Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Good dancing, mediocre music
Ice Jewel | 03/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Arabian Melodies video was recorded in the 80s. The quality of the video is poor by today's standards, but maybe okay by '80s standards. It is well lit, just a little blurry and washed out. The video suffers from a double whammy, poor music compositions, poorly performed. The violins sawing away hitting the wrong strings, the musical phrases repeat and repeat and repeat, and with no pacing whatsoever. Every piece of music sounds exactly the same as the next one and the last one! It's a parody of the great Arab film music of yore, and not a good one. The music is completely inferior to the dancing, but if you can live with it, you will enjoy a wonderful sampler of well-performed '80s bellydance numbers.
The tape features SUHAILA SALIMPOUR. The first chapter of the DVD is a collage of her performances, in 3 different costumes, all great. She is fun to watch, she seems to invite us to celebrate and rejoice. It is very straightforward party bellydancing.
The second chapter of the DVD is ALIA's Fantasy Dance. Alia dances with a shemadan, a helmet with a tall three tier candelabra mounted on top of it. She also plays finger cymbals (which you cannot hear). The set is very smoky but you can see Alia well, and the video editing is great. Alia dances in a two piece bellydance costume with a body net and her dance style is traditional and also very '80s.
Next chapter is SAHRA. She is my favorite on this video because she is the most flexible of the dancers on this DVD and her hip work is the best. She is very expressive and musical, very much at ease, like a movie star, it's a shame that the music is so superficial.
Next chapter is SHADIA. This video is also a collage. The chapter opens on the beach, Shadia dances in a silver and gold tight fitting baladi dress with a gold fringed bra and belt, then we see her in a blue Turkish costume. She dances beautifully and has a great smile. Then Shadia performs a taksim in another dress made of white net and silver with silver fringe bra and belt. There is also a cane number in the same collage.
All the dancing on this DVD is "old school". None of it has the theatrical drama or jazziness of modern US and Egyptian bellydance. As such, it is a glimpse of the past.
Then we see VIVIAN AND MICHELLE in identical baladi dresses. They perform a duet which is well choreographed. The next chapter is again SUHAILA SALIMPOUR, it's another collage very similar to chapter one.
At this point I was grateful the show came to an end: The music became SO annoying. Dr. Samy Farag sought out all that was great about the old school of Cairo music making, and threw that all away, retaining only the most annoying aspects for us to suffer in the twenty-first century."
Slightly weird, very entertaining
The munter | New Zealand | 12/14/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD combines two of my fave things: bellydance, and the 80s!! i would give it a five but some people would have issues with the production as it's very washed out. also one of the dancers looks like she has lit the room on fire with her candelabera."