Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|New York City Ballet Workout Vol 2|
Genres: Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Exercise & Fitness
On May 27th Palm Pictures brings you New York City Ballet Workout 2 - the follow-up to the popular and best-selling New York City Ballet Workout originally released in the spring of 2001. Once again under the direction of ... more »
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Work Out Some More Like a Dancer, Whether You're One or Not
blueyed puella | CT, USA | 08/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Workout Description: about 30 minutes of toning (17 minutes floor work, 12 minutes standing; primarily focuses on lower body with some ab and minimal upper body work) with 11 minute warm-up, 6 minute stretch, and 17 minute "cool-down" which includes dance routine for a total of 63 minutes
Workout Level: mid-intermediate to low advanced
Instructor: Peter Martins (NYC Ballet Master in Chief) in a voice-over with his British accent. He is encouraging and helpful (and less snobbish than NYC Ballet Workout 1). You will need to watch the dancers closely and even watch the video glossary at the end; the tips given are sufficient but just barely. (This is another area improved from NYC Ballet Workout 1). Both sides are worked evenly, and you are expected to mirror the dancers' movements.
Class: 1-4 dancers from the NYC Ballet (2 women, 2 men)
Music / Set: You can choose between a gorgeous classical music soundtrack or a more modern jazz-inspired vocal soundtrack, both with or without narration. The interior set is minimal, as the focus is on the dancers.
Equipment Needed: optional mat for floor segment. The workout can be done barefoot, with ballet slippers, or you can use the special split sneakers (from Bloch or Capezio) the dancers use in some segments.
Caveats: Familiarity with ballet is extremely helpful; familiarity with Pilates or similar methods is also helpful. You don't have to be a dancer, though.
Additional Comments: You'll need some space for this workout, particularly for the movement combination. However, at 5'8" I'm able to fit it in my 6' by 8' space without getting too cramped or having to be too creative.
This, along with NYC Ballet Workout 1, is one of the few exercise videos in letterbox. The choreography and production are beautiful. Sarah Jessica Parker appears on the back cover but nowhere else.
This program consists of 16 exercises divided between a moving warm-up, floor exercises (including a stretch, ab series, and "floor barre"), standing center, reverence, and a movement combination. (There are fewer pauses in between exercises, as in NYC Ballet Workout 1.) There is no cool-down after the movement combination, so you may want to delay the reverence until after you've completed it. The movement combination isn't enough to count as good cardio, but it's fun to see if you can complete it even half as gracefully or effortlessly as the dancers.
In comparison to the New York City Ballet Workout 1, this is more like Jessica Sherwood's Ballet Boot Camp (1 or 2). NYC Ballet Workout 2 has more explanation and more routines. It feels more like a regular class that ends with practicing a routine for a recital. Personally, I have both NYC Ballet Workouts and use them equally. I'm so excited to live out my childhood dream of being a ballerina (although just in private-there's a reason why this is just a dream) that I can't help but enjoy these workouts. Are they perfect? No. Are they as fun as a real class? No. Do they make you sweat buckets? No. Do they help you increase your flexibility, strengthen your muscles, improve your balance and posture, and make you feel like you're a graceful dancer when you're done? Absolutely.
The DVD comes with a booklet offering workout tips and a summary of the program. (Don't let the photos of the super-flexible dancers intimidate you; you won't have to do any of those stretches in the workout.) You have the option to select chapters or program your own workout, so if you only want to do part of the exercises, you can. (For example, you can do the warm up, floorwork, and stretch one day and the warm up, standing work, and Reverance another day; you could also focus on lower body.) There are "Quick Fix Target Exercises" for the abdominals, shoulders & back, and thighs & buttocks, where a dancer demonstrates an exercise to add on; it's then up to you to do them on your own. There are 2 documentaries: "Tendus, Tutus, Tights, and Takes," which is a behind the scenes look at filming the workout, and "Born to Dance," which combines bios with a day in the life of each of the dancers. (It's worth seeing for Aesha's commercial debuts.) In addition, there are trailers and promo spots for Danskin and NY Sports Club. You may find the book version of the exercise program helpful, particularly if you have little ballet experience, but it is not necessary."
