Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Egyptian Bellydancing for Intermediates|
Actor: Hilary Thacker
Genres: Special Interests, Educational
This DVD includes everything the intermediate dancer will need to know to enjoy performing the ancient art commonly know as 'oriental dance' or 'belly dance'! Hilary Thacker is a world renowned professional Egyptian-style ... more »
Egyptian Belly Dance for Intermediates
D. R. Wicker | Houston | 02/26/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very beginner DVD. I would not recommend it. The cane dance was the only good part about it."
Bad. Very Bad.
badnat | las vegas, nevada United States | 01/09/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"this was bad.
i expected a much more professional product from someone who has a set of 3 videos.
i expect a professional product, precise movements, detailed instruction, and clean performances from every instructional video i buy. After all, you are a professional, right? i rate this a D.
the sound isn't to great,the setting is in a basement, and everyone looks pretty shabby. you can tell her backup dancers are some of her students; that's not a bad thing, but they look like they are wearing whatever they threw on to go to class that day, and Hilary looks grungy the whole time and her hair is a mess. it is also very short for the price- 30 minutes. You can also tell that this is from the 90's- just get something newer and better from World dance New York for the same price.
besides the production values, this is pretty bad in terms of instructional help the viewer is given. there is no breakdown of moves, and things are done only once or twice at a slower speed. she gives you help sometimes with weight changes, but that's not much help when you only did that move 3 times with one hip and then moved on. it would take a VERY dedicated student to get each move picked out, watch it over and over, and then practice it on their own enough to master it.
Her posture is bad- she looks short and squatty the whole time. You can keep your knees soft without looking like a toddler with a full diaper. Also, i think she has a very wide stance that looked a little iffy to me- although that might be part of her style, i don't know. my sister and i finally figured out that she looks weird as she dances because she has flat and weirdly stiff flipper-feet, so maybe her wide stance would be fine on someone else.
she also has limp, but stiff, arms. maybe this is another stylistic thing, but they just sort of flopped around. her hands are held in, to me, an unnatural way- they are turned forward in that classic "jazz hands" position. just watch. after you notice them, you won't be able to keep your eyes off of the horror of her little stiff hands permenently waving at you. her little hand-flippers swim around here and there, but they are pretty frozen. its mesmerizing after a while. anyway...
in the begining of each section hilary is by herself in front of a mirror (where you can se a 3/4 shot of her back if you look hard). then we move to a hilary in front of a class doing the moves. there are 5 sections in this video-
the first section is labeled "Hits". she does a couple of this, a couple of that, and she just kind of dances along and the voice over talks about it. this lasts for about 5 minutes, then we move to the classroom to do the same set of moves again with her students. (sometimes she actually breaks things down more in this second portion than she did in front of the mirror, so i'm not sure which is supposed to demonstration and which is practice.) it is easy to get distracted in this and all of the class settings because the students behind her are either off time with her, or each other, or both. this classroom portion lasts about 3 minutes.
Then its "Hip Drops". the mirror section of demonstration is about 3 min, then class time of about 2 minutes. by this time you notice that no move is done more than a few times, and almost nothing is done on both sides. there are a lot of people out there with tired rewind fingers.
The next section is entitled "The Egyptian Walk" and lasts a little over 3 minutes for both sections combined. there is almost no explanation of this set of moves, and the students are just as lost as you are. it's hard to watch.
Next is "Adding Steps", with about 4 minutes of mirror time and just under 2 minutes of class time. this is mostly how to turn the moves in a circle or doing step-together-step with a particular move, rather than more moves or layering as you might have thought.
Now we get to the last section - "The Stick". there is about 3 minutes of instruction in this section where she covers a lot- none if it explained. how to hold the cane, moving the cane around while doing camels, walking camels, shoulder hits and circles, etc. (she is in full costume for this section and there is a nice set. you wonder why the rest of it was filmed in her basement rec room.) then a 3 minute cane dance performance -disguised as a instructional part of this video with a voice over. she likes doing this and does a good job at it- or maybe its just so much better than what you've seen so far that you think it's better than it is. i think this is the only section where she has stage presence and is engaged with her audience, and this is the only section where she is a dancer.
if you have been taking dance since you were a small child and can just "watch and learn" you might be fine with this and be able to pick out moves you like, but to anyone else who needs moves explained to you- pass this one up.
this should also be a "Pass" for people who like lots of repetition for learning muscle memory. you will have to do that on your own with this video.
this should also be a "pass" for those who like a very flamboyant style of bellydance. i'm not sure what THIS style is, but there are no sweeping arms and swishy skirts and dramatic pauses for you.
More of a commentary
Shara of Desert Dance | KS | 02/16/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I found this to be more of a commentary on a dance class. I did enjoy the cane dance that Hillary performed, along with a commentary telling you which steps she is doing. Also some interesting bonus material, so if you do get this, watch the bonus material, too. Good dancer, not so great dvd.