Belly Dance “Prop-tacular” at Figment – Zils

Thanks for coming to Belly Dance “Prop-tacular” at the 2011 FIGMENT festival in NYC!


Najla Belly Dance NYC zils

Najla plays the zils. Photograph by Bryce Prevatte.

Zils (= cymbals in Turkish, also called sagat in Arabic) are not really props per se, but percussion instruments made of brass, bronze or other metals. Dancers play zils to compliment their music and to accent certain beats or movements. Worn on the thumb and first or middle finger of each hand, they are struck in alternating patterns to play different Middle Eastern rhythms. Like bells, different materials and sizes affect the tone a pair of zils makes.

Ready to try out a zil pattern? I’m right-handed, so I “lead” my zils with the right hand. If you’re left-handed, you may find it easier to use the numbered notation.

Maqsoum (sometimes called beledi):
121 1 121 1 121

For more information on Najla’s performances and classes, visit her website.

For more information on FIGMENT, visit their website.

Belly Dance Prop-tacular at FIGMENT NYC 2011 - Najla Belly Dance NYC - Logo(For those of you who aren’t coming to this page from the festival, this blog entry is part of a series of posts on the different belly dance props being showcased during Najla’s festival performances at the Colonels Stage on Governors Island at 1:30 pm on June 10 and at 12:00 pm on June 12, 2011. Audience members will be able to scan a QR code next to a picture of each prop in order to learn more about it.  )

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