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DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin

Total posts: 2617
Posted:In Africa there is no drumming without dancing (and singing). It is pointless otherwise.

The concept of a drum solo is that the drummer is drumming for the dancer. Every noise you hear out of a solo drum is to enhance the dancers movements.

I've seen videos where you can't believe that the dancer and drummer haven't rehearsed. Every dance solo movement is in perfect unision with the dancer.

To translate solos to poi is difficult. To give solid jerky moves emphasis is a lot easier than to represent flow. I definitely see timing playing a central role to a Jedis dance.

To the point that even a knowledgable audience will not even realise the manipulation of rhythm by the dancer.

Like all difficult things, when done properly is shall give the impression of effortlessness and will only be apparent in a subconsious beauty conveyed subliminally.

I am trying to develop a system of drummer dancer solo interaction it may be beneficial to focus on jerky motions like stalls, wraps, grabs and throws (these could be combined with high energy body movement.

Does anybody have any experience with poi and drum
solo/interaction and have some insights? I know bellydance is full of it too...


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

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SickWithWonder


member


Total posts: 56
Posted:good drummers can drum for flow.....

good drummers can create wonderfully ambient rhythems, and build them and lull them etc etc.


i think poi/drum interaction lies much more on the drummer than the spinner, but thats just my opinion.


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BrettStar
PLATINUM Member since Oct 2004

BrettStar

old festy hand


Total posts: 765
Posted:also doing say beats of flowers to the drummers beats works very well.... good luck in your quest for your drummer smile

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Invader Xan
SILVER Member since May 2005

Invader Xan

Your friendly neighbourhood mad scientist
Location: Over the hills and far away

Total posts: 479
Posted: Written by: SickWithWonder

i think poi/drum interaction lies much more on the drummer than the spinner, but thats just my opinion.




IMHO, it takes two to tango. It's like a good guitar jam. Credit goes to neither one nor the other, but to both and their ability to cooperate.

Sometimes, you just click with people.


"Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art."
--Konstantin Stanislavisky

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ado-p
GOLD Member since May 2004

ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland

Total posts: 3882
Posted:hey dude

i know a rockin tribal bellydancer in limerick. and i've seen with my own eyes while she matched the beat with 15 drummers that she met for the first time that night. no rehearsal whatsoover.

It was spot on and i cant remember the last time i was that awestruck.

Synergy.

how bout we organise a Dancer Drummer workshop for the Limerick Juggling Convention? how bout we have ten of em for EJC smile


Love is the law.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Well, as a bellydancer, drummer and poi spinner...I agree that there is no credit.

*insert note: the term "dancer" will be used herein to describe a poi spinner as well.*

However, a good dancer and a good drummer both know the rhythms. Neither one is just winging it but can actually tell you what a Maqsum or a Saiidi is, or what the rhythm sounds like, for example.

When that happens, perfect strangers can come together and perform as if they had been working for years as a unit...and it is magical and sublime.

There is a "conversation" that happens between the two as well...the drummer and the dancer. With the eyes, the smiles, a nod, a gesture both know where the other is going.

A drummer also knows to hold a rhythm for a span before shifting so that the dancer has a chance to represent it accurately. There is also a drum cue that comes with the change in each rhythm...a warning so to speak.

I know I have movements I prefer to certain rhythms as well..both for poi and dance. When I hear that rhythm, I fall into that move. Which means that it will never matter who is playing it...I can do this, this and this on the beats or arhythmically. Having this repetoire really helps the improv process. It's like having an ace in your back pocket...you just *know* it will work.

Drum solos are not intended just to make the dancer look good at all. A lone drummer can do amazing things. I have been blown away by several. Culturally speaking a lone drummer, a master, is/was revered in many cultures as being closer to the divine and able to channel that. When paired up with a dancer they are to create a duet, a musical interlude of a different nature. Where the drummer plays, the dancer knows and becomes the physical representation of the music. When accomplished it is quite stunning.

They are, mistakenly, most commonly done with hard rhythms, although arhythmic moves are quite lovely and powerful in them as well. Sharp and hard should be used as accents, not as the primary focus.

Knowing your rhythms is paramount to making this work however, as a drummer, spinner and dancer.

Oooooh...now that's a workshop I'd love to teach wink I teach drum solo for bellydance, but possibly will add one in for poi now to, since I have done it. I just never thought of teaching it. Thanks for the idea ado-p! biggrin


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost

Total posts: 1247
Posted:Now that is one workshop I would love to attend... !!!!

Sounds brilliant. I think my knowledge- or lack thereof- of the traditional rhythms and music is probably my biggest weakness in belly dance. Poi too really, can do alot with my feet and body as I spin, but cant seem to get the poi movements actually to fit with any particular music at any given point. Would love to have the opportunity to work on it!


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin

Total posts: 2617
Posted:SickWithWonder - without a system or pre-rehersal, interaction is highly reliant on the drummer... They need to anticipate and react quickly. meditate

Invader Xan - It does indeed take 2 to tango. In Africa a good dancer will challenge the drumer and 2 way dialogue would ensue... each working with and for the other... in the case of poi, i can't see this being possible unless the poi dancer is highly skilled at working with a soloist... The poi artist would need to understand rhythms very well and have a series of connections between "solo phrases" and moves already understood in their brain... (see Cole's future polyrhythm thread). Which is what I'm trying to get my head around at the minute... :hehe

Ado - it indeed sounds like she is wise in the way! smile Was is Darbuka etc, she was dancing too?

Aoife was going to do a percussion workshop at EJC but has since decided against it...

I think that we would only need 1 good drummer to draw value from a workshop though I suggest that unless someone has worked widely with this from a poi perspective shows up or we make some progress here or at home that it's more of a workshop for next year. smile
Maybe Pele has the key?

