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  1. #181
    Moderator Safran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reen.Blom View Post
    Hey maariku, which one you've got?
    Secrets of Stage 1

  2. #182
    V.I.P. Reen.Blom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane View Post
    I wouldn't recommend this for a beginning dancer or even a beginning zill player. I think if you've mastered Ansuya's zill video, or have used zills minimaly in a class, this would be a nice next step. Mesmera doesn't teach any belly dance moves or technique on here. It's assumed you have a basic movement vocab and musical knowledge like counting 4/4 time.

    First part is a naration about Harry Saroyan, the guy sings, makes zills & coins, plays doumbek, etc., and is a big personality in the U.S. BD community, especially the AmCab scene. I met and chatted with him at his Rakkasah booth once. He's really nice.

    Then Harry S. comes on and talks about zills for a couple of min.

    Then there is a zill dance performance in the classic AmCab style by Mesmera. After she dances she explains *briefly* about picking out zills, wearing them, sewing the elastics, and muteing them. This should have been a bit longer. If you don't have this knowledge from somewhere else, you need a different video or a teacher. She demonstrates the ring, click, and clap sounds, then shows a box and a layered ring.

    She *briefly* explains counting music. This would be confusing for a bare beginner I think. She does cross her hands at the wrist so your right is her right when she is facing the viewer. I did like that a lot. She demonstrates triplets, rolls, and altenates.

    Next she demonstrates how she uses syllables to re-inforce triplets (123) with movments i.e. take-a-step, drop-your-hip, etc.

    She goes over arm positions while wearing zills and reminds everyone to keep using their arms when playing. She talks about volume increasing and decreasing when playing. There is some beledi playing while she does triplets.

    A really nice thing happens next! Jerimiah Soto and a couple of his other drummers come out and play live. Just basic rhythms though. Still, always nice to see the musicians! They play Beladi, Maqsoum, Chiftitelli, a 6/8, and Kashlima. Mesmera plays along and coaches when she changes how she's playing. The sections are short for a sustained practice, but have nice ideas. She played a Baladi over a Chiftitelli (I love layering 4/4 rhythms) but never explained the hows and whys, which would have been nice for the intermediate zill players to know. I did like the suggestion of playing zills with the melody, although she never develops the idea further.

    After all that, there's a bit of a Saroyan Cymbals infomercial, a wrap up speech, another Mesmera dance demo with zills and veil (which was never touched on in the video) and a thanks/goodbye from H.S.
    Wow thanks for the review!!!! Really detailed! I will have to be looking at some other DVD thyen- sounds too complicated for a newbie like me...

  3. #183
    V.I.P. Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reen.Blom View Post
    Wow thanks for the review!!!! Really detailed! I will have to be looking at some other DVD thyen- sounds too complicated for a newbie like me...
    I'd get Ansuya's first, if you're new to zills, then get the Mesmera. I re-watched it while I did my ironing.

    Anyone have the FatChance zill video? What's it like?

  4. #184
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    This thread made me realize how many videos I have (Is it 20 already?) as well as how many I don't practice with. Yikes!

    Out of all the ones I have, I love watching/working with:
    * Raqia's 1995 and 1996 workshop. At $10 each, these are a fantabulous find! The 1995 video teaches 3 choregraphies. One is to pop music, the second is a malaya leff, and the last is to Inta Omri. The 1996 video has a saidi/beledi choregraphy and a raqs sharqi one. Lots of stomach pops and knee shimmies.
    * Yasmina Ramzy choreography vol 2. Great beledi routine using Samy Ali's music (banned in Egypt)
    * Shareen el safy's Saidi for the stage. Love this choreography to Ala Nar. Great on history. Shows movements of Mona el Said, fifi, Dina and Nawga.
    * Saida's Bellydance vol. 1 and 2. Each volume has two discs. Disc one contains rhythms and combinations and disc two has a choregraphy.
    * Bellydancers of Cairo. Has footage of Dina. nuff said
    * Dances of Egypt by Aisha Ali. It was refreshing to see real tahib and not a ballet influenced one.

