Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|New York City Ballet Workout|
Actors: Peter Martins, Sarah Jessica Parker, Helne Alexopoulos, Albert Evans, Edwaard Liang
Directors: Richard Blanshard, Rebecca Metzger-Hirsch
Genres: Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Exercise & Fitness
Studio: Uni Dist Corp (music) Release Date: 05/27/2003 Rating: Nr
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John C. (bookwheelboy)
Reviewed on 12/6/2007...
I wants it.
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
A wonderful change of pace!
rebecca_r | Madison, WI United States | 04/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After experiencing a serious exercise burnout in the last year, I began looking for workouts to supplement my usual step aerobics/weight training regimen. I added yoga several months ago, and then a friend mentioned the NYC Ballet Workout book. Since I'm not one for exercising out of a book, discovering that a video would soon be released was very exciting. I have not been disappointed.I have never studied ballet formally, but was familiar with the five basic positions and many of the other common ballet exercises. As a result, I fell in step quite easily and was able to concern myself more with proper form than might otherwise have been the case. The three warm-up segments had me laughing at my own clumsiness the first time around, but were much easier the second time I did the tape.This workout won't be especially difficult for anyone who's either studied ballet or is in fairly good shape. I found certain things challenging (like holding the arms in second position for the whole of the tendu segment), but overall, I think this tape is aimed more at helping the viewer develop flexibility and strength without taxing the cardiovascular system to any great degree. I have found that I can do this tape at 9:00 in the evening and fall easily asleep at 10:45. You will be perspiring but have an overall feeling of tranquility at the end.Even though I love this tape, I gave it only four stars because of what I perceive to be some minor problems. There is one bad edit in the stretching segment that threw me off at first. Peter Martins's cueing leaves a bit to be desired, and his instructions of "right" and "left" are from the dancers' point of view -- not from the perspective of the person following along. (I'm used to simply mirroring the people in workout videos and disregarding the narrator, so this is not a problem for me -- but could be confusing for others not experienced in doing that.) And finally, the dancers aren't always shown full-length, which makes it harder to know what the parts of their bodies that aren't being shown are doing at that particular moment.But, as I say, these are minor matters in an otherwise terrific video. They certainly do not keep me from recommending the New York City Ballet Workout!"
Grace and poise -- but some experience helps
M. Smith | Virginia, USA | 10/01/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is excellent for toning and lengthening your muscles, and will definitely work up a sweat. The workout is divided into 17 segments, which can be viewed all at once, one at a time, or as part of four sections. Exercises 1-4 are warm ups, includes some dance steps that get your blood pumping and some nice stretching. 5 & 6 work your abdominals. 7-9 are "floor barre," which means you lie on your back and keep everything stable except the moving leg -- very effective. 10-16 are leg work, such as degagees, tendus, and grand battements. Finally, 17 is a cooldown with some stretching. Note that there is no instructor-led dance segment after all that barre/center work, as there is in a dance class.There is one main thing I don't like about this DVD -- the verbal cuing is terrible. At the very end, the narrator says, "Rather than follow my instructions, follow the dancers, the music, and listen to your body." Yeah, well, tell me how to follow the dancers with my face in my knees. A few viewings should make this much less of a problem, but the first times through may be frustrating, especially during the (almost silent) cooldown, when your neck is craned around to see what's going on.I don't know if someone with no ballet experience would find this DVD very rewarding. Although no special equipment is required, there is no explanation of technique, and the narrator makes frequent use of ballet terminology. Perhaps in conjunction with one of the ballet instruction videos or books, this would be better for beginners, but I think a semester of ballet classes would be more reward for the money in that case.Given those caveats, this is a great workout to intersperse with your other strength and aerobics workouts."
Beautiful to watch, Challenging to do
Tracey L. O'Neill | the peoples republic, Massachusetts | 04/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The New York City Ballet workout is the best ballet tape I have seen. Elegantly narrated by Ballet Master Peter Martins, this video takes you through a challenging, and thorough warm up and stretching routine. Seeing the elgant line of a dancers body, and their truly amazing flexibility and muscle tone is inspiring. The workout is shot on feature quality film, with feature quality sound, not the grainy video and off sync sound we normally find in workout videos.The soundtrack is classical, although with the DVD version, you can listen to something more upbeat and contemporary, and you can see every move from several different angles, demonstrated by male and femal dancers. The ab exercises are really challenging, I could barely get through them, but you keep going. Maybe it's because there is no overly perky barbie doll making veiled attemps at encouraging you. I did not find the moves to be hard to follow, but as with any artform, practice makes perfect, and if you want to perfect your technique, then you should do the video regularly. Just take your time, and listen to the music, and enjoy yourself.All in all, this video makes you work hard, and looks like an actual ballet production. I highly recommend it."