Middle Eastern Dance Props
As a Belly dancer any performance can be enhanced with a prop. There are many to choose from and each prop requires a certain technique and musicality. Just to mention a few there is the Veils, Zills(Finger Zimbals), Canes, Seneeya(Trays), and Shamadan(Candelabra). Now in the American Belly Dance new props have been acquired due to the Raqs fusion those are the Isis wings, fans and fan veils, snakes, balancing and dancing with other items. Today I will focus on the middle Eastern Props.
Gained its popularity during the 1940’s. The veil usually used as an entrance piece became fairly standard in Egypt. Using the veils evolved even un more complex styles like the double veil which was popular in the 1970’s when bellydance was experiencing a surge of interest and popularity in the US.
Also known as finger cymbals originated in 200 B.C. with wooden or ivory sticks used by dancers during celebrations. The Greeks introduced metal finger instruments that became finely tuned by Arabs. There are different patterns to play the Zills you have to keep a certain beat kind of like going with the music. The most common pattern is the 123 count but don’t worry we will get into it in a later post.
Also known as Raks Asaya the origin of this folkloric dance is Southern Egypt between Gizeh and Edfu. It is performed in Egypt at celebrations and festivals. The male version of this dance Tahtib, referring to a stick dance or martial art, is thought to have survived from the times of the pharaohs. Paintings on the walls of momunents, tombs, and temples showed this dance.
Balancing things on ones head has been a traditional part of daily life for women throughout North Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and South West Asia. For this reason various folk dances have evolved that showcase a persons skill at balancing or present this part of daily life through dance or entertainment. Seeneya developed in Morocco. piece done in a full Bellydance bedlah and in a Raqs Sharqi style and context.
A “candle dance” traditionally performed in Egypt during weddings. The name comes from the candelabra worn on the head.
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