Pele - Belly dance itself is closely associated with poi these days so are the techniques transferable when do belly-dance-poi? Can traditional dances (and their rhythms) be transfered to poi?

It is the same in African drumming that certain dances would go with certain rhythms. Both drummer and dancer, know what the other is at. There are also traditional solos, which are played over a rhythm with corresponding dance... And then there are free style solo dances where the drummers solo is improvised from what the dancer does and also visa versa... this is try spontaineaous dialogue...

I acknowledge that a great drum soloist can raise the energy and magic of a rhythm. However drumming is for dancing, in west africa anyway.There are only recently recordings of drumming available in west africa because to dance traditional dances requires live drummers.

My main point is that most western people don't realise this and certainly don't associate a flashy solo with a dance. Traditional solos are for traditional dances but sadly most of what we see is flashy drumming...and that's what impresses us.

Ques, calls, nods, winks and signalling are definitely important for dialogue.

Yes hard and sharp should be used as accents, which is what I mean by highly visual connection to drum, like wraps and high speed stalls.

Repetoire is indeed important for the drum-wise poi dancer...in fact it is also probably the easiest place to start. A pre-learnt choreography with a specific drum solo.

I'll throw some ideas I've been having out shortly once I have 'em written down...


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:I live with an African drummer and a dance teacher. I have drummed lots for belly dancers. I am coming to Limerick. This is an interesting thread. I love to DJ for spinners. I am tired and going to bed.
drrrrrbkbkka dum dum etc


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted: Written by: DeepSoulSheep


I think that we would only need 1 good drummer to draw value from a workshop though I suggest that unless someone has worked widely with this from a poi perspective shows up or we make some progress here or at home that it's more of a workshop for next year. smile
Maybe Pele has the key?

Pele - Belly dance itself is closely associated with poi these days so are the techniques transferable when do belly-dance-poi? Can traditional dances (and their rhythms) be transfered to poi?

It is the same in African drumming that certain dances would go with certain rhythms. Both drummer and dancer, know what the other is at. There are also traditional solos, which are played over a rhythm with corresponding dance... And then there are free style solo dances where the drummers solo is improvised from what the dancer does and also visa versa... this is try spontaineaous dialogue...

I acknowledge that a great drum soloist can raise the energy and magic of a rhythm. However drumming is for dancing, in west africa anyway.There are only recently recordings of drumming available in west africa because to dance traditional dances requires live drummers.

My main point is that most western people don't realise this and certainly don't associate a flashy solo with a dance. Traditional solos are for traditional dances but sadly most of what we see is flashy drumming...and that's what impresses us.

Repetoire is indeed important for the drum-wise poi dancer...in fact it is also probably the easiest place to start. A pre-learnt choreography with a specific drum solo.



hokay...what key am I spota have? Uh-oh...I think I lost it. wink

Anyway (for anyone else following this), when speaking of "traditional African" most people of western culture are honestly speaking of traditions from Ghana and West Africa. For example, dances such as Kpanlogo are easily translated to poi, though because of the speed need to practiced alot. The drum sequences in the Kpanlogo are easily extracted for bits in solos. However, Nubian dance from Africa is also a blend of conversation of drum and dance. Just as it is in traditional bellydance (from all areas) and even in hula.

A "choreography" need not be made necessarily.
For example, I know that a switching side spin with a fast bfly to a bth bfly to a fast bfly fits perfectly into a Beledi rhythm. I also know with that my body with go r then l then low then high. It creates a full dynamic. Then whenever I hear a Beledi, I can use that if I don't have something else. If I do this for Masmoudi, Saidii, Maqsum, Maqam, and Karatchi rhythms then I can take those and put them together in any order I, or the drummer choose. Thus creating improv.

Now, with alot of Hula and African drum/dance there is a distinctive call-answer between the drummer and dance...however, it is generally still within the structure of that music. The dancer enters a "holding space" while the drummer speaks and the drummer repeats himself while the dancer goes. This is the same for poi...or any art with dance and drum, and is even translating more and more into ME dance.

The break down is very organic. If you can do one, you can most definately do the other without much shift in mentality at all.

Did that make sense?


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:does to me cos I know the rhythms smile

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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MadDogMike


member
Location: California

Total posts: 29
Posted:I know you're talking about live drummers, but some of us have to settle for recorded background music smile What about Japanese Taiko drumming? I like the "martial arts" feel about it. With a inexpensive sound editor you can combine and rearrange sections to get exactly what you want .

"Better to burn out than it is to rust" - Neil Young

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Taiko is something we have used maybe the past year, relying on cd's for it. Right now I am very passionate about some of the Taiko pieces in Dralion. "Bamboo" is most lovely.

Sodaiko is also a great group to look for Taiko.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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jeffhigh
GOLD Member since Oct 2005

Member
Location: Caves Beach, NSW

Total posts: 89
Posted:Just did my first public fire poi performance last night and had a friend playing Djembe to accompany me. We had not rehearsed together (Though we have drummed together for Years)
I could not believe how pumped and inspired the drumming made me feel.
It just enabled my movement to be so much less inhibited and fluid than when practicing by myself, got my breath and heartrate up. wow


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Posted:Pele, most agreed, taiko is one amazing tribal rhythm. There are something about drums that drive me wild out and hyper. Each thump will beat to your chest... Jesus, ive got atleast 18 taiko songs on my Itunes and about 26 meditation/japanese flute oriental kind of songs. Gets you in the zone when you are out of your mind... It kind of lets you escape certain places, and even for a split moment be invincable by all wrong doing and worries.

"I don't know what you are talking about"

"Cardinal!!! Poke her... with the SOFT CUSIONS!!!!"

"Its not working my lord!"

"Have you got all of the stuffing on one end?!"

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