Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|I Love Turkish Bellydance|
Actor: Sarah Skinner
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Exercise & Fitness
Earthy and playful, sparkling with an energy of celebration and surprise, Turkish bellydance absorbs the rich traditions of Turkish folk and court dance as well as the mysteries and festive rites of the lands along the ... more »
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I Love Turkish Bellydance Review
Bonita Oteri | Springfield, VA USA | 01/21/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am a teacher of Egyptian Belly Dance primarily, but also teach Turkish style belly dance steps in my classes. Several of my students have been asking me about this new DVD.
First, let me say that the DVD has many charms and is best suited to beginner/advanced beginner students, but that for the serious intermediate/advanced and professional teacher or performer there are stronger, academically attentive and more thorougly researched DVDs on the market. Miss Sarah Skinner cites Eva Cernik, Dalia and Elizabeth Artemis Mourat as among her teachers. I have had the pleasure and honor of studying with these accomplished master teacher and performers as well and recommend their DVDs/VHS tapes for turkish (Eva and Elizabeth Artemis Mourat) and dynamic skirt dance/fusion styles (Dalia's video media and a superb music CD).
For the Beginner and Advanced Beginner student this DVD includes at least one turkish traveling step I have seen taught by Eva and Artemis- and is a good start for a student with no previous knowledge base. American fusion type skirt dancing steps are also included also helpful for the beginner. There are simple choregraphies throughout the DVD well executed that will be helpful to beginner students, but frankly lack the fire, passion, and wild, playful abandon that for me is so quintissentialy turkish.
The costuming section is an excellent rundown for students, teachers and performers and the strongest section of the DVD. In fact Ms. Skinner has a great eye for costumes and color combinations and I would love to see a DVD from her in the future focusing solely on this topic. I am not sure if there are any up to date DVDs in recent years on this topic currently on the market at the moment.
The veil number was very beautiful and again a great study for beginners and others who may not be ready to or want to do complex turns and intricate veil combinations. This number gives great ideas for "still" shots and dramatic poses that are audience eye catching. The costume here was elegant and Sarah is a very pretty dancer with flowing dark hair who carries off the mood of this piece spledindly. I did find it odd, though that the music was a classic Andalusian piece, sung in spanish- on a DVD touting "Turkish" dance.
Overall, a useful DVD for beginners with lots of great costume and still shot pose ideas...However, perhaps a different choice in title touting the many rich and various threads of the fusion style belly dance taught and perforemd in this DVD would have more aptly described the total DVD.
Picture-perfect teaching of 2 Turkish dances for beginners
Mala Bhargava | India | 02/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unburdened by any expectations or any knowledge of Turkish dancing, of videos that teach Turkish dancing or of Sarah Skinner for that matter, I found this DVD a... well, a Turkish delight. Sarah Skinner is very, very feminine and graceful. She even looks like she's dancing when she's actually sitting down to explain a bit of background to Turkish bellydance. If there's anything at all I expected, it was for Turkish dancing to be downright difficult, and on this DVD, it is not, which must mean it's aimed entirely at the beginner. Come armed with some basic knowledge of belly dance isolations--and a beautiful swishy skirt--and you can do it.
I liked the opening chat about Turkish dancing because it put things in perspective from the start. Sarah next goes on to a wonderful and colorful costume workshop. The problem with that is ending up wanting every one of those skirts and accessories.
The three performances that come after the costume workshop are a visual delight. There's one to a Chiftitelli (slow sensual rhythm) that I would really love to learn. There's also a joyful veil performance. And a graceful drum solo. Very pretty, each of these.
The instruction follows the same format that many of the recent dvds from World Dance New York are using. There's a demo of the whole dnace, then a break up of each combination (there are 9 and 11 of them for the two dances taught). There's also a menu item with which you can move on to the step by step breakdown followed by trying it out with music.
