Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Magic Fantasy Bellydance|
Actors: Isidora Bushkovski, Autumn Ward, Ariellah
Director: Magic: Fantasy Bellydance
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Exercise & Fitness
Studio: Stratostream Release Date: 03/25/2008
Excellent DVD - 3 Choreographies that will Inspire
C.C.N. | 04/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The "Magic" DVD of the Fantasy Bellydance series consists of three intermediate/advanced dance choreographies based on an esoteric, archetypal character or concept- an enchantress, a warrior princess, and a dark goddess. Each dancer gives her interpretation and inspiration behind each dance but also encourages the at-home-dancer to take the choreography and interpret it, to make it your own.
Each choreography segment is broken down into:
- a costumed performance
- the story behind the choreography
- Complete step-by-Step breakdown of choreography (with repetitions and
(Note: You need to already have a foundation in bellydance. The choreography is broken down but not to extreme detail of each movement -ex: how to do a figure eight, hip square, etc.)
The instruction is straightforward and easy to understand. There is plenty of repetition also, so you can practice each combination as you learn each part of the complete dance. Isidora's section gives alot of great tips for the sword, from how to strengthen your movements to how to handle the sword. The "Warrior Princess" also includes some nice martial art movements, it gives the dance a powerful mood. I LOVED Autumn Ward's interpretation of the Enchantress. Her dance has a feminine, earthly quality that captivates. Autumn also does some fantastic zill-work. Unfortunately, she does not cover how to play the zill patterns along with the dance. Ariellah's "Kaili" is fantastic--she flows like a dark vapor.
Overall, I felt this is an excellent DVD---Great dancers, instruction, choreographies, music, and production quality. It definitely has inspired me to try something new. If you are looking for something outside the box of the typical bellydance choreography, this would be a fun DVD to try."
A little bit of everything....
Rom Deussen | St. George, UT | 04/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Please read my reviews on the other 2 DVD's in this series.
Pro's: At 2 hours, a great value. I love the fact it teaches a bit of everything in the series--sword, isolations/tribal fusion, gothic, wings, hand veil, etc. The instruction is always clear from the instructors, the quality is very good. Also, while there are no choreographies I said, "I MUST learn that," there were several things from each one that I can use, which is great.
Con's: Only one, in the fact that the camerawork during the performance, such as Ariellah's, shows the rigging for the lights and backdrop...meant to be shown but my ADHD brain just refocuses on it.
Autumn Ward is the Enchantress. Her costume is like Gaia, with Mother Nature themes--a flesh colored underlayer with green leaves and a woven overlayer. Pretty work intensive! The choreography has a great rising up from the floor, but in the performance, as my son was watching it, he simply said, "Like a tree in an earthquake." May be the best summation (as opposed to a Nell-ish "tree in the wind"). I haved liked Autumn's work very much, and I understand this is fantasy bellydance, but there is some pretty serious shaking (not shimmying, but an arms/torso swaying) at some points. However, there is also a sudden punctuation of a pulling in of the abdomen, drawing up the knee, that is beautiful and poetic. I just can't get into the wild abandon movements. A good comparison would be Laura Rose on the Gothic BD II DVD, but a bit faster. Her expressions are very good as well, and like with all instructors, her teaching is clear. However if this is your first time seeing Autumn and you did not bond with the performance, check out her drum solo work.
Isidora Bushkovski is a great dancer, and here is the Warrior Princess. Granted, check out her Dueling Banjo's on You Tube, and you get a taste of her sense of humor. It is great to have a sword dance taught on DVD along with other things, and to watch her eyebrows and face during the dance adds a level of levity to it, which is not seen so much in fusion.
It is also good to see how she controls the sword when it starts to spin, and how her fingers never cover the blade bit.
Ariellah is Kali, destroyer and creator. I love her yoga DVD, and her performances are amazing on the other DVD's by WDNY. I did not get a sense of Kali from the music choice (Corvus Corax's Fili Neihardii), but the dance is visually interesting, the choreography has lots of usable parts, and Ariellah is a very good instructor, clear and concise. She's beautiful to watch on film as well as live.
Each dancer, by the way, gives the story behind the creation of the dance, which is a way to get a behind the scenes look at the creation of a dance as well as get inspired for ways to look at a song for your own choreography.
Great DVD series, and great DVD."
Strong, Powerful Dances in Vol. 3 of "Fantasy" Set
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 07/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
This is the final DVD of a set of 3, and each disc has 3 solos taught by 3 expert dancers. The DVDs have a variety of styles and are a treasure for intermediate-advanced students; they will get a lot out of the instruction, and definitely have something to inspire them to go forward in their studies. It's great that there is the option for just viewing the performances too, to see the level of artistry all 3 dancers have, within their very unique styles and techniques. The 3 dances are first demonstrated, and then broken down in sections, making it easy to learn the choreography, as well as the stylistic nuances required for each piece. The 3 pieces in this DVD require strength, agility and power, as well as a sword for "Warrior Princess"!
1: "Enchantress" is danced and taught by Autumn Ward, and in the performance she uses cymbals, so if you are adept at using them, this is your chance to learn a fascinating dance to go along with your cymbals, as it adds a lot to the choreography. This dance has powerful torso movements, almost reminding me of the afro-jazz I danced many years ago. Be prepared for a workout! And Autumn explains every movement with crisp and clear language so you won't miss a single step. Autumn is very versatile and is known for her "Cabaret Fusion Style." Music used is "Garden Play" by Earthbeat.