    My Wishlist (just in case anyone wants to make an offer or even review these)
    *Little Egypt presents a Fifi abdu workshop (both sat and sun)
    *Dina in Dallas
    *Turkish bellydance with Artemis mourat
    *Shareen el Safy Walla Marra
    Last edited by Damariz; 05-17-2008 at 02:48 AM. Reason: we're doing wishlists? allright i'll post mine too

  5. #185
    V.I.P. adiemus's Avatar
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    I just had the nicest correspondence with Michelle from CheekyGirl Productions Cheeky Girls Productions - Instructional and Performance Belly Dance DVDs - and ordered her 'drills, drills, drills' - if her DVD is as nice as her emails, I think I'm going to enjoy it!!

  6. #186
    Moderator Safran's Avatar
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    Adiemus, I also ordered the Drills' DVD for keeping myself busy over the summer without regular dance classes taking place.

    I finally had the time to go through the Secrets of the Stage 1 dvd the ther night. The first chapters are nice, there are a lot of practical hints. When the dancers talk I kept thinking "I know that... So why am I not doing it!?"

    I loved the exercise part! On the practical side - the exercises are not exclusive to the dvd, you can take the idea and work with it on your own music. And the exercises really make you think how to use your body and dance vocabulary in as diverse way as possible.

    I'm happy with this purchase

  7. #187
    Member Shamsa's Avatar
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    i have many IAMED dvd's and i love to work with them!

  8. #188
    V.I.P. adiemus's Avatar
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    I've just made a comment on the other thread about 'Drills, drills, drills' - it's great! Just what I was looking for as a set of drills before working on improv or choreo, going over the basic isolations and strengthening, and --- well I haven't got that far yet, but so far it's great. Definitely recommended.

  9. #189
    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    I received Today:
    Drills, Drills, drills & Gypsy Passion Haven't looked at them yet.

    I have:
    Belly Dance With Veil ( Sarah Skinner shakemyday.com)- Love this, Sarah has some great veil moves and shows you slowly how to execute them. If you like veil I think this is a great DVD to have.
    Belly Dance Basics (Cheeky Girl productions) excellent beginners DVD, but I still enjoy just to get back to basics sometimes
    Pop, Lock and Shimmy, I love this ( Cheeky Girl Productions), I like the way Michelle shows you how things "work" or should work.

    Arabian Spices - Tribal Fusion by Sahira It won't be every ones cup of tea, but I love it. It breaks the choreo down into 11 combos and Sahira is very clear in her explanations and execution. I tend to stop at the end and just watch her dancing the choreo, it fascinates me

    I have 3 Neena & Veena DVDs - they are OK, but I prefer others these days.

    Secrets of the Centre - Keti Sharif, I like her style, Her more recent DVDs are more bellydance fitness orientated, I don't have those and I believe from write ups they are far more advanced and for those who wish to teach BD fitness.

    One of my earlier DVDs is Learn to bellydance - Trisnasari from Underbelly Studio teaches on this DVD. Trisnasari is a beautiful Australian dancer. I still enjoy this one. I don't think it is for beginners. I found it quite hard as a beginner, and rather frustrating. Now I enjoy it.

    I have 6 Tribal style DVDs (Gypsy Caravan & ATS with Kajira of Tribal Bible fame)

    East Coast tribal with Sera( which is more fusion style) Sera's arm work fascinates me, I can't see myself being able to accomplish that in a million years.

    I have zills one as well, very basic zills though, worth while if you are just learning. It is an Aussie production Zills with Zahira

    I have on my wish list:

    Perfect Hips bellydance Workout
    ( Cheeky Girl productions)
    Body By Bellydance ( Cheeky Girl Productions)

    Ultimate Belly Dance Combinations Taught by various dancers e.g:Aziza, Amaya, Fahtiem, Elizabeth Artemis Mourat & others.

