Mary Ellen Donald - Middle Eastern Musician and Teacher
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Articles by Mary Ellen Donald

Basic Rhythms for Cabaret Belly Dance Routine by Mary Ellen Donald
originally printed in The Belly Dance Book, edited by Tazz Richards

The Rhythm and Reason Series

 Article 1 - Cymbals, Beyond Basics by Mary Ellen Donald - Each rhythm has a distinct arrangement of accents.  If you are sure of where these accents come, you can bring a unique flavor to each section of your routine.

Article 2 - Special Experiences by Mary Ellen Donald - The audience of mainly flamenco aficionados gave our Arabic Suite a clamorous response.  This bringing together of bellydance and flamenco had begun as a flash of imagination in Cruz’ mind.

Article 3 - Community Warfare by Mary Ellen Donald - Time and again I hear dancers deplore the fact that in many parts of the country there are warring camps among dancers; that is, groups that openly oppose each other and that try to keep all useful information and all jobs to themselves.

Article 4 -  For Whom Do You Dance? by Mary Ellen Donald, Who do you dance for – your audience or yourself?

Article 5 - Cymbals & the Music by Mary Ellen Donald
But that’s not the rhythm. As I say at the beginning of each workshop, “Rhythm is the patterned arrangement of sound and silent.”

Article 6 -  Unexpected Mishaps by Mary Ellen Donald
I invite you to chuckle with me as I retell several gems of last year. I wouldn’t dare to boast of any lesson you must learn from all of this, and discovery of a meaning is up to you!

Article 7 -  Negatudes by Mary Ellen Donald
I have just enjoyed putting on a show for a warm and responsive audience. What a joy! This has prompted me to take time to look at the role that an audience plays in the outcome of a performance.

Article 8 - Leadership Risks by Mary Ellen Donald - When you lead people, you take certain risks. One such risk is that of self-revelation.

Article 9 - Can't We All Get Along? Dancers and Musicians by Mary Ellen Donald - First, you don’t have to be afraid of working with live music.

Article 10 - How to Avoid Being Eaten by Sharks by Mary Ellen Donald
Not so fortunate are those people who feel threatened most of the time, limping from one extreme response to another.

Article 11 - Rhythmical Truths by Mary Ellen Donald
In my books and in person, I make the point that there are two basic kinds of rhythmical variations – embellishments and fill-ins.

Article 12 -  Moved by the Music by Mary Ellen Donald
I did all this because those sudden shifts in rhythm and tempo and the abrupt breaks in the music that were unfamiliar to me could have made me look like a fool...

Article 13 -  About Cymbals & a Workshop Checklist by Mary Ellen Donald   Believe it or not, playing cymbals can be a real pleasure. Playing them well can greatly enhance your dance performance. Playing apologetic or offbeat cymbals can ruin your dance performance.

Artielc 14 - Bellydance Journalism by Mary Ellen Donald - One powerful tool used to mislead is bellydance journalism.

More to come



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