2: "Warrior Princess" is Isidora Bushkovski's fabulous sword dance, and her skill is amazing. Isidora calls the sword dance "Powerful...elegant...beautiful...fierce." It is all those things and looks a little dangerous too! I have never worked with a sword, and will probably just settle for watching this fabulous dance (Isidora gives a lot of tips on handling the sword safely). It is the most riveting piece on the DVD, and Isidora looks like a superb athlete as well as a graceful dancer in it. Isidora calls her style "Tejedora" (Weaver) because of the many dance traditions she incorporates in her work. Music used is "Circle" by Solace.
3: "Kali" with Ariellah. I'm a big Ariellah fan, and her "Kali" lives up to her reputation. Her minute and precise isolations give the impression of a current running through her arms and torso, combined with a liquid grace. Every student can learn a lot from Ariellah. From the Royal Academy of Dance in London to being a founding member of "Indigo," Ariellah is known worldwide for her artistry as a dancer and her teaching skills. Music used is "Filli Neidhardi" by Corvus Corax.
Total running time for this very well produced DVD is 150 minutes.
Magic - The Gathering!
Eden Russell | Provincetown, MA United States | 07/31/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Which watching this DVD I just couldn't help thinking of Magic the Gathering. Any bellydancers familiar with this card game would feel right at home. Autumn Ward representing Green, Isidora Bushkovski - Blue/Red and Ariellah - Black/White. The whole visualization, the colors, the production is amazing. Pardon the pun - this DVD is all about the gathering of Magic.
The cool part about each choreography is that it comes with a concept. Obviously each dancer was given a title for her dance which she had to develop at her own discretion, developing a unique concept. After a performance in full costume each dancer shares her vision of the dance, her ideas, her inspiration. Then the entire choreography is performed without the fancy costuming and setting and it is really interesting to observe the difference.
It all made me think that sharp and clear technique is excellent but to create magic, you need the channel the mood and that every part of the setting can enhance your dance in incredible ways.
A full breakdown of the choreography is then presented. I mut emphasize here that this is a breakdown of the choreography, not of the moves. Brief instruction is given and more attention is paid to the transition between combinations, rather than how to execute this or that move.
A few words about each dancer and her choreography:
-- Autumn Ward
I must admit this is the first time I heard of her. Her piece, The Enchantress, features a lot of transitions which gives the entire dance a very dinamic feel to it. Her stage costume is a green dress with dramatic makeup of matching color and I just couldn't help it, it made me think of her as a (Shanodin) Dryad from Magic the Gathering. Or of Yavimaya Enchantress. In other words, she had the image nailed down - especially with the music she used.
What I really liked about the choreography is that it was extraordinarily vigorous and dynamic. It attracts attention with its liveliness, typical of Egyptian bellydance, yet it has some odd tribal quality to it. This is a strong fusion dance with a very distinct signature. Autumn Ward does a great job with it. I really like it.
The good news is that World Dance NY is going to release soon a new DVD with her. I can't wait!
-- Isidora Bushkovski
Now THIS is a dancer with personality. Consider this! She recorded three videos with instruction but then she decided she could use better music, so why not redo the whole thing? Go figure.
Isidora embodies tribaret. It is a very hard thing to balance between the playful cabaret style and the solemnity of tribal fusion but if there is one dances out there who does it, that's Isidora. She has these amazing performances in Temptations of Bellydance and if you have seen this DVD, you know exactly what to expect.
What to expect is a row of very interesting moves with the sword which indeed have more in common with martial arts than bellydance. I've watched hundreds of sword performances and I haven't seen anyone else doing this. The sword is a very interesting prop but unfortunately a lot of dancers think that sword dance is doing the same ole Egyptian with a sword on their heads. WRONG. Add a few powerful swings, give it the right attitude and see the difference.
Isidora Buskovski makes all the difference in the world of bellydancing with swords.
They say Rachel Brice is the mother of tribal fusion bellydance just like Carolena Nericcio is the mother of ATS. However, in my humble opinion Ariellah surpasses Rachel in many ways. No one blends gothic and tribal bellydance so perfectly. The choice of dancer, concept and visual setting are just ... obvious.
I do not think that any other dancer could possibly embody Kali so perfectly. Ariellah moves in a very hypnotic, measured way which emanated power. Her makeup and hairstyle complete the image. You may or may not like the extremety of the gothic vibe to it but her performance is ... swaying. It's not just the movement of her hips and chest but the way she moves her head and her eyes. Astounding.
Ariellah has her own WDNY DVD on tribal fusion bellydance which is also outstanding material. If you would like to master some of the awesome things she shows in Magic, you should try her drills and also Asharah's. Both explore in detail these tiny little robotic locks which remind me of breakdancing.
If you are more Egyptian/cabaret minded, you may not enjoy as much Ariellah's performance but for all fans of Rachel Brice and tribal fusion there is a wealth to learn.
And just a few words to sum it up.
Do NOT bother with this DVD if:
-- You are a beginner. Trust me, it's not for beginners. Learn your basic steps and get back to this one later.
-- You are looking for cabaret or Egyptian style bellydancing
-- You want to learn simple, traditional routines
-- You are looking for tips on zilling or floorwork.
This DVD may be just right for you if:
-- You enjoy fusion bellydance of all kinds
-- You are at advanced or at least strong intermediate level
-- You are looking for fresh ideas, cool new ways to interpret music
-- You are looking for great value for your money
-- You want to learn some amazing tricks with the sword.
I bought this DVD for $16. It offers 3 different, LONG choreographies by 3 amazing teachers and about 2 hours of outstanding instruction. The quality is great, so are the performances.... I just couldn't think of a better way to spend my money.