    There is a new one out called Raks Habibi belly Dance with Victoriya. Sounds more of a performance DVD rather than instructional, but there is quite a number of different dance styles on it which sounds good. write says:
    Viktoriya performs traditional and modern egyptian and Lebanese belly dance. As well as Saudi, Khaleegy, Gypsy Dance, and other folkloric dances of the Middle East. Performances Include - Houwa Sahihe - Bent Il Balad - Shadi Alhan - Oriental Accordion - Modovian Dance - Melaya Laff - Ya Msafer - Halawah - Desert Queen - Te Quiero - Solo Tabla - Harem Street Special Features - About Bellydance - Dancer's Biographies - Interactive Menu - Chapter Selections
    That is my wish list for the moment.
    ~Mosaic



  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q-Tip View Post
    Here's my newbie rookie non-dancer opinion of the Bellytwins 3 dvd set:

    Basic Dance
    Beyond Basic Dance
    Mystic Dance

    For someone like me who never dances (I didn't dance in high school either) these dvd's should be just perfect. Very basic.
    • The narration is great
    • They go slow. (I'm clumsy and it's hard for me to learn the movements when they go fast.)
    • They tell you the name of each movement.
    • Each dvd breaks down the movements to the most basic elements and then you drill that element. Then they add additional elements until the movement is complete.
    • They show several variations to the movements and tell you what you can do to make the movement more sensual. IE: 'to make the movement a little more sensual lean back slightly with the upper body....."
    • Each dvd is built upon the previous one so in the 2nd dvd you basically do the same dance as the 1st dvd but each movement is an advanced version.
    • Marina, Lochia & Sohaila have dance solos included at the end of the dvd's but I was disappointed that the Twins didn't have any.
    • Each dvd gives you the option to do the entire video with the music and no narration. Very nice option.
    • DVD 3 covers basic veil work and they use half circle veils. When they do the routine at the end 1 twin has a veil and the other does not so you get to see how the movements look both ways.


    If you are an experienced dancer these dvd's will probably put you to sleep. If you learn dance movements quickly these might be too slow for you.

    I like the shiney tights they wear w/matching top because toward the end when you were doing the routine you just learned they were wearing them under their skirts and I thought that was kinda cool.

    This is the first set that I purchased.

    I have to agree that I like the fact that they move slowly, and break down the movement as they go along. They start with showing moves for the upper body, and they gradually make their way down.

    The way the twins are dressed for the video also it makes it easy to see the moves. The feet and legs aren't covered, so it's easy to discern the placement of feet and legs.

    There's not a whole lot of extreme close-ups of the face or abdomen area, and that also helps to see what the twins are doing in the video.

    In summary: I think this would be a good set for beginners like myself, although I can see how this set could be a bore to those who are more seasoned.


    Other videos I own:

    Tribal Fusion Belly Dance: Technique and Conditioning with Sharon Kihara --

    The first review on the Amazon page about that DVD sums everything up quite well. It was hard to see what she was doing due to the clothing she chose to wear doing the shooting, and she was more worried about her hair at times when she should have worried about the execution of a move, and it was hard to see her at times because the camera was a bit too far away.


    The Bollywood Dance Workout with Hemalayaa --

    Not really belly dance video per se, but worth a mention...

    The instructor is bright, bubbly, and incredibly bouncy.
    It's a fun workout to do, but if you're a little out of shape, the floor work can be a bit of a problem. I kind of feel like a goober doing this workout because she insists on incorporate some facial expressions (and sounds) that would probably elicit laughs if done in front of someone while doing this workout.


    Sensual Bellydance with Blanca --

    I just got this video, and I have watched a good portion of it.
    This is a beginner/intermediate type of instruction, but I think this would be a decent video for anyone. It's a fairly long DVD (about two hours), but she describes the moves quite well and executes them equally well. She also goes into how to align your body.
    The best part about this particular video is that nothing is fast paced.

    ...And those are my two cents.

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