Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bellydance Superstars Every Shimmy in the Book With Bozenka|
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Exercise & Fitness
The Shimmy is unique to bellydancing and it is this movement in particular that distinguishes this dance form from any other. In this DVD, Bozenka teaches twelve different types of shimmies. She carefully selected the to... more »
Every shimmy? Where?
Mala Bhargava | India | 07/18/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
My first impression of this video: disbelief. The producers of Every Shimmy in the Book with Bozenka must surely know that there are a lot of well-known shimmy instruction videos out there. Including one called 21 Shimmies. Why then do they go and create the expectation that this is the last word in shimmies, spanning everything possible? Not only is this video failing to live up to the expectation that this is an absolute encyclopedia of shimmies, but it's going on to reinforce that expectation with a subtitle that goes: "A bellydancer's complete guide to hip perfection". Well, if it's a bellydancer's guide, why is it so basic and brief? If it's a complete guide, where are the rest of the shimmies? If it's about hip perfection, where are all the other hip moves and where are the practice or drill sessions to make you perfect? Well, they're not on this video, unless I'm totally missing something. I do indeed have rather poor eyesight and if there are some subtle menus leading to lots more content on this video, I haven't found them.
I know that Bozenka is a greatly admired dancer and many of my bellydancer friends have been to her workshops and loved her, but that doesn't mean it's okay to put out poorly conceptualized content. If this were the first shimmy video in the world, I'm sure it would have been great. But I've seen more detailed shimmy instruction on general belly dance videos, let alone shimmy-specialized ones. Perhaps a simple and honest "Shimmy with Bozenka" would have been better.
But my problem with this video isn't just nit-picking about a title. There are 12 shimmies covered here and 12 is good enough for me. In fact 3 or 4 are enough for me! But not more than 2 minutes is spent on any one of these. For a beginner, that's not anywhere near enough. For an already-dancer, it gives nothing that isn't covered everywhere else. For everyone else in between - knock yourself out if you have the money to spare. There's no detailed breakdown, no practice, no drills. There's a warm up and cool down on the video but why I'm not sure because the instruction isn't really formatted for do-along mode - it's more demo mode. So each shimmy goes through in this format
-Let me demonstrate (30 secs)
-Let's break it down slightly (30 secs)
-Look with the camera close at a slower demo (30 secs)
-Let's try it together up to speed (30 secs)
Over and out. In two New York minutes.
I tired learning the Hagala shimmy here, but the instruction was so brief I couldn't figure out where you add a twist in the sequence. In the shoulder shimmy section, there are zero tips on how to actually isolate the shoulders properly from the torso. I wouldn't blame a beginner for trying to twist the entire upper body one is still learning the shoulder shimmy, it would be nice to get into posture, neck position, keeping the hands still, keeping it out of the chest, and so on. But there are no posture or safety tips. Assuming this is for intermediate dancers then, where's the detail? Where are the variations?
So. The shimmies covered here are:
Shimmy on the toes
¾ Shimmy side-to-side
Tension shimmy - Freeze
All said and done though, Bozenka shimmies beautifully. As a belly dance friend described it, "juicily". But I'm afraid she doesn't really end up telling us the secret of that smoothness. If you're so advanced that you can take one look and figure it out, well, you're lucky. I'm as clueless as I was to begin with.
She performs a drum solo on this videoimprovisation which is rather nice in its simplicity. But incredibly, the same drum solo features in the bonus section! How generous is that! TThere's an interview with Bozenka in which she tells you how excited she is about the whole concept of the DVD. But what concept, I'm not sure. There are no new concepts that I could spot in this video that has come at a time when there are plenty of specialized videos on shimmies. And when many non specialized videos take up some basic shimmies in thorough detail and practice.
There's also a little interview with Bozenka and Issam. They talk about the importance of improvising.
Bozenka is such a smooth and wonderful dancer that I can't help feeling this whole video is a lost opportunity - not to mention a lot of lost money. On her website it's listed as $30. This is much-loved Bozenka - she should have given you something more Bozenka-specific!
