Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bellydance – the next level with Jenna - mini review

Bellydance – the next level with Jenna. Transitions, Turns and Layers. World Dance New York. 105 minutes.

This DVD commences with a warm up. Some elements of this warm up may not be safe for all dancers. I would recommend doing 5-10 minutes of cardiovascular activity before commencing the warm up. Some of the movements that she uses for the neck and head are now considered contraindicated – for example in head circles it is not recommended to drop the head right back. Figure 8 head rolls need to be performed very carefully.

The DVD then continues with hip work and upper body layering sections. These do not include a movement breakdown and move quite fast. Excellent for an advanced dancer with a good vocabulary wanting a fun follow along drill. They are done facing into a mirror. However, this might prove quite a challenge for an intermediate dancer! The DVD then contains a brief breakdown of 3 step turns, a simplified barrel turn without torso tilt, a 2 step turn with accent, a hip circle turn, a compass turn, a character (paddle) turn, a cross over turn, a turn with a twist, and spotting. This is followed by a turn drill.

This DVD contains two choreographies:
1 – a very cute intermediate to advanced short Saidi piece with a drum solo. Lot’s of variety and room to add your own flavours. Uses Celebration of Rhythm – Jehan – Goddess Dance..
2 – a lovely advanced level Egyptian choreography to Raks Bedeya – Yousry Sharif and Raqia Hassan -Wash Ya Wash 2. 7:53 minutes. This choreography has 27 combinations and would definitely increase most people’s skill. Advanced dancers will enjoy the variety it presents. This would be a good transition for dancers hoping to work with Raqia Hassan or other advanced Egyptian choreographers.

Both choreographies are broken down into combinations, and are presented in demonstration form for drilling. The choreographies are also performed in costume by Jenna. Her technique is clean and precise.

This DVD is excellent value. It is well structured for the experienced dancer, with minimal repletion - it assumes a lot of knowledge. It doesn’t really discuss Egyptian styling. It contains a huge amount of material very clearly presented. Highly recommended for dancers with a solid grasp of technique, particularly those with some experience in Egyptian styling. This is a nice DVD to practice along with. Both choreographies are cute enough to perform publicly. This DVD may be overwhelming for beginners or low intermediates.

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