Sarah is a very nice teacher. Gentle and unhurried. She gives you safety tips and warms you away from the mistakes you could make. The most remarkable thing of all is that these moves are within the reach of the beginner. I have done about a year and a half of video-only learning and I tend to not account for people taking classes in addition to working with a video. If you're stuck where there are no classes, this is entirely possible to do because the moves selected are easier ones. People who are already familiar with Turkish dancing and other videos on this genre obvioiusly won't be challenged but may still like to pick up the two choreographies--inexpensively and easily. In that sense, I think the title may be a bit misleading as it may signal that this is meant for people who are already well into Turkish belly dancing or are outright advanced.
Overall, very graceful, an absolute visual treat, well selected and doable moves and charmingly and gently taught. As is usual for this group, it's value for money -- 21 combinations to work with.
Turkish-American Fusion Bellydance
S. Sied | Pacific NW, USA | 07/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Overall, I love this dvd. I do have a few considerations I would like to mention...
1--I think it is incorrectly titled as it implies the content is actually Turkish dance. This dvd teaches Turkish inspired American Caberet Bellydance as the instructor implies in her introduction where she states this style developed in the restaurant/nightclubs in New York city in the 60's/70's and beyond. As other reviewers noted the costume on the cover is also not traditionally Turkish, but more of a fusion style. I gave the dvd one less star because of this concern. For those interested in a more purely Turkish dvd, I recommend Elizabeth Artemis Mourat's "Turkish Style Belly Dance dvd.
2--This dvd really focuses on skirt work. The instructor does state that the skirt flourishes are a more recent fusion element rather than traditional Turkish dance. The emphasis on skirt flourishes make this dvd excellent for those wanting some basic skirt manipulation technique and not-so-great for those who are not as interested in skirt manipulation.
I liked several things about this dvd:
1--The bonus section features a 20 minute costume workshop. Sarah Skinner has an excellent eye for costuming! She demonstrates how different skirts, hip belts, arm decoration and bras can enhance the dance and offers many useful tips. I would love to see Sarah Skinner create a dvd on this topic as this was my favorite part of the dvd. I gave it an extra star because I like this section so much.
2--The performance segment offers an amazing and beautiful example of Turkish-inspired American Bellydance.
3--I liked the introduction including reference to her teachers, the style she is dancing and the music used.
4--The production quality is good and the instructors movements are always clear and visable.
The instruction is good and will be useful for dancers of beginning to intermediate level who are interested in an American-Turkish fusion style."
I love this video!
Serena Dances | Carlisle, PA | 05/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this video when I wasn't able to find a Turkish-style instructor in my area. I've been taking Egyptian style bellydance classes for several years now. For those of you with Egyptian experience, you're going to see a lot of moves you recognize, and a few you haven't.
The dances taught in this video are pretty easy and should not be a problem for anyone with a grasp of basic technique. Sarah does a good job of explaining how the moves are done, and with her costume and the background being what they are, it is really easy to see what she is doing and how to do it. She is pretty good about breaking down the moves without too much repetition. The only reason I say it would be easier for someone with basic skills is that it takes a while to learn how to do shimmies, especially the "choo choo" shimmy if you have never done them before. Sarah has a pleasant voice, and seems to really enjoy what she is doing. The camera does a good job of staying where it is supposed to be unlike many of the instructional videos on the market.
The costume section in the beginning of the video is great and I'd like to see more of this sort of thing.
I gave this video 5 stars, but in reality I'd like to give it a 4.5. Why? In the instructional sections of the video you have a choice of using just instruction, or instruction of sections, and each section followed with you dancing along with her performance, going back to the beginning each time. I really liked learning this way, but some of their splices weren't so good and a few pieces were missing. In Mastika she tells you to swing your arms as if you were walking in the beginning if the song, while in her demonstration she has her hands on her hips for the first section. It's not a big flaw, but it's a bit disconcerting the first few times you're trying to dance along with the instructor and she's not doing what she told you to do.
I would recommend this video to anyone who wants to give Turkish dance a try, especially if you like the way the skirtwork looks. The dances are fun and relatively easy to learn, and I think skirtwork can do a lot for a beginner's confidence. It gives you a "prop" to hold on to, and can look very impressive without being very complicated. If you're interested in learning a little bit about Turkish style dance, get some great ideas about costuming, and learn 2 cute little dances to show to your friends/significant other, then this video is a great buy! There is a lot of content for the price.
I hope to see a lot more videos from this instructor."