Thursday, January 8, 2009

Taktaba now available in low-resolution!

For your downloading convenience, Taktaba is now available in low resolution.

The regular version of the Taktaba podcast is formatted for iPods. I chose this format because it is the only one that will play on iPods, and also because when you play it on a computer monitor, the picture is large enough to follow.

However, since the podcasts are so long, the files are pretty large, and some people have had trouble downloading them. Sometimes the partially-downloaded files will still play, but have subtle problems, like out of sync audio or a truncated video (i.e., the end being missing).

So here are lower-resolution versions of the podcast, which should be easier to download. As with the full version, all podcasts are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommerical-No-Derivative-Works license. This means that you are welcome to share it in its entirety for non-commercial purposes, as long as you credit me as the creator. If you want to use it in a way that is not covered under the license, don't be shy about asking me!

This blog exists ONLY as a home for the low-res file downloads and podcast feed. Please keep an eye on the main Taktaba page for additional information and articles, or to join the discussion in the comments.

In fact, you never actually have to visit this site. You can Subscribe in iTunes (coming soon), or watch the main Taktaba page; I'll include links to the low-res versions from there as well.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Episode Three: Timing Patterns

Download Episode 3

In Episode Three, we'll explore timing patterns, which are the rhythms we create with our bodies as we dance. We'll take a look at five different patterns, how they may make your audience feel, and which musical rhythms they complement.

This episode includes:
- simple exercises to get the patterns into your body
- theme & variation exercises to explore different ways to use timing patterns
- do-it-yourself exercises to spark your creativity
- four combinations that use timing patterns
- two ways to adapt timing patterns to zils

The music featured in this episode is from Belly Dancing for Fortune and Fame.

Special thanks to Stella Grey for donating the use of this CD.

Episode Two: Long-Term Repetition

Download Episode 2 in Low Resolution

Visit the main Taktaba site for the full-resolution version, more details, or to leave comments.

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

In the process I'll be sharing:
- low-, medium-, and high-complexity combinations
- several ideas for medium- and high-drama movements
- combinations that demonstrate Theme & variation
- my "cheater's drop", a less intimidating alternative to the Turkish Drop
- a DIY exercise on working with your musical structure

This episode also includes performance clips by me, as well as by Badriya al Badi'a of Boston.


The music featured in this episode is from Belly Dancing for Fortune and Fame:
- Sala, Sala (the Taktaba theme song)
- Shisheler
- Drum Solo
- Mastika
- El Samer
Special thanks to Stella Grey for donating the use of this CD.

Episode One: Repetition and Alternation

Now available for your downloading pleasure: Taktaba Episode 1 in Low Resolution.

For the higher-resolution (ipod-formatted) version, more details, or to leave a comment, visit the main Taktaba site.

This episode treats the twin topics of repetition and alternation, including:
- when and how repetition can be effective
- different alternation patterns, and their psychological effects on your audience
- exercises
- combinations

Runtime: appx 25 minutes

The music featured in this episode includes:
- Sala, Sala
- Ma Ali Wiolti Loo
- Caravan
- Drum Solo
- Chiftetelli
all from Belly Dancing for Fortune and Fame, courtesy of Stella Grey.