Spring 2018 Khoreography Class Descriptions

Karavan Studio | GBDAC 2016 | Come Dance With Us
Karavan Spring Semester 2018
Music Sample Mix

Click here for a sample of the music that will be used in the choreography classes at Karavan Studio (San Antonio, Texas) beginning January 2018. 
0:00 Balady Nahuand
0:35 Hola - Yallah!
1:34 Sounds of a Miguel Drum Solo (from a previous drum solo - new one still being created)
2:19 Andah Alaik

“Balady Nahuand” – by Gaston Chaade

Mondays with Karen at 7:15pm
Music length:  5:29

                 Sexy, sassy, funky, jazzy - a TRULY unique balady.  I hear it at all of the big events - sometimes to multiple performances!      Balady is the style.  Nahuand is the scale (or maqam) in which it is played.

          The challenge, of course, will be the inherent lack of symmetry in this style of music and what that does to a choreography that might make it a bit trickier to learn and retain.  These same characteristics call for a few pockets of improvisation.
             So this will be an advanced choreography - level 4/5 on a scale of 1 to 5.

"Miguel Drum Solo 2018" – by Miguel Crespo

Tuesdays with Karen at 6:00 pm
Music length: TBD

                Any time a drum solo is on the schedule, everyone who takes it gets stronger!  Any time a "Miguel Crespo" drum solo is on the schedule, everyone's ability to recognize standard rhythms, recognize irregular rhythms, and recognize subtle variations in drum patterns gets LOTS better.  Their timing and listening skills also improve!

               And THEN they get to perform the choreography with Miguel playing LIVE for them at the GBDAC show.  So - like the Balady Nahuand choreography offered this semester - this drum solo will have pockets of improvisation/personal choreography.  And an appropriate discussion will take place about what characteristics to consider when creating those personal pockets.  MUCH to be learned in this class.

               Level 3-4 in difficulty until Miguel plays it live and fast!  Then it's a level 4-5!  :-)

“Hola - Yallah!”  - by Georges Lammam and Gabriel Navia

Wednesdays with Karen at 6:00 pm
Fridays with Karen at Noon
music length:  7:36 (don't be scared - taksims take time!)

               From Georges Lammam's latest CD: Opus Omnia.  This seemed like the PERFECT piece of music to use for San Antonio's Tricentennial year!  :-)

               With a distinctly light, lyrical quality - this music lends itself to lots of playful traveling steps punctuated by a few strategically placed melodic accents and tamed by two beautiful solos - one from Georges and and one from Gabriel.

               With an eye toward GBDAC, this piece in performance will have it all:  1) a video component - filmed at a cool San Antonio location or two, 2) deliberate molasses moments in those taksims, and 3) the LIVE music of Georges and Gabriel at the show!

Level 2-3 in difficulty on a scale of 1 to 5.  

“Andah Alaik” - originally by Warda; this arrangement is by Ali Kurdi and Houssam Ghafour on Kollection for Karen 

Wednesdays with Karen at 7:15 pm
Music length - 7:15 

            Yep!  This is the same music from the 1991 choreography; note that I am calling it Andah Alaik 2017 because 2017 is the year when this idea occurred to me!

            Project Band is the spark for most of my new ideas these days!  In Project Band, it is common for me to suggest to dancers that they 1) use combinations that they have learned in other dances and find ways to repurpose them in other music, 2) tweak combinations that they know and like to make them work - either for new music or for THEIR bodies, and 3) find multiple ways to hear the same piece of music so that they don't get stuck in a choreography mindset when dancing to improvised music that might be presented differently than expected.

           So it's time for me to walk the talk!  I'll be doing all of those things for this dance.  This 1991 choreography from "Baby Karen Barbee" has very symmetrical, sometimes busy combinations.  What if they were less busy, but less predictable?  AND I'm giving myself the added challenge to have it blend with the original choreography so that some veterans can be folded in on the screen.

There!  If that doesn't sound fun, I don't know what does!  You'll have a chance to see this version AND the original choreo if you're online.  Serious students can compare and contrast the differences and, if nothing else, see what I mean by those suggestions that I make to the Project Band girls.  

       Level 2-3 in difficulty despite the length of the music.  I'm going to try to create/hold interest in some new ways.  :-)

“Karen, all of your students have a Gold Mine with you as their instructor. I always knew [since 1989] that you were a GOLD MINE in the making. They just don’t make them like you anymore!!”
— Mercedes

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