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  1. #1
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Default English dancers - American dvds

    I have been given copies of Charlotte Desorgher's new dvds to review. so while I get to grips with 4 dvds worth, I started musing about homegrown versus American. At the same time I have been reading a thread on Bhuz,

    The secrets of belly dance?

    which contains some thought provoking assertions by some American dancers (the thread being about what we posted under

    http://www.bellydanceforums.net/inst...sons-free.html

    So i thought I would ask you to debat using American dvds to train yourself (or reinforce your training with English teachers.

    I suppose this is one for the Oriental girls. Comments about home grown dvds also welcome. Perspective from other non-Americans also welcome (HELL even interested Americans - let's be inclusive)
    Last edited by jenc; 02-10-2011 at 01:24 PM.

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    I believe it was Liz (?) who once stated that while we in America have a "home-grown" version of bellydance, dancers in the UK usually view belly dance as an import, from Turkey or Egypt, and try to keep their dance closer to those models.

    BUT

    Ya'll in the UK haven't been mass-producing instructional videos like we have The only ones I can think of that I've seen are Hilary Thacker's, Hossam and Serena's (if you count them), performance stuff from Hilal company, and ... hmmm. Maybe that's it, actually. You don't have big distribution here.

    Since a great majority of dancers on sites like Bhuz are American, or at least familiar with American dvds, that's what we recommend.

    Just curious as to which comments you considered the most "thought-provoking" ?

  3. #3
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I'm sure I could get something out of a lot of US DVDs, but whereas once I would have just about worked out that a tribal/fusion DVD wouldn't be the best fit for me, now I see even more stylistic differences and think hmmm.... maybe not my thing. It'd be great if I decide I want more (e.g.) American Oriental flavour to my dancing, or wanted to actively study a particular style, but not so great if it ends up adding so many flavours that it becomes a mishmash of neither one thing or the other.

    This is with the luxury of a good teacher IRL. Otherwise I'd be more of a DVD fiend and less picky on stylistic nuances, and I'd be going for home-grown American over home-grown UK every time...

    Adds to UK list:
    Galit Mersand has a belly dance DVD course and a Shisha dance instructional.
    Mia Serra has a couple
    Jacqueline Chapman and Tina Hobin videos reissued on DVD

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Got a question:

    I know a lot of the reason why Americans don't have videotapes from the UK is because we use NTSC format and you use PAL. For videotapes, we couldn't watch PAL videos without a special and expensive machine. Of course now videos are pretty much obsolete, but it prevented a lot of us in the 80s and 90s from buying UK-produced merchandise.

    Does this restriction apply for dvds? Is that what the region code thing is? Or is it pretty much the case that you can watch anybody's dvd no matter where you are?

  5. #5
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    I know a lot of the reason why Americans don't have videotapes from the UK is because we use NTSC format and you use PAL. For videotapes, we couldn't watch PAL videos without a special and expensive machine. Of course now videos are pretty much obsolete, but it prevented a lot of us in the 80s and 90s from buying UK-produced merchandise.

    Does this restriction apply for dvds? Is that what the region code thing is? Or is it pretty much the case that you can watch anybody's dvd no matter where you are?
    And vice versa. DVD regions are another obstacle, but at least it is easier to get a region-free/all-region DVD/DVD-player than the other video player.


    There aren't very many home-grown DVDs in Scandinavia either (I know a handful of instructional DVDs for beginners and one for intermediates and some more performance DVDs).

    For dancers not interested in learning American Oriental, it seems a bit harder to find interesting DVDs.
    But on the other hand, my impression is that the wealth and qualities of american grown DVDs (bigger market, your product needs to stand out to sell) has raised the standards and expectations of home-grown productions. This may both make the process of making home-grown DVDs harder to start, but also raises the bar for those actually making those home-grown DVDs.
    Last edited by Daimona; 02-10-2011 at 07:40 PM.
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  6. #6
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aziyade View Post
    I believe it was Liz (?) who once stated that while we in America have a "home-grown" version of bellydance, dancers in the UK usually view belly dance as an import, from Turkey or Egypt, and try to keep their dance closer to those models.

    BUT

    Ya'll in the UK haven't been mass-producing instructional videos like we have The only ones I can think of that I've seen are Hilary Thacker's, Hossam and Serena's (if you count them), performance stuff from Hilal company, and ... hmmm. Maybe that's it, actually. You don't have big distribution here.

    Since a great majority of dancers on sites like Bhuz are American, or at least familiar with American dvds, that's what we recommend.

    Just curious as to which comments you considered the most "thought-provoking" ?
    english dvds don't have the numbers of audience of American ones. they tend to be produced on a shoe-string budget. the production values are often lower (NB Haven't watched my review copies yet.

    The thought-provoking stuff was criticism of the English dancer for setting herself up alongside the likes of Jillina without being in the same league, so to speak.

    Maysa may be a very lovely, mature, knowledgeable, ethical dancer, and she may be a good "professional" teacher in that sense at the local level, but when you put yourself into the realm of video teacher, you're not at the local level anymore. You're telling the world that you deserve a spot at the "Big Girl Table" with Suhaila, Delilah, Ansuya, Hannan Sultan, and other dancers who offer tuition-required online videos. If Maysa had simply been uploading clips of her dancing onto YouTube, it wouldn't have been worth a second thought. She was the one who upped the expectations of what was required of her.
    Alll the American BD dvds I hav bought are region-free, and in the UK we can get region-free players. I doubt if there is the demand for region-free in the US. You can however look up on-line how to convert your player.
    Last edited by jenc; 02-10-2011 at 10:46 PM.

  7. #7
    V.I.P. jenc's Avatar
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    Galit has a new one out of combinations. i did the workshop and bought it. I could review that as well and then I could ask for lots of review copies from dancers!!!!!

  8. #8
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    I see what they mean about putting yourself out there at the Big Girl Table. Not in a "how very dare you compete with xxxx when you are not worthy" way, but more WHY?

    You (generic) might be perfectly fit for purpose teaching and performing at local level. No one wants lousy, but it's not fair to expect everyone to be 100% awesome, or even above average . And you have a huge advantage over even a good DVD because you can see and feedback to your students.

    But on DVD or on-line the playing field is levelled, the advantage lost. Yes people want DVD's if they can't get to class or just prefer home, but if they can have <insert name of fave instructional DVD teacher here> why would they choose you?*

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