Taktaba Episode 2: Long-Term Repetition
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(Mar 12, 2009)
Welcome to Taktaba, the video podcast on dance composition for belly dancers. Dance can be described as a combination of four themes: space, shape, time, and energy. Whether you plan your choreography in advance or improvise it, the way you use these themes defines your dance.
The Taktaba podcast takes an analytical approach to dance composition, by looking at the many different ways we can use those themes in dance. We analyze each element one-by-one, think about how audiences respond to it, and introduce exercises that explore the element, and combinations to illustrate how it can be used in your dance.
Series 1 focuses on elements of time.
This episode deals with long-term repetition. That's repetition over the course of a song or an entire routine. We'll discuss:
- maximizing intellectual satisfaction by balancing length & complexity (with graphs!)
- maximizing emotional satisfaction by balancing frequency & drama (also with graphs!)
- using theme and variation to keep repeated elements fresh and interesting
- using the structure of your music to guide your repetition
This podcast is a "low-frills" program. I shoot it myself in my home studio, and the picture and sound quality are consistent with a home movie, not a professional video shot on a sound stage. If you are picky about picture quality, you may want to preview the podcast online at taktaba.com before ordering.
This podcast is available for free online, so you don't have to buy the DVD to get it. I'm making it available for on DVD for those of you who:
- want to watch it on your DVD players, but don't want the hassle of burning it yourself
- just want to support the project. (Think of it like the tote bag you get when you make a donation to public broadcasting.)
This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.
Top customer reviews
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I'm reviewing this series as a set, having purchased episode 1 as a DVD, and viewed 2 & 3 as podcasts. In this series, Ms. Jamal answers the questions that an intermediate level and above dancer has when starting to perform in public. How do you craft an entertaining choreography? How do you "choreograph" to begin with? What moves do you decide to use? What do you do when your mind goes "blank" in front of an audience? How do you improvise?
She speaks very clearly and in easily understood terms. She describes how an audience thinks, so that you know what you are trying to make them feel. She helps you learn to improvise with specific exercises that help you use your brain on your feet, as well as build in your personal "fallback" moves for those "blank out" moments. She teaches you how to use patterns and repetition to remember and create a choreography. She also shows you how to build momentum and excitement by building complexity into your dance. Throughout, she uses easy to follow demonstrations and drills to further communicate her point and give you material to use. EXACTLY what I wanted, and material that I can use for months or years to come. The price is also very reasonable, considering how much practical use I can put this set to. MUCH better investment than several more expensive videos I've purchased. I say this even considering that I did have a minor inconvenience with how the episode 1 DVD played in my DVD player, as well as considering that the production quality of this set is not outstanding (as is clearly noted in the product description).
Ms. Jamal herself comes across as natural, very graceful, warm, and down to earth. She is a pleasure to watch and to listen to. She is not unbelievably thin either, but has a full and beautifully proportioned frame, which is such a treat nowadays when every tabloid is either flashing celebrities' "bikini hot" bodies or tearing them to shreds for the slightest deviation from "digitally enhanced perfection". Ah, but I digress. Ms. Jamal is beautiful and dances with warmth, grace, and joy, a perfect example to aspire to. I certainly hope to see more of her teaching. She has a gift.