Classic Cabaret Floor Work

A Video Review By Shira

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Summary

Overall Rating: StarStarStarStarStar (on a scale of 1 to 5 stars)

Anaheed teaches floor work technique, at the level of an intermediate dancer who has had no previous floor work instruction. Some of the moves are easy enough for a newcomer to floor work, while others will ensure that you don't outgrow this video overnight. Anaheed is a skilled instructor who demonstrates moves in slow motion and explains them clearly. The production quality is excellent.

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What Shira.net Users Think

Have you actually watched this video yourself? If so, offer your own opinion in the poll below! Otherwise, click the "View Results" button to see what worldwide users of shira.net think of it.

 
1) How would you rate Classic Cabaret Floor Work, by Anaheed?
Absolutely fantastic!
Definitely would recommend it.
Good enough to be worth the money, but not special
Disappointing, but had at least a little value
Nothing good about it at all
 

The above poll includes responses submitted since June 4, 2003.

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The Chart

Recommended Level Intermediate, No Previous Floor Work Experience
Formats Available NTSC
Overall Rating StarStarStarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStarStarStar
Packaging StarStarStarStar
Total Video Length 80:57 minutes
Performance Time 7:03 minutes (9%)
Teaching Time 70:43 minutes (87%)
Amount Of "Other" 3:11 minutes (4%)
Choreography No
Cultural Information No
Music Education No
Health Issues Yes
Number Of Models 1
List Price $45.00
Cost Per Minute Of Teaching & Performing Time 58 cents
Cost For "Other" $1.77

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Description

On this video produced by IAMED, Anaheed from southern California teaches an introduction to floor work suitable for intermediate dancers who have no previous floor work experience.

Anaheed opens the video with introductory comments about the history of floor work and how it fits into dance performances today, while the screen shows scenes from floor work performances, historical performances, and paintings. She then moves into teaching several warm ups which are particularly appropriate for developing the strength in the thigh muscles needed to perform floor work. I find her statements about the "performance effect" in which she discusses how moves that are difficult to do in practice come more easily in performance to be interesting and insightful.

Following the warm up, the instructional section is divided into several parts: "Descents", "Seated Movements", "Back Layout Moves", "Side Layout Moves", "Crawls & Traveling", "Floor Work with Veil", and "Ascents". For each of these sections, Anaheed begins with some reasonably simple moves, then progresses to more challenging ones. She shows how to use angles, level changes, and a veil to vary the look of each. The moves taught on this video are, for the most part, the mainstream floor work moves. If you already have a large amount of floor work experience, you probably won't find many that are new to you here. But for someone who doesn't yet have much floor work experience, this video offers a rich, varied selection sufficient to create a performance.

Anaheed's explanations are clear and easy to follow. Her on-screen personality is pleasant, with natural smiles and a friendly demeanor. She demonstrates each move from multiple angles, and shows it slowly, step by step, as well as doing it up to speed. This approach is very effective. Even the modified Turkish drop is demonstrated in slow motion and clearly explained. About the only thing I find missing is advice on how to build flexibility to do some of the more challenging moves such as backbends.

The video ends with a 7-minute 4-part performance which begins with up-tempo music, then slows down for the floor work segment, then moves into a drum solo, and ends with a vigorous karsilama. Although the instructional part doesn't discuss how floor work might fit into a dancer's overall routine, this performance illustrates that point very well. Anaheed is a talented dancer who is enjoyable to watch, and in the floor work segment of this piece she skillfully demonstrates how the moves taught earlier can flow together into a finished dance.

As with other videos produced by IAMED, the production quality of this one is superb. It's well lit, with excellent sound quality. The instruction takes place on an attractive set that isn't too fussy. For each move taught, camera angles are intelligently chosen and they linger long enough to see the move completed before shifting.

In a playful touch, the closing credits share the screen with some bloopers and clowning from the filming process. This shows a taste of Anaheed's fun-loving personality.

You Will Probably Like This Video If

  • You would like to expand your versatility as a dancer by adding some floor work to your dance.
  • You enjoy either Turkish-style or U.S.-style belly dancing.
  • You would be interested in some ideas on how to use a veil as part of your floor work performance.
  • You're studying floor work in your belly dance classes and you would like a video to assist with home practice.

You Probably Won't Care for This Video If

  • You focus exclusively on Egyptian-style belly dancing. (Floor work was banned in Egypt in the 1950's.)
  • You have bad knees and need to stay away from activities that could aggravate them.
  • You already have a large amount of experience in floor work and you're looking for new ideas for moves.
  • You have no interest in floor work.

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What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked

  • Anaheed is a skilled instructor who explains the moves clearly and demonstrates them in slow motion where appropriate. Her technique is crisp.
  • The video is logically organized and easy to follow.
  • The warm-ups that Anaheed chooses to teach on this video are well suited to developing the appropriate muscles for floor work.
  • The instruction includes tips for minimizing risk of injury.
  • Excellent lighting, sound, camera work, and editing.
  • Attractive set.
  • Inspiring performance at the end.

What I Didn't Like

  • Could have used a little more advice on developing flexibility required for backbends.

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Movements Included

  • Warm-Ups: 4 moves (knee touch, hinge back, arm squeeze, backbend)
  • Descents: 4 moves ((knee drop, curtsy, side layout, modified Turkish drop)
  • Seated Movements: 7 moves (arms, rib cage circle, rib cage figure 8, hip circle, hip figure 8, camel, backbend)
  • Back Layout Moves: 4 moves (rib cage circle, rib cage figure 8, hip tick tock, transition out into side layout)
  • Side Layout Moves: 8 moves (rib cage circle, rib cage figure 8, hip circle, hip figure 8, leg vibration, camel, extend & contract)
  • Double Arm Prop Moves: 4 moves (undulate, circle, vibrate, camel)
  • Crawls & Traveling: 5 moves (hip rollover, knee shift, Berber knee walk, combat crawl, inchworm)
  • Variations: (using a veil, level shifts)
  • Ascents: 3 moves (knee touch, up on one knee, use skirt to mask ascent)

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Reviews of Other Videos by IAMED

If you'd like to read my reviews of other videos produced by IAMED, choose from the list below

Instructional:

Performance compilations:

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In Conclusion

This video is taught at the level of intermediate or more advanced belly dancers who have had little or no prior experience with floor work. With clear explanations and demonstrations shown from multiple angles, it provides enough information for someone with no prior floor work experience to build a performance. Dancers with significant floor work experience probably won't find much new material on this video, but the tips on difficult moves such as backbend and modified Turkish drop may be helpful for those who haven't mastered them yet.

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Disclosures

I first met Anaheed at a retreat in 1997, and over the years I have enjoyed renewing the acquaintance at belly dance events. A complimentary copy of this video was sent to me by IAMED, the organization who produced it, to review.

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Contacting The Producer & Ordering The Video

To purchase the video, contact IAMED as follows:

IAMED
P.O. Box 7666
Van Nuys, CA 91409
U.S.A.

E-Mail: iamed@bellydance.org
Web Site: http://www.bellydance.org/

To contact Anaheed directly, send e-mail to anaheed@anaheed.com.

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