More fun than the first video
blueyed puella | 05/31/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This dvd does much of the same exercises from the first New York City ballet workouk, but the combinations are different and somewhat more difficult, and there is also a final allegro. You are also taught a couple of different steps such as fondu, and there is a glossary to explain the steps for those new to ballet. The final combination is something new to vol 2. It is fun, but fast, and it was my favorite part of the tape. I did not think it was hard to pick up, but I have been dancing ballet for some years. For a begining student it might be somewhat complicated, but the video does brake down every step into sections so that you get extra practice before being expected to do the entire combination. As for the music you are offered two choices. The contempery music is not rock or techno, but more like new age, and I much prefer the classical selections. You may also turn off any vocal instructions if you wish. Also you may create a personal exercise program by selecting or repeating the exercises you liked the most. I am giving it only four stars because I wish that it taught you more steps and more moving combinations."
A MUST HAVE! simply the best workout I have done
AussieGal | Victoria, Australia | 05/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I won't go into detail about the breakdown of the workout as others have more than adequately done this - I wanted to address some of the UNFAIR CRITICISM.
Firstly those who say there is no instruction (especially the dance section at the end) may not have used the very comprehensive menu. Choose the 'play all' option and skip until you find the 'teaching combination' sections. The dance combination is taught in 4 sections - each move is shown in slow motion with excellent voice over instruction then goes 'up tempo' and shown in the speed that the end dance has. These segments can be repeated over and over until you 'get it'.
I have no dance experience and the grace and poise of a lame duck but it only took me no more than 5 attempts to learn most of it (by replaying each section). I have had longer learning periods with my Cathe Friedrich step workouts! Why do you want a dvd that you can do when you first put it in? That is just a waste of money as you will get bored quickly - I want to be able to progress.
Another criticism was the lack of explanation of ballet terminology - rubbish! DVD comes with a booklet that shows each one and explains, and the glossary on the dvd does the same. As Peter explains, you can go to that glossary at any time in the workout if you need more help with positions. Remember these people had years of training to get the bodies they have, it is crazy to think you will have their grace and mastery of the movements with one workout! But with many uses of this workout you will come close, the instruction is EXCELLENT and the closest thing to one-on-one instruction you will get.
And to address one other unfair comment - you CAN skip through sections and program any/all parts of the workout USE THE MENU!!
I'd rate this workout 11/10 and only wish they would release no. 3. A lovely change of pace from high impact aerobics and step for me - but still a challenge - especially if you do the 'dance' at the end twice!
A beautifully produced dvd, excellent quality, great menu system (especially being able to choose the music) and voice over instruction is calm and soothing to listen to. You won't regret buying this one.
A Challenging Accompaniment to the First Workout
M. A. Marquart | Philadelphia, PA | 04/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have owned and used the first workout in this series for several years now and enjoy it thoroughly. I have no ballet training and purchased the video after getting interested in Pilates. I bought the second workout on DVD despite one reviewer's comment that it is virtually the same workout as the video I already own. I was glad to learn this wasn't true. The first workout is far easier as it requires less coordination while the second workout incorporates dance steps and arm movements in a much more complicated fashion. It also transitions from one type of move to the next much quicker than the first workout which broke each type of move (plies, tendu, etc.) into separate segments. Furthermore, I find the abdominal work and floor bar exercises much more challenging in this workout than in the first.
Perhaps what most distinguishes this workout from the first is the dance routine included at the end. The first workout has little cardiovascular work and this segment (which I skip to before Reverence) really kicks up the intensity of my workout. I also feel like I'm really learning how to dance ballet - not just engaging in ballet exercises. I get better at the routine each time I do the workout and find myself motivated to work out more as I attempt to master the steps. This routine is difficult to follow for those of us without dance training but equally thrilling when we amateurs find ourselves keeping up with the professionals (even if we aren't quite as graceful).
I recommend that non-dancers buy both workouts. The first allows you to concentrate on learning rudimentary postures and moves. The second increases the challenge with a more dynamic workout, preventing plateaus. I now alternate between the two workouts, doing each about once a week as a supplement to my other fitness activities.