Sunday, 27 March 2011
Don't Be Zilly!
There you are, at a hafla. having a great evening. The lights on the dance floor start to come up, you hear a soft jingling - and a troupe of beautiful tribal dancers move slowly, sensuously onto the floor. Oh, the kaleidoscope of colours, the gentle swirling of their skirts, the fringes that swish hypnotically to and fro, the cascade of flowers in their hair; you sidle forward in your seat, desperate to see more. The music starts to rise, calling out to your soul. It's a slow track and the dancers start to sway in unison, drawing the audience in.. This is good - all's right with the world!
The final strains of the melody fade away, and the first notes of a new track kick in. Great, it's one of your favourite faster tracks! Toe tapping time! The dancers bring the tempo up a couple of notches and .....
And the beautiful moment is lost.
Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE my zils. I have a pair for every handbag, just in case the urge strikes. I practise anywhere and everywhere, including as an accompaniment to the odd tv advert or theme tune (whilst sporting my zil muffs of course, to alleviate the strain on my husbands ears). However - and here's the big however - to me, practice means broadening my repertoire of rhythms. It means appreciating the rhythms going on in the music and making sure that whatever I'm playing complements that. It means not necessarily hammering away at the zils ALL the way through a track, but choosing my moments. It means working WITH the music, not against it - and appreciating and responding to the different parts of it, even if it sometimes means that there may be the odd little snippet that needs to be pre-planned rather than totally improvised. It means accepting that some music is better left to stand alone, without my accompaniment. Because as far as I am concerned, dancing and music go inextricably hand in hand - and as such I need to respond to it sensitively and respectfully.
OK, rant over. I appreciate that you will not all share my point of view. I appreciate that some of you will still want to go away and zil that one two three incessantly because you enjoy it and because you can and that's your prerogative. Just one thing; if I'm there in the audience I will probably be loving your dancing and your costumes and your smiles and energy. But I won't be loving that zilling!