Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bellydance - The Art of the Drum Solo|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational
Another great beginner bellydance workout/learning
Lena, LMT | Nassau, NY | 06/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with all of the previous reviews except not as harshly.
There could be more menu options, the extra stuff is great. The camerawork was nice & still for the most part, only a few unneeded camera angles & focused shots on her stomach, which is better then most other DVDs with crazy camerawork.
The workout itself is 70 min long which is almsot twice as long as other ones. The drummer teaches for 10 seconds saying the beat then bplaying, then she teaches the technique slowly with great detail to posture & positioning w/o him playing, then normal speed 1-2x with him playing.
I loved her persona, she seemed like a normal instructor, no fake smiling, she just concentrates on teaching & demonstrating.
After she shows each move slowly for 40 min, she then repeats them again in combinations w/o music slowly, then again with music to put them all together in routine, repeating several moves together. There are so many different combinations & moves put together I was impressed.
She didn't always start at the very beginning all over again every single time which was great, she would repeat 2 combinations at a time, then 4-5 combinations every so often so you wouldn't get bored repeating over & over. If wanted to always start at the beginning, you can always follow along with her performance option.
I got quite a workout & could not finish the entire DVD all at once. My obliques & abs were burning after."
Basic instruction for beginners
Tamii | 05/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I really liked how this tape broke down some of the rhythms in middle eastern music. As a belly dance student, I had always been afraid of the drum solo, but this tape makes it seem really easy and fun. I also agree with the reviewer who stated that the movements are not specifically suited to the rhythms. However, Sonia does do a good job of breaking down the movements for the solo performance. To me, her voice is confident, yet gentle and she does not have that intimidating, irritating "diva" presence. I think beginning students will appreciate her persona.
The bonus CD is good for practicing the movements. It does not include the music to the choreography presented on the tape, but it presents good music. Overall, I enjoyed this tape and would highly recommend it for beginning students. I hope the producers will make a tape for intermediate and advanced dancers soon, and I'd like to see more of the teachers who were working with Sonia on the footage in Cairo. They were excellent and sexy!
One retarded camera man
Lorenza Ng | S. California | 04/22/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm subtracting two stars because you can't learn the technique and choreograph if the camera is focusing on the stomach and constantly changing angles. Where's the feet?!?!? Good technique and choreograph that is suitable for intermediate. Nothing too out-of-the-box. Sonia is very mellow and not enthusiastic in front of the camera. Some may find her boring and others may like her shy presence because it shows that you don't have to be extremely bubbly to dance. Good bonus CD."
Confusing Title, Clear Instruction
Parthena Black | Oklahoma | 04/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Due to the title and description, I honestly wasn't sure if I was buying a bellydance or drumming DVD. I'm interested in both, so it was no big deal. I was pleased to see that it's both. Master drummer Issam teaches and helps us understand the different bellydance drum rhythms and accomplished dancer and Bellydance Superstar Sonia shows us which bellydance movements work for each one.
As an intermediate level dancer, I found it challenging as both a workout and a practice tool. The more I practice it, the more I like it. You need to set aside the time and have the energy to get through about an hour of dancing! As a bellydance lesson, I find Sonia to be an excellent teacher. Without her glamorous superstar persona, she looks about 17 years old in workout gear and a ponytail. After a great warm-up that includes some great balancing exercises, Sonia breaks down each movement and practices it with music before moving on to the choreography toward the end. Issam names, breaks down and explains each drumbeat. A review of each movement is included in the choreography.
Yes, the moves are "basic," but it never hurts to practice and perfect basic moves no matter how many years you've been dancing. The challenge lies in learning how to match your movements to the music. For instance, not every drum beat calls for shimmies and hip bumps - we learn that turns and walks are more appropriate for some of the faster beats. This DVD will help you not only with your drum solos but with all of your choreography because you're going to find these drumbeats in all bellydance music. If you don't like this DVD, you may not have an interest in learning both sides, or perhaps you want to be given a choreography instead of creating your own. While Sonia presents a sample choreography, the point is that you need to take what you learned to your own improvisation, a skill that every dancer needs to develop. The DVD is just an example of what you can put together. When you watch Sonia dance after doing this DVD, you'll notice that she uses all of the moves she teaches here in her own drum solos. There's a performance on the DVD that you can watch, and I've noticed that she uses these moves in the other performance DVD's I own. The moves being taught are "basic" because they are an important foundation in building drum solo choreography.
I also enjoyed the bonus section, "Sonia and Issam Go To Cairo" where we see them shopping for drums and costumes and Sonia taking lessons from great Egyptian dancers. We get a glimpse into their personalities and the importance of communication between dancer and drummer. Sonia tests hip scarves and talks about how she doesn't care for one of the instructor's overtly sexual style and won't adapt it to her own, and the segment is peppered with humor.
The bonus music CD contains great music by Issam, but I think it omits the song used on the DVD, which would have been helpful. It's still a good buy for the price and a valuable addition to your library.
I've found that I got so much more out of all of the videos and DVD's I own after I started taking professional classes. If you prefer to learn on your own, at least try to take a few classes to get the most out of your home library.
To learn more about the history of bellydance and Sonia and the Bellydance Superstars' role in educating the public about this art form, check out the "American Bellydancer" DVD."