On Tribe, a fellow dancer shared a wonderful link to spark a discussion about how you learn and/or teach musicality in bellydance. It ties into yet another Tribe discussion on the Tribal Bellydance tribe where a fellow member asked about whether you “count” or “feel” the music, which this article also addresses. The article is about salsa, but the concepts apply, and offers good food for thought, so I thought I would share!
Here is a snippet:
“To the many who try to downplay the use of counting music, consider for a moment our beloved salsa music that we yearn to dance to. Those musicians count their music. In the words of “The Unlikely Salsero” Don Baarns, “Music ain’t random.” It has structure. No matter how dynamic or unconventional a song is, it has structure. The count is the structure of this music. A band has to count its music the same so that each member can be on the same page, or else musical chaos ensues. When each band member is playing his or her role and instrument, doing something different from one another that still somehow gels together into the beautiful sounds we hear, the count is the common ground that they all return to. I dare anyone to try to convince a legitimate musician or band not to count because it’s not important. The members of the band cannot simply “feel” the music. Each band member thinks differently and has a different personality, and therefore will not feel or interpret the music the same as the next. If each member only relied on his or her “feeling”, the song would be an un-danceable mess. This is no different for us in this partner dance we call salsa. If you are dancing with another person, you are dealing with another mind, another personality that will not feel the music the same way that you do, not to mention the fact that person is of the opposite gender (but that’s another story). The count is there so that you both will be able to be on the same page, the same way that the members of a band would. If the musicians that produce the music we dance to feel that counting is important, why shouldn’t we?”
DanceNerdsUnite also has a post about musicality that I really enjoyed reading.
“Musical dancers, on the other hand, never disregard the music to fit in more tricks. “You can see the effort in a nonmusical dancer—they are often step-driven,” says NYC ballet teacher Deborah Wingert. “Musical dancers don’t just turn until they stop. They turn until they have to move on to the next point in the music. Musical dancers never get so caught up in steps that they ignore the music.””