Dancing to Live Taksim Online Series
Dancing to taksim, an improvised solo by a melodic instrument, can be both blissful and tricky!
And I bet that those of us who practice dancing to taksim on our own are dancing to recordings (which are, by nature, always the same), rather than dancing to live, improvised (always different) music. The former is not exactly the true nature of taksim, and the latter is only available to very few of us.
The Dancing to Live Taksim series is an antidote to all of that!
It’s a chance to refine your improvisational taksim skills over the course of 4 weeks by dancing to live, improvised music that is different every time you dance in class because you have 2 instructors – a dancer AND a musician. What a rare and amazing opportunity!
With the tools, practice, and knowledge that you will gain in this 4 week series you will be well on your way to dancing a more soulful, embodied, and musically connected taksim.
Class size is limited to 10 so that you can get individualized musical attention from Meg.
What we will do in this class:
- We will run through some movement vocabulary that is useful for dancing. However this is not a technique class, so you’ll want to be already comfortable with basic belly dance moves.
- Explore concepts and structures for improvisation to help you hear and follow the nuanced flow of taksim music.
- Hear from a highly skilled musician about the musical structure of taksim.
- Learn from a musician’s standpoint about how you as a dancer can help your musician play the best possible music for you during a taksim.
This class is for dancers who:
- Want to more deeply explore the musicality and movement of taxim.
- Want to hone their improvisation skills.
- Want to deepen their understanding of taksim music
- Want to be more in the flow with themselves and the music as they dance
- Already have an established belly dance movement vocabulary, as well as some comfort with choosing what move comes after another, i.e. for dancers who have basic improvisational dance skills as a minimum
This class is NOT for dancers who:
- Are looking to learn moves and choreography.
- Want to be told exactly what to do at every stage of the music.
- Are not already comfortable with basic belly dance movement and putting one move after the next on their own
Meet Your Instructors
I am a seasoned musicologist, performer, and band leader in global folk music styles for 30 years.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Clarinet performance and I study music extensively in Turkey and India.
I am known for my world music playing and productions including Tarab Retreat, performing in Denver Center Performing Arts’s Klezmer play by Paula Vogel, Indecent, founding the Farabi Iranian Ensemble, and heading up the Eastern European style party band, Klezmerize.
I am an Athena Project Artist in Residence, and I join Hal Aqua at Dazzle Jazz and the Mizel Museum/Mercury Cafe Denver KlezFests. I love sitting in with Gora Gora Orkestar and Hadgaba Balkan Band!
Community Outreach include Denver Sister Cities and Denver Spring Institute events, Musical Ambassadors of Peace Benefit Concerts, playing for Colorado Senate sessions, Yo Yo Ma’s 2018 Colorado Tour, Roshni Denver and the Boulder Balkan Bash.
Music and dance build bridges from the past to the future by basking in the present.
I have always loved the improvisational aspect of belly dance. When I first began belly dancing in 1990, I had the fabulous opportunity to perform frequently with live music, sometimes never having met the musicians playing for me, or even having heard their music. I found this a delightful challenge, and to this day I continue to revel in the magic that can be spontaneously co-created between musicians and dancers. The only belly dance contest that I ever entered was an improvisation contest with live music, and I won first place. And improvisation is what taksim is all about.
Here’s a short chat between Meg and Annya about the Dancing to Live Taksim series:
Class Details and Registration
- Next dates to be announced
- 6 – 7 PM US Mountain Time (GMT -7/- 6)
- Online via Zoom
- $75 for 4 weeks
- Please sign up at least 1 hour before the first class starts so that you have time to get your Zoom link before class.
- If finances are a hardship at this time, contact me to make other arrangements: annyaish(at)Annya-Ishtara-Dance(dot)com. *Be sure to fill in the punctuation to make this a valid email address.
Together, you presented a very fine experience in the study of taxim, (solo improvisation), both technically from a dancer’s perspective, and musically from a musician’s perspective, in this case, a musician who genuinely enjoys “partering” with dancers during the taxim! I very much appreciated Meg’s laying out of the musical structure of the taxim and taking us on her various “journeys.”
I definitely feel more comfortable with structured dance class format and struggle with free-form improvisation. While zooming is not my preferred mode of class, it did enable a certain level of not being concerned with things like looking silly and feeling weird while trying improvisational movement. I liked that a lot and felt like it was easier to connect with Meg’s wonderful playing.
I was somewhat surprised that it became easier over the course of a couple sessions to shut down the critical mind and allow myself to move freely with the music, I usually only have that experience in brief stints.
Annya is a fantastic teacher that I have been privileged to learn from for many years now. She has great instincts for where people are at, and she is very clear in her explanations of concepts of belly dance that can be subtle and sometimes more abstract. She is a very “clean” dancer, in that her movements are concise and easy to follow. Annya is well-studied and it shows!
Meg, besides being a beautifully gifted clarinet player, is very skilled at playing for dancers for a co-created experience. She also has clearly studied all aspects of her craft and explains concepts very well.
Meg and Annya make a great team, in performance as well as teaching.
I am grateful for the experience, thanks to you both!!
I want to thank you both for offering such an amazing experience in dance and music. It is hard to express the joy and excitement that I experienced being in your class. The instructions Annya offered combined with the live music from Meg created an environment easy to absorb and learn new material. I felt free to experiment with new movements in my body that Annya taught and Meg made it feel comfortable and right with her playing. The combination increased my mental and physical understanding of Taksim. A unique experience. Thank you, and I hope you offer another class similar to this. I felt connected, from the privacy of my home.
For answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Belly Dance (FAQ’s), click here.