Join Rania, Sohaila, Louchia and Marina and enjoy the mystical world of bellydance. Bellydance is over five thousand years old, with roots extending out through many of the ancient cultures: India, Macedonia, Greece... more », Turkey, Persia, and the mid-East. These dances have origin in ritual/tribal dances, temple dances, social dances, exercises to prepare women for childbirth, and dances of victory. Throughout the many countries, cities, towns and villages that have the dance as part of their culture, one can see stylistic nuances in both the dance and costuming that mark the style of that region. This why we chose to present you with several different styles of bellydance in this program: Egyptian Dance, Traditional Cabaret Style, Persian Dance, and Persian Banderi Dance. We have additionally added some modern versions of the dance, which are non-traditional, yet quite popular. Bellydance movements are natural to a woman's muscle and skeletal structure, and even the leg and foot movements are predominantly low-impact. Many people believe that this dance is the first and purest form of dance, since it naturally evolved with civilization, and can be performed by anyone, regardless of their age or body type. This is also why bellydance is so popular as an exercise form. Many of the movements involve isolating different areas of the body, and moving them sinuously in opposition to each other. Other important qualities of bellydance movement involve percussive hip accents, and fast, vibrating movements called Shimmies. An experienced and well-trained bellydancer will combine all these qualities with such mastery that her dance is captivating, leaving her audience amazed at her skill and control. Special Features - Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Important Notice to Owners of Other Bellydance Videos!
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Read other reviews to find out what people think of this video but if you own any of the "Bellydance for Fitness and Weight Loss" videos by the bellydancer Rania or anything from the bellydance twins Veena and Neena, it's good to know one VERY important fact. . . there is absolutely NO NEW or ORIGINAL material on this DVD. Every single one of the dance numbers on this disc is already in the "bonus" section of one of the above mentioned DVDs.
Had I known this in advance, I would have passed on this purchase. As an owner of other bellydance videos, I was VERY disappointed to discover that the long awaited and much hyped DVD I'd just purchased was merely a recycling of material I already owned in bonus sections of previously released DVDs. If you don't own other bellydance videos this fact may not matter to you at all. I just thought I'd post this note as a "public service" to keep anyone else who collects bellydance videos from wasting their money like I did."
Cheryl Kornegay | 02/17/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is not the best performance video/DVD out there, but it's certainly not a waste of money (especially at this price). What I liked:
- Sohaila - She has an elegant, mature style, sweet facial expressions, and a classical "ear" for the music. I'm going to steal some of her combinations. However, I watched the entire DVD in one sitting (and it's LONG), and I found myself getting tired of her. There's just wasn't a lot of variety in her performances. If I watched one at a time, or saw her perform a single routine in person, I would have been much more impressed.
- Louchia - It was really neat to see Persian dancing. I, myself, wouldn't consider it belly dance (although I'm sure some will disagree with me), but it's good to be exposed to other dance styles from the region.
- The variety of costumes. There was huge variation in styles, and I got lots of ideas.
- The variety of dance styles. While I didn't like every performance (I'll go into why later), few videos try to give an overview like this one does.
- the DVD options were nice: you can watch all the performances in order, or all of one dancer's pieces. It would have been nice to be able to choose each piece individually, but it's not that difficult to scroll forward by chapter within each dancer's section.What I didn't like:
- the constant sucking up to the Egyptian style. Yes, Egyptian style is very elegant and nice, but the commentary left me feeling like I shouldn't consider all other styles as lesser, as if they're not "real" belly dance. I also didn't like that they referred to American style or American cabaret style as "the traditional style".
- Rania - her technique is good, but I just can't stand her style. I found myself getting offended by her nearly-constant "sultry face". The only exception was her 9/8 (which I didn't think was that great, but she did smile in that number).
- Marina - I liked her energy, but she seemed way to frantic. She just seemed to throw herself and her props around. I got tired watching her. I've seen other performances in the Turkish style that had just as much energy but much more control.
- the camera work - others have complained, so I won't reiterate.
- while I liked that the commentary tried to be educational, I found some of what they said to be highly suspect.
- the music in the menus is MUCH louder than during the performances. I had to adjust the volume constantly, which was a pain.This DVD is worth buying for Sohaila and Louchia, for the costumes and to pick up some new combinations. If you're a fan of Rania or Marina, you may also like it."
Cheryl Kornegay | NC | 03/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"All in all this is a good DVD for your collection, especially if you are a dancer wanting to get combination ideas. I do think that some things about it are rather disappointing. The first dance done by Marina, the second done by Sohaila, and the second by Louchia are already on another tape I own - Beyond Basic Dance with Veena and Neena. I wonder if this is just a collection of performances featured on the Veena and Neena DVD extra features. I hope not.
I do think that Marina plays with her hair too much. The first times I watched her perform it didn't bother me, but it became apparent during the second dance that that is one of her "things." It can pull your attention away from a cool move that she is doing. Despite that, though, she is a spectacular dancer and probably my favorite. I love her style! She's so full of life and her dances are so emotional, she's absolutely mesmerizing!
Rania's dance with the Wings of Isis was a treat. I must say, though, that I don't like her turns, especially her barrel rolls. It MAY be what she is going for, but they look TOO trance-like and almost Exorcist-y. I don't really feel a lot of connection to her and her dances, though. She seems too perfunctory. That said, she sure can wiggle!
I love Luchia's dances and dresses. They change the pace, add more flavor, and are a lot of fun to watch. I really like her style and it appears deceptively simple compared to the layering that Marina and Sohaila perform.
Now, Sohaila is a wonderful dancer. She has excellent control and grace, but she isn't my style. The narrator says at one point during one of her performances that the Egyptian style can be likened to Ballet where as the other traditional styles are like jazz. I suppose I prefer jazz. It's a personal preference and nothing is detracted while plenty is gained from her being in the video.
Over all, I am glad that I have this video. For someone interested in only watching for the performances, it's terrific. For choreography or technique ideas, the close-ups are annoying (aren't they always?), but they are not TOO frequent and you can sometimes figure out what the dancer is doing with her lower body, anyway, by context. There is a good variety represented with plenty of costume diversity and prop dancing (too bad there was no tribal or fusion style represented). "
Why is the worst?
Cheryl Kornegay | 01/30/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"It's not about the dancers, the dancers are great! They dance very beautiful. It's about the camera man/women, who dindn't know that bellydance is about HIPS, and not about the face.For the ladyes that danced i give them 5 Stars, but not for the DVD!Thank you"
Nice. affordable performance collection
leeba antares | ohio | 11/06/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a nice collection of performances at a reasonable price. It is true- if you have all 3 Twins "discover" DVDs, their Slim Down and Rania's 4 weight loss DVDs, you will have all these performances. Of course, if you have them on vhs, you will be missing most of them, except for a few of Rania's. Given how expensive many bellydance performance dics are, this is a decent buy. The dancers are all very good and show several different styles. Sohaila has a few lovely classical Egyptian numbers, and Louchia has 2 Persian numbers- a style often left off of performance compilations. Marina has several wonderful Turkish, cabaret numbers, including a really strong drum solo. And finally, Rania has several strong performances, including her famous "Wings of Isis" dance, a sword dance and a really nice improv piece. I would liked to have seen a few more dancers, but overall, this is well produced, with a nice variety of styles, tempos and music."