mom, Serena, is a world class dancer, originator of the
Serena technique of Belly dance, and founder of one of America's
most prestigious schools of Belly dance. She is pictured on
the cover of "Efendi."
is also an interactive production containing movie and dance
class clips for Mac or PC, featuring Scott playing the Baglama
Hydra, Serena in a nightclub performance, and a performance
by Sahara. These movie clips are a priceless documentary
providing a rare opportunity to see Serena in performance at
a New York nightclub; her dance is reminiscent of the nightclub
shows in Egypt, Turkey, and documentary black and white performances
of famous Egyptian dancers in the 40s and 50s.
two Belly dance routines on this CD:
Dance Routine #1 begins with
1. "Hedi Lou" is an Arabic 4/4/ beledi featuring
George Stathos on Clarinet, Raquy Danziger on Dumbek, and Scott
Wilson doing vocals, oud, kanun, and bass. "Hedi Lou"
is a melodic beledi of moderate tempo that would be good for
teaching dancers the art of performing with beledy rhythm, incorporating
the flowing movement and accents that should accompany the clarinet
solo. Next is an oud taxim by Scott that transitions to
full band with vocals. This piece may provide teachers
an excellent opportunity to teach performance elements that
could end with a nice spin and pose.
next piece is "Bir Dimet" a Turkish
4/4 Bolero, featuring Souren Baronian's soulful clarinet.
Dancers often use this tune for a flowing veil dance.
The vocal duet in harmony adds rare beauty and its vocalists
use their voices dynamically. Souren's clarinet solo
is perfect for taxim undulations. Scott takes a turn
playing the oud and the kanun for two more taxim sections
challenge even an expert dancer to perform undulations with
layered shimmies and movements with phrasing that lilts.
with the dumbek, "Shiseler" is
a very popular, moderately fast, 4/4 Turkish tune with a melodic
and sprightly clarinet by Souren Baronian. Teachers
could possibly use this piece to teach students to listen
phrasing and to explain how choreography should be made to
match the phrasing (you will hear the perfect musical phrase
for turns). Then Souren plays a jazz-similar clarinet
taxim, which might be used for performing layered undulations
4."Chifti-Telli" is the name of this next Arabic
taxim piece played with the rhythm "chifetelli" that
displays the typical solo and duet taxims of oud and kanun.
Scott Wilson plays a thrilling kanun solo that is capable of
driving a dancer to ecstasy as she matches the dynamics of the
kanun trills with her own shimmies over undulations.
5. "Aynaya Baktim" is a Turkish 4/4 that features
George Strathos on clarinet with Raquy Danziger and Scott Wilson
singing and playing dumbek. "Anaya Baktim" is a
nice song for traveling steps, spins, and poses. One can
envision: undulating steps and spins that finish in poses overlaid
with shimmies. This song features a very dynamic and an
emotional clarinet solo that moves into an oud solo with exciting
syncopated accents. The piece finishes with a duet of
clarinet and oud along with a vocal accompaniment.
6. "Arabaya" is a Turkish 9/8 tomzara featuring
Souren Baronian on clarinet. I found this Tomzara to be
quite danceable with its moderate tempo. All of the dance
steps that one would normally use for a 9/8 Karshilama are contained
here but are not physically taxing with this moderate pace.
"Arabaya" is a clarinet solo that challenges the dancer
with a 9/8 taxim becoming intense as it transitions to a driving
oud section. The piece finishes with all musicians joining
the oud then drawing into a dramatic stop.
7. "Havada Bulut", is a slow piece in Turkish
6/8 rhythm with Souren Baronian on clarinet. The tune is melodic
and gently flows along. This would be a beautiful selection
to use for a distinctive veil dance because it gives the dancer
an opportunity to dance with the veil while matching the halting
nature of the piece. The selection ends with the beautiful
sound of an ocean wave that fades away.
Belly Dance Routine #2 begins with three pieces of music:
"Gezloren", "Wheyek", and Hadouni."
The 10-minute routine is lively and features a dramatic oud
and drum piece as well as a fast beledi containing a syncopated
sound. The music moves seamlessly into the second piece,
"Wheyek," that works so well as a veil dance with
the bolero rhythm. The oud solo could prompt a sensual
veil dance consisting of poses and undulations with the veil
framing the body. A beautiful vocal zaghareet introduces
the spirited third piece "Hadouni!"
Teachers will love this piece for teaching performance skills
because it is lively and has both rhythmical changes and zaghareets.
The music transitions smoothly into a taxim of oud and dumbek.
9. A drum solo begins the last section of this Belly dance
routine. The drum solo is of moderate tempo, yet is challenging
because it contains all of the usual drum solo riffs including:
hagala patterns, masmoudi, ayub, beledi, finger rolls and pops.
With a drum roll flourish, the ever-popular piece "Havanagila"
starts immediately and ends by slowing for a gorgeous finish.
"Hey Yalla" is a Turkish piece played in a bluegrass
style; it includes a 5-string banjo and autoharp in addition
to the oud and bass. "Hey Yalla" is a melodic 9/8 karsilamas
that is fun and light-hearted. A dance with this selection could
include traveling steps and small, shimmering movements and
undulations (a rare elegant performance opportunity in a karsilamas
"Erev Shel Shoshanim" is a captivating
4/4 Bolero piece. I loved the harmonious vocal duet with
singers breaking into harmony! This piece is always an
excellent tune for a spinning double-veil routine. The
piece contains an oud solo of reasonable length that would allow
a dancer to dance with her veil, then pose with it as a backdrop
or frame for back-bends and undulations.
"Aliti Mipies" is a dramatic Greek 4/4
zambekiko - a haunting, halting rhythm that begins the piece.
Raquy Danziger and Scott Wilson's vocal duet is picturesque:
I could envision two men dancing side-by-side in Greek fashion
line dancing. Danse Orientale performers might perform
elegant traveling steps with shimmies transitioning into spins
and stops timed to match the music.
"Voch Me Dzaleeg" is an Armenian 10/8 piece
that dancers can either perform a taxim with undulations that
match the 10/8 rhythm and/or perform traveling steps with undulations
and hip movements that catch this rhythm. You can hear
the down, down, up, up element of this 10/8 that is perfectly
matched to a hip drop with an upper torso undulation.
"Oglan" is a Turkish piece in a swing style and
you may want to add a 1950s swing-style to your dance movements
performed with it (for example:a quick step-together-step, into
two undulation steps). The music moves into an oud solo
with background trap drums and piano - then into an ending with
a dramatic stop.
"Ashk Doluydu" is a Turkish 4/4 disco style
piece with trap drum sound and keyboard. This piece is
a spiced up version of melodic folk dance music that contains
riffs of an electric oud sound. If you are looking for
a different sound for a student night, this is the piece to
add to make your show sizzle!
"Oud Taxim" is a Persian piece of solo oud by
Scott Wilson. If the dancer is looking for an extremely
short taxim for a performance, this piece is only 55 seconds
in length and would work well in a festival performance that
imposes a seven-minute time limit.
students, and professional dancers who appreciate Turkish, Arabic,
Armenian, and Greek musical selections in one show will thoroughly
enjoy this delightful production. It offers excellent
music that will bring out the best in your performance. Its
producer, Scott Wilson, grew up knowing how exciting music can
make all the difference to a show-stopping performance.
I think that all dancers who discover this CD will be grateful
for the opportunity it provides to extend music and performance
beyond New York City.