Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bellydance - Hip-Hop Liquid Fusion 2-DVD Set|
Genres: Special Interests, Educational
Bellydance Hip-Hop: Liquid Fusion 2-DVD set blends bellydance with the standing forms of hip-hop, exploring the techniques and the aesthetics of both dance forms. Bellydance movement is highly-controlled and internal, whil... more »
Okay, but could have been better! :(
a reader | AZ, USA | 05/30/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was looking forward to Anasma's video ever since I saw it announced on World Dance NY's website, and especially after I saw a clip of her dancing. Anasma is absolutely amazing to watch! Unfortunately, this video did not live up to my expectations.
There is very little explanation of how to do some of the movements, in particular, when she starts combining things in drills. In one case she tells the viewer to do one type of circle immediately followed by a different type. That's the extent of "instruction" for this. She never does it in slow motion nor explains which piece of each circle to start with so that the circles will flow together. I had to rewatch the section several times at quarter-speed to pick up what she was doing.
When she does explain, she explains only once and then goes immediately into full speed - no slow or intermediate speed practice here! The combinations are repeated just a few times. A bigger problem though is she does not keep her timing consistent. In one drill, she says to pause on 7 and 8, but half the time while drilling, she will start stepping on 7 and 8! In another drill, she does half of it at the speed she says at the start, but in the second half, she speeds up. By the end of the drill, she had sped her way up until she was ending each repetition by count 4, not count 8. When I first watched the video, I thought I was insane because I could do the drills just fine sometimes, and other times I was horrible. Now I know, and I don't watch her while I drill, I just count to myself, and I do MUCH better.
I'm also not a big fan of the warmup as a warmup. There is a lot of stretching and I feel nervous doing that much stretching without more warmup. It might be good as a cooldown or post-workout stretch session, though.
Despite these problems, this DVD set is not a total loss. There is a TON of creativity in here! I love her fusion between hip hop and bellydance, and I love the new techniques and moves that I am learning. Most of this DVD's problems are easily solved (you can pause it to practice drills longer or at a slower speed, bad timing can be ignored) and even the harder problems can be kind of fixed with the power of the rewind and slo-mo buttons. I do not regret buying this DVD and will be keeping it as a permanent, valuable part of my collection. Still, I am disappointed since it seems most of these problems could have been easily fixed before it was released."
Never-before fusion of two beautiful dance styles
Mala Bhargava | India | 04/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've always wanted to Moonwalk. Specifically, I want to master it and then wait for someone to ask me to go get something, whereupon I will say "Sure, you got it!" and will then proceed to Moonwalk for the next 15 minutes.
Other than that, though, I've never really had a hip-hop sort of persona. And I still don't. So when WDNY announced Anasma's Hip-hop Belly Dance fusion DVD, I was mostly ho-hum about it. Curious at best. I love belly dance pretty much as it is, and don't feel an overwhelming need to fuse it with anything. But Anasma, well, she's an amazing fusion herself - half Tunisian and Vietnamese, brought up in Paris, living in New York - and isn't shy of fusing whatever dance form catches her fancy.
When I began to watch her 2-disk DVD, I was very quickly amazed. Not only has Anasma been put together without bones, she's incredibly creative in the way she puts together elements of her dancing. The result is very compelling and now I find I really would love to learn all that's on her program. Though I'm probably well past the age for it, I've ignored that thought and started working with the two DVDs. I'm still not into hip-hop, I'm still not into theatrical dance, which is Anasma's forte, and I'm not into funky modern expression. All the same, I'd love to learn all the waving and gliding and floating that she's taught here.
Watch a bit of Anasma "Aggressively Slow" before we get into what's on the DVDs:
The instructional program begins with a 30-minute warm up and conditioning. It's the same difficulty level as a Suhaila style workout. Yoga and intense stretches. Very solid workout indeed.
So, the two DVD set is absolutely filled with content. Never-before content, at that. Logically but ingenuously, the first DVD focuses on belly dance and the second on hip-hop. But, neither of the two disks is "pure" one form or the other. Bellydancers who want nothing whatsoever to do with hip-hop will not find "regular" bellydance instruction on the first DVD. Anasma briefly describes a basic isolation or move and then goes into a drill with hip-hop stylization. For instance, you could be doing shoulder rolls and the drill would have you doing scoops with level changes and a shoulder see-saw. On the hip-hop DVD, you could be doing a Moonwalk, and the drill will have you layering a maya on that. The fusion is evident throughout the instructional program and is totally seamless.