Another BDSS disappointment.
Not Every Shimmy in the BooK but 12 Commonly Used Shimmies.
Tori Bella | Honolulu, HI & LA, CA | 11/21/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Have to agree that the title is misleading because they only cover 12 shimmies and it would be utterly amazing if they could teach you "Every Shimmy in the book" in a 51 minutes Dvd (which also includes a performance and an interview). There are really 4 main shimmies, like what the other reviewer have said, with variations that make the 4 main shimmies equal to 12 shimmies that are taught, which are the Shoulder shimmy , Basic shimmy, Shimmy on the toes , ¾ Shimmy , ¾ Shimmy side-to-side , ¾ twist--Hagala , Bedouin shimmy , Egyptian shimmy, Tension shimmy - Freeze, Pelvic shimmy, Twist shimmy , and Steady shimmy.
Here is the breakdown of the DVD:
Warm Up: I really like her warm up and I think I would incorporate it into my warm ups at home. The issue I would have is that she stretches her hips front and back a lot further then what most beginners can do, and she doesn't give people a warning only to go that far if you are that flexible.
Movements: She first demos the move for a few seconds, and then breaks it down. She slows down the moves and then follows it with a quick drill, then moves on to the next shimmy. She expands each shimmy very cleanly, with tips, and gives you a little history of the shimmy.
Cool Down: I like the cool down she uses and how she explains how important the cool down is. Oddly, she just stops talking and it just becomes "Monkey see, Monkey Do." With some of the movies she uses, without explanation, you can hurt yourself if you are not careful.
Ends at 35 mins
A Live Improved Drum Solo Performance: Dances with a live drummer. I read reviews that they thought she did an over simply drum solo, and I have to disagree because her control is amazing. It really looks like she just having a good time and just having fun. 3:42 mins
Bonus Menu - Dancer's Cut Performance: Bozenka's cut of the drum solo. Interview with Bozenka: a 3:14min interview with Bozenka about the shimmies that she is teaching DVD. Interview with Bozenka and Issam : a 1:23 min with Bozenka and Issam following up the Improved Drum Solo Performance and explaining the performance.
I love the overall clean and zen feeling of the whole over look of the video. She wears a plain black sports bra with knee length green dance pants, and a simple green coin scarf. Nothing is distracting from being able to watch her body to learn the movements. The setting is a single mirror in front of her with cloth false wall on the right side. The set is very simple Zen like. The décor on the set has with 3 plants on oriental tables around her. Even with the setting, there are no distractions, that I've seen like floating electric plugs in the background in other DVDs.
Overall: A lot of the times, I just caught myself starting at the screen on how clean, sharp, and big her movements are. She is amazing dancer. I personally liked the video. It's not a drilling DVD but more of instructional DVD. You are going to have to hit the fast forward button a few times, if you want to practice it with the DVD or just pause it and drill it on your own. I would recommend this DVD to people who at least had a few belly dance classes under their belt and people who are interesting in cleaning up or exploring different views of doing commonly use shimmies. Honesty, people have different styles of learning and this one worked for me. I'm still consider myself an Advance- Beginner because I have been only belly dancing for over two years.
The DVD retails for $14.99 and the cheapest place to buy the DVD I've seen so far is Amazon.com for $12.99. You can also rent it on Netflix, if you want to view it before you buy.
I want more from Bozenka!
Kiss | 01/16/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"It's difficult for me to review this DVD because it seemed like very little effort went into the making. Bozenka's an amazing dancer and a gifted instructor so why this did not translate into her video doesn't make sense. The DVD would fit the advance beginner level; unfortunately, if you've had more than a year of dance instruction, you might feel cheated by the slim amount of instructional material. I would only recommend this video if you're the kind of dancer who sometimes feels lazy and you'd like to follow along without putting a lot of mental effort. As long as you're very familiar with your shimmies, you could use it for this method. I know some dancers do this at home. Still, I'd go hunting for another video before popping this one into my DVD player. BDSS should be producing better videos."