This dvd = (innovation + art)^infinity
Nadir H. Almarzouki | Minneapolis,MN,USA | 06/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't perform or practice belly dancing therefore this review is not for girls who wanna learn from the dancers or practice belly dancing. I enjoy observing it in many ways (depending on the mood and performance). What's perfect in any belly dance dvd is that the buyer can watch it mulituple times without being bored (unlike movies and shows). This dvd is by far the best performance DVD up till now I don't think there will be a better DVD.Unless if Suhaila or some one with similar creativity was behind it.
1)it displays group performances (most belly dance DVDs contain solos) u watch almost 10 different beautiful dancers at the same time performing planned systematic choreagrophies. What could be better than that?
2)Suhaila's innovation: It's simple,suhaila basically combined the beauty of belly dance with other styles (I think it's jazz,etc) and came up with new creative dances. Specially in the dance where she wears a unique brown outfit I have never watched any belly dance performance like it (even though I am an arab!!!). It's ahead of our time!!
3)Typical cabare egyption style at its best by a performer who truly understands that style (many egyption dancers nowadays suck when they perform it) yet this non-egyption artist excelled.
4)non-traditional performances (pots,swords,jeans,etc).
5)the music is purely arabc in fact it's chosen from our best classics ex: um kolthoom's alf leela wa leela. I wish they included the lyrics of that song, well u might not understand it but for me i would have enjoyed the beauty of the dancers' physique and perfomance combined with the best feminine singing voice of all time plus the astonishing lyrics of alf leela wa leela.
6)the solo performance performed by the last belly dancer who -in my opnion- has the strongest stamina and flexbility amongst all nowadays' belly dancers including the past dancers (taheya kareyoka fefe abdo nadia jamal and nelly and sherehan samara,etc)
7)a dancer combined belly dancing with gymnastics and came up with some thing new and interesting I liked the desgin of her outfit (it was smart) I mean enables her to do the flexible moves of gymnastics and at the same time has an arabic or oriental theme.
8) I was exposed to a new style I mean it has roots from the past but i never watched that style performed but I can tell from the moves that it's original three belly dancers performed with veils (yet those viels where attached to the outfit the dancers didn't hold them I find that very smart) and of course the background was um kolthoom's alf leela wa leela. I am guessing that that style was perfomed in the andalus (part of the islamic empire in spain's land in the past) to entertain princes and kings. I am sure that style was the dominant dance style in the islamic palaces in the past when the islamic union was weak and was about to collapse (islam has nothing to do with belly dance and it's against it if it was performed in public or NOT performed by a female to her husband or NOT to an audience of females and i agree but i watch it for fun and i know that what i'm doing is wrong but it's not a catastrophy) . It's a one of a kind and the second best performance in the dvd (in my opinion) and I am positive about the origin of that performance...I can tell.
the only downfall:
It wasn't mentioned that a young girl would perform. I think she's suhaila's daughter well it's cute to see a little kid dance but the child's performance is in the wrong place. I mean I wish if this performance was replaced by another style combination by suhaila however it's not considered a downfall rather than a segment that was out of context.
If you purchased Belly dance divas and/or belly dance superstars buy this dvd without hesitation it's a zillion times better."
Not for the faint hearted
The munter | New Zealand | 10/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You either love Suhaila or you hate her. I love the excess drama she puts into her performances, and her quirky take on a traditional dance. Also her little girl is sooooooo adorable!!! i would have added an extra star for her if i could.
If you have bad eyesight, the setting might be a bit cluttered & if you detest fusion then this DVD is not for you. For bellydance performance in general, if close ups bother you or you don't like skant outfits, my advice is to be mature and watch it for the fab dancing =-)"
D. Nichols | Pennsylvania | 09/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is a treasure for anybody looking for the pleasure of just watching the dance. I love belly dancing but am not educated about it, so I'm not competent to critique the performances. But I know that magic belly dance moment when the performance just grabs you and you sit there entranced. And that is the rare accomplishment of this DVD.
For one thing, the sets are clear of distractions and you can focus on the dancers. Most important, the camera doesn't move around as though the cameraman was jacked up on caffeine. The magic of belly dancing is in the small, subtle movements, and you can't appreciate them if you're not sitting still. Nothing is more annoying than to be engrossed in the performance of your hands-down favorite dancer when suddenly the cameraman decides to take a walk and the next thing you know a candle is in the way or maybe some guy is standing there playing a violin.
Most of the dancing in this DVD has that genuine belly dance mysteriousness and not the modern look - that "thin girls hopping around doing jazzercise" look. I don't know enough about belly dance to know what the moves are called, but whatever they are, these dancers do them. There is a bit of the modern look to some of the performances, but fortunately not very much. That mysterious kind of belly dance has you thinking, "How can any human being do that?" Belly dancers don't walk, they float. They can even sit on their heals and float around in circles across the floor. The things they do with their bellies and hips you can't even describe to somebody who has never seen it. They're like magicians who have power to do impossible things, but power over you as well. And when you're captured in that magic moment and you're completely entranced, you're thinking, "She's not human. She's a genie somebody let out of a bottle."
The sword dance alone is worth the price of this DVD. The dancers are beautiful, the ensembles are so smooth and effortless, and then there is one overpowering performance after another by Suhaila Salimpour. There is no point even trying to describe with words what her dancing is like. I'm willing to concede that the other dancers might be human after all, but Suhaila is a genie. You can't fool me.
Excellent, but ...
Diane Verrochi | Connecticut, USA | 10/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"... there seems to be something "off" about the sound on two performances. One is the jazz fusion number Suhaila does with her troupe. On the Bellydance Fitness Fusion Jazz DVD, this performance is shown with just the percussion as background. On this DVD, there is a melody overlaid that does not quite seem to fit in several places. On the other hand, there is a solo number Suhaila does in an orange and red outfit that has only percussion, but on the Fitness Fusion set (I forget which specific DVD), it has a melody that fills it out much more nicely.
Other than that, it is a really great compilation of performances, and definitely worth purchasing even if you already have the Fitness Fusion series, and therefore have 8 of the performances already."