Evoking images of belly dancers wielding swirling balls of fire on strings, Arabian Fire Dance weaves together a tapestry of celebration, danger & dance. Using repeated syncopated ostinatos and doublings in all the right places, Kiefer introduces students to Eastern scales, harmonies and rhythms in a highly accessible and idiomatic environment.
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 2.5 | Duration: 4:45
Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet 1
Bb Trumpet 2
Timpani (4 drums)
Percussion 1 (cymbals, gong, tam-tam, finger cymbals)
Percussion 2 (tambourine, brake drum)
Percussion 3 (snare drum, bass drum)
4-octave Marimba (optional)
Arabian Fire Dance is a type of entertainment combining Egyptian belly-dancing with fire. Performers use balls of fire on strings, swirling them around their bodies as they dance. Using torches and flammable liquids, they give the illusion of spitting fireballs and create a combination of danger and dance that is used at celebrations and parties all over the world.
This piece was written to have fun! The low reeds, tuba, trombones and baritone all have a unison syncopated bass line that gives the composition a dance groove. The beginning should be boisterous, except for the interlude at m. 17 which is softer, and should build to m. 40. From there, it recedes to the alto saxophone solo at m. 56. The piece gradually rebuilds from the solo until the end, with the dance tempo never slowing down. Although the eastern scale necessitates a skip of an augmented second at times, it is repetitive enough the students will learn it quickly.
I hope you, your students and your audience all enjoy this composition. Have fun!
- Ed Kiefer