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    Re: Music for a quick change - your thoughts?

    Lacking a live band you do need minions to come on and do something while you change. I love the khaleegy idea with the dancers coming on and milling in their costumes. That is not hard to put together. A taqsim can lend itself well to theatrical milling about, stage setting IMO. I once saw (not in a BD setting) a really cool set change that was set to music - needless to say hardly anyone actually left the theatre for the intermission! It does take work, but can be done quite creatively, if you have the bodies.
    shems likes this.
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    Ultimate BHUZzer Suzana's Avatar
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    Re: Music for a quick change - your thoughts?

    Minions! You need minions! Wait -- you have them already, don't you?


  9. #9
    Master BHUZzer norma's Avatar
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    Re: Music for a quick change - your thoughts?

    The only time I've seen it done is with a live band that keeps on playing while the dancer changes Or the dancer puts on a khaleegi thobe right on the stage. Changes need to be quick too. No more than 5 minutes. If another group came on, that would work, but I don't know how practical that would be.

    An MC would be helpful.

    Otherwise, if its you just running off the stage with no other kind of back up entertainment or announcement I wouldn't do it.

    I suppose you could try an announcement built into your CD if you don't have an MC. I'd keep the music upbeat. Dina is the master of the quick changes and she dances to tapes at most workshops. I'd study her videos and see how she does it.
    Kalirah and shems like this.


  10. #10
    Master BHUZzer shems's Avatar
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    Re: Music for a quick change - your thoughts?

    Dinah is sort of what inspired me to want to pull off a quick change. There will be a DJ, but not minions, although I do have a gig buddy now to help me with the quick change. I'm going to practice, I'm hoping I can do it under a minute, but I have to keep in mind that I'll be sweaty which makes everything harder.

    It is a private party and they really seemed enamored with an assaya number I did in balady dress, but I don't want to wear the baladi dress the whole show, it just doesn't feel right for a magency, you know? So that's why I'm thinking to attempt it....

    I wonder if I were to tell the DJ if he could be a little MC in the middle...I wonder what he would say. "The dancer will be right back, so don't worry!" :-)
    dunyah and Suzana like this.


  11. #11
    Master BHUZzer norma's Avatar
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    Re: Music for a quick change - your thoughts?

    If you have a DJ it should work. After you finish the first part of your show he could say something like, "Ladies and Gentlemen, let's give the lovely belly dancer Shems a nice hand! Don't worry, she'll be right back after a quick costume change/or she'll be right back for the second half of the show."

    What songs were you using to end the first set and what song are you using for cane? I would think you would want something to bridge the two. Maybe a taqsim or chifti would be your best option. Or maybe a long mizmar as an introduction to your cane piece?

    Is the party for a birthday? Maybe the DJ could play a happy birthday song?


  12. #12
    Advanced BHUZzer Callistaangel's Avatar
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    Re: Music for a quick change - your thoughts?

    i would say have everything laid out for easy access for u to switch. the moment you are out of eyesight start poping hooks on jewelry and costumes. if u pinn your belt to skirt just undo it enough to slip out of and toss (temp). i know the last few weeks ive been bouncing between solo n troupe changes veryy quickly and im already mostly undone by the time i get to the changing area. n having an extra set of hands would be best :)

    also with your personailty im sure you could pantomine in an awesome way that wait youll be back or something silly :)


    oh and also choose acessories that are easy to get on and off even if they arent the ones you want the most


  13. #13
    Just Starting! katayoun's Avatar
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    Re: Music for a quick change - your thoughts?

    Hi Shems,
    I have started doing the quick changes in my Persian dance shows. I use a piece of very exciting music about 45 seconds to fill in while i run off and take something off and/or put something on. Really simple, but makes a much nicer/more appropriate presentation. If possible I like to use a piece that is in the same style as the next style.
    As mentioned, have everything laid out ready, make sure whoever is running the music, and anyone else involved, know what is happening and that no one messes with your stuff. If you have a helper, he/she can help you throw on (or off) what you need. It can be done, you just have to practice it. The audience will realize why you left as soon as you come back and it is a really fun surprise ;-) I really need this to work for me as I do several styles in one set that really require costume modifications so I do believe it can be done successfully in most situations/venues. We've also done this in troupe performance, of course it is much easier with a group. Hope this helps.
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