Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Flamenco You Can Do It - Sevillanas|
Actor: Puela Lunaris; David M. Castellano; Cristian Puig; Peter Basil
Genres: Educational, Exercise & Fitness
Enjoy yourself learning this exciting, highly structured dance. The Sevillanas will improve your coordination, sense of rhythm, balance, postural alignment, and stamina. One of Spain s oldest and most traditional dances... more »
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An excellent, unique resource for sevillanas
atisheh | New York, New York | 12/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I became interested in Puela Lunaris's DVDs through World Dance New York, which is better known for its bellydance instructional videos. And while Lunaris has done work on the Zambra (the style of flamenco most closely associated with oriental dance) it is important to note that this video has nothing whatsoever to do with bellydance. In fact, the sevillanas are not even flamenco. They are an old, very strictly structured Spanish social dance which is sometimes performed in flamenco shows, but is also done socially in Spain. This DVD not only introduces the dance, but does an excellent job at showing how it can be performed alone, in a pair in a relaxed, social manner, and in a more showy performance style with fans.
As much as I generally do not like choreographies, this is the dance for them, since every sevillana is the same. The first choreo section is an extremely lengthy breakdown of all the movements necessary for all four sections of the sevillana dance. Lunaris is painstaking in demonstrating the steps, repeating them many times over, and then adding arms. There is instruction on posture, arm movement and placement, arm variations, the different styles of hand floreos.
Lunaris often also shows variations that can be introduced, not in the steps per se, but in the upper body styling or arm movements. This is where the dancer can express his or her individuality, since the steps are fixed. She also briefly describes how men's arm and handwork differs from women's.
In the second choreography, Lunaris has mini workshops on fanwork and on dancing with a partner, and runs through the entire choreography again using the fan. She uses her partner to show not only how dancers move around each other during the sevillana, but also more stylistic variations.
It should be clear by now that this DVD is a treasure, an absolute treasure. I am currently taking beginner flamenco classes and learning the sevillana as part of these. They are quite complicated, at least at first, and any online reference material has not been very good at explaining the dance part of it. To have a DVD at this price not only run down the entire choreography but also show variations is truly exquisite. The two performances at the end are an extra treat.
As well-organized as WDNY DVDs generally are, I find myself wishing for more, especially when it comes to Lunaris' videos. The current organization allows you to watch a demonstration at full-speed with music, then have a lengthy breakdown, then have choreography and practice with music. This is great, but it bothers me that some of the basics of the dance, like how to do floreos for example, are hidden away in a long choreography, with no way to guess at where they might be. There should be an easy way to jump to the descriptions of a few basic techniques, if not have them in a different section altogether.
More specifically to this DVD, since the sevillana is such a repetitive dance, all of the instruction would make much more sense if the dance were broken down in table form and available as a screen or even for printing. It would make the choreography much easier to learn.
(These two points are the only reason I took off a star, and if I could only have taken off half, I would have!)
How to use this video:
First, watch the first choreography all the way through. Just watch it. Watch the performances to see how it all fits together. Then start doing it, but take it slowly. In a normal class, this is material covered over months -- the fact that it is all on one DVD makes this video valuable, but it is also unrealistic to expect to learn it quickly. Just focus on the feet at first, and only later practice adding the arms, and then, slowly, the hands.
That said, the sevillana is more approachable than flamenco dance. I.e., it's easier to look good dancing the sevillana. Lunaris' is a great introduction for those with no experience of it, and a wonderful reference work for those who are learning it in a live class. She has a charming on-screen persona, and she is careful to give you a sense of the culture, attitude, and context of the dance as well, so you understand the spirit as well as the movements. If you are willing to practice a little, you will not regret buying this video."
Skillful dancing, footwork, fan
Seir | USA | 04/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the third learning program that I review from Puela Lunaris and it has been abundant in benefit to my belly dancing. There is an elegance and natural flow lent from one to the other that places a signature of the dances yet there are similarities involved. In this program I am intrigued by the careful skill of both fan and footwork executed during the performance by Puela and partner. I learned that the Sevillanas dance is either by self image with a partner or mirroring with a partner.
The choreograpy was initiated by moving from left shoulder to left shoulder diagonally, or heart to heart, left to right.
There is a precise technique for beautiful flamenco hands taught by Miss Lunaris which has embellished my belly dancing tremendously.
Brasello por fuera, pasadas,careo were interesting to learn where partners almost have a face off in skillful dance.
There is mini workshop on arm work-How to use the arms in turning for momentum and stopping,2 different turning techniques with different arm combinations
11 combinations loaded with elegant footwork and embellished by beautiful hands and arms
This program is very well described and executed.
There is an excellent fan technique and its merging into sevillanas choreography which is skillful and beautifully presented by Ms Lunaris and dance partner. Ms Lunaris is so pleasant and easy to learn from. This expressive and bold dancing will definitely build you as a dancer, be it flamenco or as for me, belly dance.
Beautiful video; jumbled instruction
J. De | Jaux | 10/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Sevillanas is a very complicated dance but Puela Lunaris performs it beautifully. Her instruction has one major flaw: During the instructional sections, she will be facing 1 direction, then when she goes on to demonstrate that section, she will be facing the other direction. Actually, in one of the instructional sections, she switches directions in the middle of the section (she starts in one direction then continues (i.e the next step in the combination) in the opposite direction), without there having been a transition or turn. I wish these things would have been caught by the editor.
In the same bent, she will sometimes say one thing and do another (she will say "flat" but do a "ball"), a sign of poor editing or laziness. The dance can be learned by mirroring her, but there will be times when you have to make your own decision on how you are going to do something because the instruction conflicts with the demonstration.
Though the video containing the Farruca contains some of the same discrepancies that made the Sevillanas video difficult to follow, I found it much easier to pick up (though be prepared for several weeks or months of practice for either one!)"
Jorge L. Medina Lopez | 03/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Paula Lunaris method is clear and to the point.Her version of the sevillanas is one of simplicity, grace and versatility."