Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Similarly Requested DVDs
Warning: Contains useful information
Shantell Powell | Kitchener, ON, Canada | 03/13/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Today I finally got to watch my brand-new copy of Cory Zamora's Cabaret Bellydancing Floor Moves Advice. I think this is my favourite no-frills video. There isn't any swanky cinematography. The cuts between scenes are harsh, the sound is of varying quality, I think I'm seeing buttcrack, and the lighting on unpowdered faces makes the video no Dolphina or Belly Twins production. What this video has is a lot of great content.
The video is eclectic, and contains dance instruction, an interview with Ms. Zamora, and plenty of dance footage.
Ms. Zamora is a wonderful dancer, and her floorwork is superb. She has excellent control, fluidity, and grace. Her descensions are impeccable. There isn't even the slightest thud when she takes the floor. Her "bee" move (a horizontal freeze) is gorgeous and not overdone, and her Turkish drop is as soft as a feather's fall. In many ways, she reminds me of my own personal dance mentor, Cathy Linfield. The breakdowns are very similar, the names for the rather uncommon movements are identical, and their style of dance is pretty much the same. It makes me wonder if they were both taught by the same freestyling teachers, thirty-some years ago.
This tape is not for beginners, although beginners will certainly get some good information from it. In the interview section (where she converses with an unidentified man), Ms. Zamora discusses the history of the dance, the interrelation between religious laws and current Middle Eastern dance, and the evolution of cabaret-style dance in the United States. She also discusses her spirituality in relation to the dance. Personally, I don't like New Age beliefs mixing with dance, but even still, this isn't the fluffy New Age soup of Dolphina. At least Ms. Zamora doesn't sound fluffy-headed. However, she will frighten off conservative Christian dancers. My Jehovah's Witness mother fled the room squawking in fear when she heard Ms. Zamora say she was possessed during floorwork (a hilarious reaction to me, but terrifying for my Mom--I had to soothe her and tell her that no, I was never ever ever possessed while doing floorwork. Not even a little bit. Really.).
The instruction section is straight-forward, and Ms. Zamora brings in one of her protegées, a tall, thin woman to demonstrate how the same moves look on different body types. At one point, I have to disagree with Ms. Zamora. She says that it is impossible for someone with a long back to do a backbend to the floor and back up again without using a hand as an aid. Being one of those long-backed women, I do know I am quite able to do backbends. However, it probably does require a lot more muscle power than it would for a shorter dancer. I'm no slouch, and push 190 kg on a leg press. Perhaps Ms. Zamora just hasn't taught any long, lean dancers who also happened to have powerful quads.
Various floor moves are covered in the instructional section. The movements done by Cory's student are what I call floorwork light. It's not so much that they're more appropriate for tall, lean dancers as they're more appropriate for dancers whose muscles aren't quite so developed as Ms. Zamora. These moves are not inferior to the ones performed by Ms. Zamora. They're just not as physically demanding. Powerful dancers could use these less taxing movements and look wonderful, too. This section is useful for instructors, because it demonstrates teaching passable floorwork to dancers with physical limitations.
Various descensions are explained, although the Turkish drop is only glossed over. Although I like the instruction, I think it is an oversight that there are no warnings about the dangers of certain movements. For example, the only safety instruction offered for the Turkish drop is that you might want to practice someplace soft, like on a bed. No kidding! There's no mention of possible problems, like serious knee, foot, neck, and head injuries from performing this movement incorrectly.
I liked Ms. Zamora's explanation of the "bees" movement. I have seen other dancers use a similar movement, but they way they do it, the movement is driven from the extremities and loses all subtlety. I much prefer Ms. Zamora's method, and her explanation was to the point.
Ms. Zamora also gives some general performance tips, like what to do with unruly audience members, people who want to get too personal while tipping, and the like. The video ends with an excellent full performance (ciftitelli, rhumba, taxim, drum solo, maksoum, karsilama, and maybe more I'm not remembering), including her accepting tips from audience members. It also ends with Ms. Zamora's entreaty that if you have any questions, you should feel free to email her.
I know I'm interested in checking out more of Ms. Zamora's videotapes. Freestyle cabaret is my favourite type of raqs!"