151 pages, 8.5×11 paperback
The Fundamental Movement Vocabulary of Raqs Sharqi is a fully illustrated record of dance technique intended for reference purposes for the study of Egyptian Raqs Sharqi. With over 50 years of research and experience, Morocco (C. Varga Dinicu), has worked to bring Raqs Sharqi from “over there” to all audiences and students around the world. This book is the result of over five decades of diligent research, and education in the fields of kinesiology and Raqs Sharqi. The perfect barre, using almost its entire movement vocabulary. In addition,it is kinesiologically designed to go from the larger, more external muscles to the smaller, more internal ones. While this book is not intended to replace live instruction, it makes the perfect mnemonic supplement to one.
SOME WORDS OF ADVICE AND EXPLANATION by MOROCCO
These movements are the “letters”, the choreographic phrases are the “words”, the dance is the poem – the picture and the arms are the frame: one whole, not isolated or disconnected parts. Breathing is slow and even.
Raqs Sharqi is like water. One move flows into the other, with no emphasis unless the musician or singer makes one, in which case we follow. Because we want to do it perfectly, we tend to over analyze and incorrectly overdo.
Raqs Sharqi is a social folk dance, done mostly to show happiness and the beauty of the music. It is not a gymnastics contest – “bigger, harder, faster, stronger” are not the goals.
I show the beginning/ neutral position in this syllabus over and over because every movement starts from a neutral position – never with any hip “up” or “down”. A foot might be on the ball, making it look as if a hip is “lifted”, but it is not …
Movements won’t feel how one thinks they should or the way they look and they are not done by “feel”: you “put” the hip (or other part) where it should be. These movements are based on real muscles moving in the natural directions of their striations and not, like ballet and other “artificial” dance forms, working against nature, so they often feel much smaller than they are or appear to you to be.
To “feel” it, you’d have to make the movement too big and it would be incorrect. You also do not “hit”, “pop” or “lock” – even thinking of those words triggers incorrect tensing impulses and negatively impacts on the movements and the body.
When done correctly, the slight movement of the body in the direction you are moving automatically/ naturally puts the hip (or other part) back in the position where it needs to be.
To quote La Meri: “We train our body so it does not get in the way of expressing our soul.”
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*Outside of the USA, postage is too expensive, so I recommend getting it directly from Amazon, which has local printers/ distributors &, therefore, lower postage charges.