Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bellydance Beautiful Technique from Step One - The Beginner's Path to Flawless Artistry|
Actor: Autumn Ward
Director: Autumn Ward
Genres: Special Interests, Educational
Excellent Foundation & Technical Practice
C. Lindeman | North Carolina | 02/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a beginning dancer who has to mostly rely on video instruction for my practices. So, I put a lot of thought into what I buy. I bought Autumn Ward's video after seeing clips on Youtube and I'm glad I did. I was looking for a comprehensive video that would break down the dance vocabulary and focus on building a strong foundation. Ward's video provides just that.
The first section is a detailed section on basic moves such as arm work, hip work, and transitions. Autumn spends a great deal of time breaking down each move, demonstrating correct technique, pointing out common mistakes, and adding in her dance philosophies. Therefore, it is a great "reference" for dancers to come back to if they want a calibrated breakdown of a move. As a beginner, it has also greatly helped me learn and recognize dance moves when I see them. In essence, it is the language of the dance, explained for any dancer who desires a muscular and intellectual understanding of the basic moves. That said, she does not focus on coaching the viewer through drilling. If I want a substantial drill, I follow her instruction on the move, pause the video, and drill it for 3-5 minutes. Then, I begin the video again.
The second section offers "practice flows" that the viewer can use to integrate the technical practice with rhythm and flow. The warm up is not as rigorous as I like but it feels relaxed and joyful. The flow segments are short, which is good for a weeknight practice and builds intutive understanding of transitions. They are also accessible and can offer the feeling of actual dancing even for a beginner like me. A more experienced dancer might find that the flows help them integrate Ward's unique style into their own.
The third part is a choreography that I have not done. It is wonderful though and I am working my way up to it.
The video includes 2 performances, both of which are inspiring and so joyful to watch. As I learn the dance and find my own voice and identity, I really try to cue into how a dancer makes me feel when I watch her. Ward is a model for seamlessly blending and communicating playful joyfulness and earthy sensuality."
Beautiful dance technique, beautiful dance!
Seir | USA | 02/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With all the right ingredients, beautiful movement flows on a correct foundation. This program has all the lovely touches that distinguish just movement from dance. Here are the embellishments to present your dance with the qualities of an experienced dancer, flawless, and finessed.
The eloquences in dance terminology and the finished result brings Autumns dance to captivation. I recall performances by Autumn in past issues of WDNY videos Her style is unique as is her look.
I chose to begin my review by viewing her performance section before beginning the program. The performances are rich, with the freedom to embrace a combination of styles; strong in oriental and classical dance; Indian hints sprinkled about. Once I studied her style of expression, I felt it would be simpler to understand her program.
The dance theory is elaborate and begins in full blown detail. There is much to the technique and the warm up is essential to prepare the body for these moves. Autumn tells you she will start at the beginning and she does.
To begin, the warm up section is extensive. The foundations, from breath to movement because proper inhalation and exhalation brings life to the dance. Orientation of space in a stage, turning, Autumn narrates and moves about quickly because there is much to learn.
The technique section defines basic posture, with several variations such as wide stance, staggered stance, building blocks, and upper body mechanics. An elaborate section on arms, basic and elaborate arm transitions. Also included are lower body movements such as:
Tilting the pelvis
Hip lifts and drops
In the dance philosophy segment, the practice flows and practice choreography are designed with and without voice cues. Pace yourself
in the practice flow section as it is designed in six series pending your progress. Patience and perfection is pretty much a solid theory, before moving ahead, "if you slosh through the moves, so shall you engrain into your muscle memory."
In the practice choreography Autum explains the five elements she implements into personal choreography.
The musical is mystical and allows freedom of movement without a rigid beat.The dance moves are clearly defined and the visuals were clear and pleasing to the eye.
Although this program is designed for beginner, some background of basic fundamentals will facilitate the entry to the program. Faithful use of the warm up section will allow an easier transition into some of the intricate moves as twist and shift and others simply because muscle memory makes some of the intricate moves here easier to master. Overall,
the near three hour presentation is not only interesting, but captivating as Autum moves and speaks.Autum doesnt spill out overly dressed jargon but rather she presses forward with confidence and eloquence of words that match her style. This approach to belly dance is the trajectory to artistry in a beautiful way. I loved this program and learned much from it.
How to Create Beauty 101
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 02/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
This fantastic DVD will tell you how to create beauty in belly dance from the very basics to the finer details, and to "dance with the radiant feeling of an open heart." Autumn Ward is a gorgeous, graceful woman with excellent verbal skills, who can teach you both with words and visual examples the fundamentals of her art.
If you've never taken a dance class in your life, This DVD would be a superb first course, and should keep you busy for months because of its lengthy tutorials. You'll learn terminology, all the basic positions, and some easy to learn choreography. Because of the simple and well lit production, and Autumn's concise demonstrations which are easy to see, this DVD is a great starting point for any beginner, and those of you studying other art forms are sure to learn something too.
For Intermediate Level:
There is much to learn here even for the more advanced student because of the emphasis on style, and the many details one might have overlooked while learning the art of dance. It makes a terrific refresher course, as Autumn's technique is so precise (and shows her versatility in a variety of dance forms), and her expressive musicality is marvelous to watch.
In the "Practice Flows" segments there is a "Music Only" option which I appreciate to practice with, once one has learned from the verbal instruction, and the performances are a treat. The 1st one is continuous flow from one tempo and rhythm to the next, and the 2nd one a sultry number in a beautiful red and black costume, like a dream from the 1001 Nights come to life. Music is well balanced and lovely, and includes Serpent's Garden, Electric Oasis, Solace, and many more."
The Best! A top notch belly dance instructor!!
Roxanna Brigitte Giannini | France and USA | 02/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Autumn besides an artist with a wonderful talent, is also a top notch instructor. As she shows you the steps, she moves like a swan on water, regal, gentle, graceful. She breaks down every step, every movement, slowly, clearly, with grace and generosity, with patience that only a true teacher can call her own.
From her way of teaching one can truly feel and understand, that Autumn cares, and wants you to really learn, learn well, not only how to execute the steps; but how to make them graceful and fluid; therefore guiding you along the way, little by little, and transform your dance into an inspiration, a work of art. She wants you to learn, and believe me, you learn!!!
In my opinion, to watch Autumn teach, the way she moves, and demonstrates through words and actions, how to attain flawless artistry, would not only be essential for beginners, but helpful to more advanced dancers interested in belly dance, as a art.
She truly posses the gift and skill of the generous, knowledgeable and noble soul of a dedicated teacher, as well as that of an artist, a magical combination for students of belly dance. Unfortunately that "magic" is not usually found in many artists (prominent or otherwise), who "teach" .
Three more things I'd like to add:
1) Autumn teaches from different angles, in front of a mirror, in a well lit room. She wears a costume, that let you see all the nuances, of every move she's in the process of teaching you.
2) Thanks to Amazon for carrying this product!
3) Thank you Autumn for your inspiration and experience, for caring and giving so much! And last but not least, for the break you give to your students, allowing us to purchase such a wonderful tool for an affordable price.
PS I'm looking forward to your fallow up instructional DVD.!"