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The Dances of the Banat Mazin

The information within this post has been listed according to interviews with Khyria and Raja Mazin circa 2021-23 and may conflict with information sourced in earlier interviews with Khyria and her older sisters. The following list indicates the names by which sections of music, specific movement techniques or independent dances may be identified or referred to by Khyria. Comments inside brackets [ like this ] are extra notes or ponderings by Shining.

Ifta Taheya

The opening sequence of music (?)

Asharat el Tahkt/Dikka

a full bodied section of the music where the sisters would often ascend the bench and stomp rhythmically with the music.

Naosi

a specific movement with 3 or 4 push steps taken in a small crescent from front to side with a recoiling movement through the hips, pulling to the opposite side of the working leg as each push step releases. Variations with the "banana peel-slipping foot movement seen in early videos, Khyria did not perform the movement with the foot slip during the time I learned with her.

Raqs el Jihayni/Nizzawi

A stick dance performed with specific music. Movements include alternately lifting the knees so the foot crosses the opposite shin; this same movement with alternating steps out to the front or side as the raised foot comes down; a grapevine step with hip accent which travels laterally and alternating directions to end with the opposite hip showing it's action; twirling the stick; play fighting with the stick; holding the stick in both hands while doing a variety of movements; and in partner or group dances pressing the ends of one stick between two bellies while one partner twirls or moves their stick, partners may rotate or stay stationary with a variety of movements.

March/Marsh

​A movement (within Jihayni?) where the raised leg makes small bends to create a "v" shape around the the supporting shin, with the heel moving outside, inside, outside, this movement alternates legs and may be performed while twirling the assaya or holding it upright or in another static position.

Asharat el Tabla

a section of the show where the dancer and drummer may interact or even dance together, sometimes with the dancer leaning against the barrel of the tabl baladi, or back to back with a tabla player.

Asharat el Anza


A stationary face to face partner movement in which the weight rapidly shifts side to side through the hips, layered with a loose shimmy, the forward projected arms and upper body rotating slightly to match the hip shifting. May also be performed back to back where the head or shoulders lean upon each other (or alternatively leaning backwards over the tabl baladi), in which case the partners will rotate around a center point. Performed as inspired, though often during or after the Jihayni with another dancer or with a musician (although one interview with Khyria indicates this moment proceeds the Naosi and subsequent Jihayni, we can see from videos and experience that the actual order is malleable.)

Raqs el Kotcheena (Dance of the Card Games)

Described as part of the overall evening of entertainment in which the girls would play some kind of card game, with the loser having to dance. Performed in the past by the older Mazin older sisters (and/or aunts ?).

Raqs el Sharelston (Charelston?)

Described as a dance performed by Labiba or Fahima Mazin, more details unavailable.

Raqs biTarha

[unnamed dance] Described as a difficult dance performed in the past by Labiba or Suad utilizing vigorous "Nabaweya Mustafa" type movements (perhaps something like a traveling hip drop) while the head and face were covered with the tarha (veil). [May be related to the Saidi Kaf dance or bedouin Daheya?]



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