I am finally incorporating finger cymbals into my routine. Ive been working on it for the past few weeks. Its a simple Rhythm – Saidi beat – Doum Tak Doum Doum Tak.
I picked a song with a background Saidi beat. This song is easy to dance to, cos i can take breaks in between. Finger Cymbals if played non stop can be annoying to audience. So its important to take breaks in between. So we can retain its beauty.
I am currently exploring Michelle Joyce Dvd – killer zills. And so far i like what i see there. I was wondering to myself when id incorporate zills. I decided to not wait any longer and proceed with it. As performances happen, the zills will naturally pick up.
Interesting information about finger cymbals.
Finger cymbals were not only part of oriental dance. But also evident in other form of dances. Like spanish castanets, they are also used part of indian bajan music. Music and dance has alot to do with beliefs and religious practices. In the past, pagans believed in driving away spirits or bad auras. They could use smudge sticks, wash the area with salt and water, or using sounds. They would clap to clear the bad aura. And sometimes the sounds from finger instruments such as castanets or zills. The more sounds they create, the better is for the home apparently.
Though it came from middleast and called different names in different places – Zills – Turkey. Sagat – Egypt. Finger cymbals in English. They are all pretty much the same thing – the shape design and tone varies across the countries.
I won’t go into much technicalities of zill playing. But zill playing was used alot for religious practises. Dances in the past were rooted to religion. Just like Bajan instruments used in india. Today, it is used to gauge a dancer’s skill. It sure takes alot of practise, and definitely skill to play music and dance at the same time. Zills was another thing in belly dance that drew me towards it.
Voice Shimmy is another thing we hear throughout belly dance hafla. Where they use the tongue to produce a sound. It is usually done with the hand covering the mouth. It is said that if you do not cover the mouth – evil spirits will go into you. Whereas in india, during religious practises – In tamil nadu. People do the same voice shimmy called Kulavi but without covering their mouths. It is the same sound.
Other props such as candles and snakes are also linked to religious practises. Pagan worshippers are basically nature worshippers – they are not evil witches on broom sticks with black cauldrons. Belly dance is an earthy artform just like BharatNatyam. Your feet comes in contact with the earth. In Bharatnatyam before every performance, one touches the earth in respect and prayer. The feet stamping the earth is considered a form of worship. In belly dance it is almost the same thing, except they pray to female godesses.
This does not mean, that belly dance is worshipping. Its simply touching the feminine goddess within you.
Id catch you on my next post. Id keep this blog updated with more interesting material.