As an instructor-on-video, Anasma comes across as very likeable and engaging. She's also exceedingly cool. She's encouraging, humorous, un-self-conscious. The instruction is clear though a little brief in places. She's full of analogies and explains concepts in more than one way, giving you the choice of picking a method that works best for you. She relates very well to the learner and in many places looks like she's in the middle of a conversation with you, almost stopping to get a response.
On the belly dance DVD, Anasma describes movements in terms of lines, circles, figure-8s and shimmies, making the path very clear. She goes through all the basic belly dance isolations briefly introducing each for review and a check on how she herself will use them before going on to the stylization. Movements for hips, chest, shoulders, head are all taken up. Also elbows because this is particularly important for arm waves. There are 9 short drills on disk 1 and you can make a longer drill section by accessing them in their own section.
The hip-hop DVD is when things get really interesting. You go through standing hip-hop moves of waving, liquid, popping, dimestepping and strobing, mannequin, tutting, glides and floating, and side floats. My favorites are the waving and liquid and the glides and floats and include the Moonwalk. The ones I don't like are the more robotic mime-like moves. That's the funky, theatrical side that I'm not into. Anasma aims this at belly dancers, so she explains it from concept upward. The drills on this disk draw in some of what was learnt on disk 1. The drills are all combos rather than a single repeated movement. These are used in the choreography. In fact, the 11 drills here are much much longer than on disk 1 because they start building up for the choreography.
It's the tribal fusion side of me that loves this second whole part of the program. It's really quite challenging: you need to know your isolations and layering basics and be quite ready to put all that together with hip-hop.
Moving on to the choreography section, Anasma first tells you the story of the piece she's teaching. She also tells you the emotions and facial expressions that go with the choreography. I'm afraid I tend to gloss over this. There are separate choreography drills or practice sessions here; 9 of them. And a demonstration, of course. And finally, two breathtaking performances. One that use the movements taught: New Seed and a structured improvisation, Placebo, set to music by Pete List and Rob Mestrianni. I mean it when I say these performances are breathtaking - particularly the theatrical story-telling one: Placebo.
Anasma is completely boneless, that's for sure.
m00nsister | 03/27/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was absolutely excited when I received my copy from the USA and I was not disappointed in any way. I did not know Anasma before but after watching the DVD and trying some sections I am really looking forward to learning the choreography and enhancing my dacing with some Hip Hop moves (which is usually a no go for me musicwise).
The content of the DVDs is described above so I will not mention it again.
I especially enjoy Anasmas little jokes in between and her openhearted behaviour ...and of course her amazing ability to flow around the room. She explains movements with good examples and shows them in an appropriate speed.
The choreography is an absolute joy to watch and is really heating up my ambition. The music matches it perfectly. Cant wait to get my hands on the song.
Another thing i find very useful is that Anasma is showing a move and then giving varieties of it- apart from the combo she is using in the choreo.
I will have a lot of fun with this DVD set and I will learn a great deal. I would recommend it to anyone who likes her style without any reserve. I would still say though it is not a DVD for absolute beginners due to the complexity of some movements and the layering involved. I would probably classify myself as an intermediate student.
Thanks, Anasma! :D
Sorry for spelling and grammar errors...I am no native speaker ;)"
First DVD I can recommend without reservation
M. Anderson | 05/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I strongly recommend purchasing Bellydance Hip Hop Liquid Fusion by Anasma. The instruction is world class, sensible, accessable while still being detailed. The photography and production is great with close ups right where they need to be and all the right angles and repetitions to see what you need. The music is complimentary and compelling. It's a two DVD set of over four hours collectively with sections on Bellydance, hip hop and then a choreography.
Even if you are not interested in hip hop or liquid or even fusion the bellydance section (the entire first DVD) is absolutely solid and packed with plane, line and shape visualizations that could enhance any bellydancer's form and excecution. The second DVD contains the Hip Hop techniques choreography breakdown, demonstration with and without sectional instruction and performance. I especially liked that she explained the story aspect of her choreography, and introduced the idea of a structured improvisation. Anasma is supremely knowledgeable and playful, and I found this DVD both hard work and tremendous fun. This is the equivalent of a page turner, so you may want to set aside a block of time to indulge in a start to finish workshop type experience; but if you prefer the introduce-learn-master-move on approach with breaks for repetition and internalizing everything is easily accessable through the well designed menu .
As a bellydance teacher of many years my students often ask which DVD they should get for at home practice and though I could recommend this or that DVD for a great special focus I would always have to give a caveat about something or another instruction method or distracting element to the production. I am pleased and excited to say this is the first DVD I can recommend wholeheartedly not just to help daily practice but to use as a long term tool to perfect and inspire new personal motion and dance stylings."