21st Century Belly Dance
LenaDancer | 08/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This video consists of a few parts, different in their choreographic flavor, using different costumes and presenting different moods, all to medium-to-fast tempos. In practically every dance Neon balances either a tray with tall lit candles placed on it in various arrangements, or a shemadan (Egyptian candelabra with candles). Neon does not go from pose to pose like most dancers who perform balancing acts. She is not interested in tricks like going down to the floor and rolling over maintaining the balanced object on her head. She just dances. The focus is on dance, not on balancing. This is what gives this video its unearthly flavor. I have never seen a belly dancer DANCE so effortlessly like this while balancing. (I should add that few bellydancers can dance like this WITHOUT balancing!) The tall 3-tier candelabra floats in the air over Neon's head without a tilt while she performs very modern fast-paced dances with a lot of sharp hip work, turns and undulating. Often, especially in the very first number, Neon's body seems like quicksilver. Neon's performances look very modern: Most belly dance shows you see around feature the belly dance style developed in the US in the '50s and '70s. Neon has her own glamorous style, which I think is very sellable to modern urban audiences. And I can see a lot of imitation following this video, which IMHO is okay, that's why artists and writers publish their work, to make their impact on the art scene. In terms of production, this video is unlike any dance performance video I have seen. It is more like a painting. Some scenes from this video belong in a video art gallery."
Bellydance with Fire: Stellar Body
S. M. Papaioannou | Australia | 09/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I bought this, I thought it was going to be an instructional DVD for some reason... it's not, for all you who thought the same! It's a series of performances by Neon.
There is no doubt that her technique is flawless and her slow movements are just captivating- particularly the use of her hands which just seem to float in the air and create a rippling water effect.
Although as a performance DVD, it was all a bit repetitive. Each section contained the same movements and lacked a bit of variety, it just seemed as though each section was about the new object she was balancing on her head and the costume change rather than what else she could do with her body. The music was very modern yet repetitive as well- it almost became annoying.
As far as bellydance DVD's go, the quality is just excellent. Very professional and easy to watch/navigate from the main menu.
I recommend it for anyone who wants to gain knowledge of different performance styles and get ideas on how to perform with balancing. Or, if you just want to see a great preformance. Neon is an excellent dancer, no doubt about it!"
Eden Russell | Provincetown, MA United States | 08/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Overall the DVD is nice to watch. To its merit, it's differet. Before purchasing have in mind this DVD is very "Neon style". If you have seen any of her instructional DVDs, you know what I mean. :)
You will probably like this DVD if you are:
- bored with your collection and want to have something new and different
- looking for quality videos
- interested in balancing objects while dancing
- a fan of "Neon style"
- looking for a graceful, fluid, experienced dancer
- happy to escape the classical tabla performance and see that bellydance moves can be successfully used with modern music.
- trying to find more original ideas for your own performance.
This DVD is probably not for you if:
- you do not like Neon style. Neon style implies a lot of figure 8s, chest circles, twists, undulations, fluid moving but next to no shimming and accents.
Neon is indeed the kind that even experienced dancers would look at and ask themselves, ~how does she do it?~ The way she undulates is very powerful.
However, my main complaint is that once because of her choice of music, second because of her style, her dancing is quite repetative and if you get bored very easily, you may find yourself skipping on to the next performance, thinking "I've seen 5 mins, I've seen it all".
- Do NOT buy this DVD if you believe it should be done only to mid-eastern music. Neon is a fan of techno/club music and all the tunes she uses are smooth and easy. This unfortunately leaves too little chance for interpretation too.
- are looking for a lot of dancing on one DVD. Pay attention, it's 30-something minutes run time. This is a SHORT DVD.
All in all, this one is innovative - which may, or may not be liked by buyers, according to their own idea of bellydance.
Innovative and Extraordinary
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 07/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Neon's mastery of the art of bellydancing is combined with her originality in this marvelous program of eight numbers that are blended together with excellent special effects and editing. This is bellydancing as I have never seen anyone else perform it; modern, with smooth, clean lines and flawless technique. Neon also dances most of these numbers as a balancing feat, with a tray or candelabra on her head, and in one of my favorite pieces, the tray is filled with roses. It is astonishing how this balance is maintained, while doing all the undulating, intricate movements of the choreography.
Neon's grace is captivating, and her perfect, sculpted figure is sheathed in luxurious, stunning costumes that flow and shimmer. Some of them have gossamer wings shaped like those of the goddess Isis, which Neon uses to dazzling effect. The final fabulous dance, in a jeweled, burgundy garment is glorious, and Neon does all her dancing in high heels, another unusual aspect of her innovative style. The eight selections are "Arrival of the Celestial Object," "Tidal Pull," "Meteorite Shower," "Interstellar Safari," "Return of the Comet," "Orbital Eccentricity," "Granddaughter of a Russian Missile Designer," and "Stellar Nebula Hypothesis." The music used in these dances is contemporary and melodic; a blend of electronic pop with a touch of New Age, and always pleasant to listen to.
Born is Moscow, this Russian beauty makes New York City her home, where she performs and teaches. Neon's dancing is sensual and elegant, with a subtle ethereal quality, and she has raised the art of bellydancing to a new level; one also senses she has a deep intelligence along with her charismatic charm. Neon is always a delight to watch, and this DVD is one that can be played repeatedly and will never lose its luster. Total running time is 35 minutes.