Saturday, May 14, 2011

Understanding Arabic Lyrics

It is really important to understand the lyrics of the music that you dance to. Not only does it prevent offending your audience, or embarrassing yourself, but it increases the emotional depth of your dancing. There are now some great internet sites which have the lyrics of songs written in Arabic, transliterated and translated. Some even have video clips too.
Some of my favorites include:

Arabic Music Translations
Arabic Song Lyrics
Lyrics for dancers on Shira's site

A few years ago, one of my friends was hired to perform at an Arabic-Turkish wedding. She found a song which she loved and put it into her playlist. She danced to it at the wedding, and couldn't understand why the crowd didn't seem to be enjoying it, as it was a very lively and energetic song. As she was packing up, the bride's grand mother came up to her and said: "A nice girl like you shouldn't be dancing to a song like that." It turns out it was a very ribald drinking song, and the lyrics basically said that "all the women here are for sale". Fortunately the bride's family had a good sense of humor and didn't make a major incident out of it, but my friend was absolutely mortified!

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