Belly Dance to the Music of Americanistan!
Review of Live at the WOW by Taaj for Zaghareet Magazine
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Troupe Americanistan Live at the WOW
reviewed by Taaj
This review was originally published in Zaghareet Magazine, March/April 2000.
Note: Since that time the group has changed its name to Americanistan.

Talk about a CD for everyone. Live at the WOW is it! It is a must-have for lovers of the tribal style and also for people who prefer acoustic sounds over synthesized music.
The variety of instrumentation (ney, violin, kanoon, arghul, zurna, flute, saz, and doumbek) allows for so much sound and music. The earthy sounds just fill the entire room and invite you to dance.
There are old favorites like Habbena Habbena, Ay Ya Zein, and Aziza, but there are also fresh new pieces you are sure to enjoy.
The violin lends a certain Gypsy feeling to many of the songs. Violinist Willow Dawn Decker has a lilting, soulful style that can't be missed. Visions of a campfire surrounded by improvising musicians and the flying skirts of enthusiastic dancers must come to mind. Or a solitary dancing man kicking up his heels and missing the dance of his far-off homeland easily fits this music.
In songs where the zurna takes the melody, it is easy to imagine dancing as a snake or with your tribe. The music just takes you there. How can you help yourself?
Live at the WOW is a great blend of so many things. There is fast stuff, slow stuff, different rhythms, many moods, lots of different instruments, new sounds, old favorites--just everything. There is a short drum solo. There is even a complete routine on the CD. In fact, there is over an hour of great music.
Check it out and see for yourself. There is bound to be more than a few songs here that get your toes tapping and hips shimmying.
About the author: Taaj is a dance teacher, performer, troupe director, and staff writer for Zaghareet magazine.