Cabaret Bellydancing Floor Moves Advice

A Video Review By Shira

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Summary

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

I struggled with whether to give this video 2 stars or 3. On the one hand, it offers an informative look at the typical U.S. restaurant belly dance show and how/why it differs from Egyptian dance, which is well presented. On the other hand, it doesn't devote enough time to the topic that the title says it's about - floor work.

I would have expected a video titled Cabaret Bellydancing Floor Moves Advice to provide instruction in how to do various moves used in floor work. However, this one devotes only 18 minutes to that. The main body of the video consists of a 28-minute segment consisting of a man asking Cory interview questions about U.S. belly dancing interleaved with performance clips illustrating the points Cory makes in her answers. Although several of the interview questions are closely related to floor work, there are also some off-topic things such as a discussion of tip collection and dancing with audience members. There is also a 15-minute performance segment at the end showing an excerpt of a U.S. style belly dance show.

If this video had been titled and advertised as a documentary about U.S. style belly dancing, replacing the 18-minute segment that teaches floor work moves with more information about the elements that make U.S. belly dance different from Egyptian style, I would have praised it and given it four stars because Cory clearly knows the subject well and discusses it effectively. However, the video's title and advertising copy describe it as a video that provides floor work instruction. I'm afraid that with only 18 minutes devoted to teaching floor work moves, it doesn't offer enough actionable information to satisfy what a buyer is likely to be expecting.

To purchase this video from Amazon:

Item

Amazon.com in U.S.

Amazon.ca in Canada

Amazon.co.uk in United Kingdom

DVD Edition U.S.
NTSC
Region 1
Canada
NTSC
Region 1
U.K.
NTSC (from U.S.)
Region 1
VHS Tape Edition Not offered Not offered Not offered



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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 Cabaret Bellydancing Floor Moves Advice by Cory Zamora?
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 October 19, 2003.

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The Chart

Recommended Level Intermediate
Formats Available NTSC
Overall Rating StarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStar
Packaging StarStarStarStar
Total Video Length 62 minutes
Performance Time 13:44 minutes (23%)
Teaching Time 18:31 minutes (30%)
Interview Time 27:40 minutes (45%)
Amount Of "Other" 1:14 minutes (2%)
Choreography No
Cultural Information Yes
Music Education No
Health Issues No
Number Of Models 2
List Price $19.95
Cost Per Minute Of Teaching & Performing Time 62 cents
Cost For "Other" 40 cents

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Description

From the title, Cabaret Bellydancing Floor Moves Advice, I expected instruction in how to do various moves used in floor work. That's not exactly what this video is about.

It opens with a 28-minute interview in which a man (who is never identified) asks Cory questions, interview-style, about U.S.-style belly dancing. Many of these are about floor work, but a few wander into other topics such as inviting customers to get up and dance and accepting tips. After Cory responds to each question, the video shows a brief performance clip illustrating the point she has just made in the context of a real-life situation. The questioner is well-prepared, asking the points that Cory clearly wants him to ask, and her informative responses offer both performance advice and a perspective on how traditional U.S. belly dancing differs from Egyptian. For this segment, she wears a dress rather than exercise clothes.

Following the interview, the scene moves into Cory's dance studio. Now clad in her leotard, Cory introduces her assistant Petra and begins the instruction in dance moves. Oddly enough, she begins this section by announcing she is going to teach the Turkish drop, which is probably the most difficult and most dangerous belly dance move there is. A full-speed clip illustrates what a Turkish drop is. Cory then says she will show the move in slow motion, and the clip that follows this statement shows something else entirely in slow motion. The video never does show a Turkish drop in slow motion, nor does Cory offer any words explaining how to do it.

Cory uses an assistant named Petra whose body type is quite different from Cory's to help her illustrate the various moves. I like this because it really does show how different moves look on different bodies. Petra's level of skill appears to be that of an intermediate dancer, so she doesn't do the moves as fluidly as Cory. This detracts somewhat from the value of having her assist.

Cory teaches three different ways to descend to the floor: slide, maya down, and figure 8 down. She explains the slide well, but assumes you already know how to do the maya and the figure 8, so for those descents she doesn't explain the basic move, just shows how to use it for getting down. Once down, she demonstrates the "ironing board", which is actually an exercise for building thigh strength rather than a dance move. Since thigh strength is crucial to successful floor work, it's useful to teach it.

Cory then teaches the kneeling backbend, and uses Petra to show an easier variation for people who don't have sufficient arch to do it the way Cory does. From here, she shows the roll-around as a move that can be done from this position.

In the next section, Cory talks about a somewhat more spiritual view of floor work: clearing your space of evil and preparing to go into trance. She teaches a couple of moves (tug of war, vertical circles with the rib cage, doing a simple knee walk to create sacred space, and hip circles). These moves are suitable for performance, and Cory says they are also helpful for clearing the space, clearing the third eye, and pushing evil away.

Cory also teaches the Cleopatra position (also known as side layout) done with stomach roll and leg figure 8, and the vibration where the hips arch off the floor and the entire body vibrates. The final move she teaches is one form of ascent back to standing position, including a cheat for people who need to brace themselves coming back up.

The instructional section ends with a demonstration in which Cory and Petra review the moves taught in a mini-routine. Cory calls out what to do next for each move. I like the way this review shows how the moves can flow from one to another.

The video closes with a 15-minute performance section showing Cory performing to live music in a club environment. It begins with floor work, followed by a drum solo, then tip gathering to medium-speed music (Habibi Ya Eini and Soode Soode), and ends with a karsilama finale to Rampi Rampi. Her costume is a retro 1970's-style circle skirt with slits arranged to show her entire leg all the way up to the belt and just a costume bra (no vest, sleeves, etc.) on top. The music, played by the band Mirage, is also representative of U.S.-style belly dance with selections from several different countries (Egypt, Turkey, Armenia).

You Will Probably Like This Video If

  • You love the traditional U.S. style of belly dance performances from the pre-1980's era and you would enjoy an interview-format discussion of it.
  • You view belly dancing from a spiritual perspective and you would be interested in comments on going into trance with floor work.
  • You would enjoy having an experienced restaurant dancer provide tips on how to interact with customers during a performance - inviting them to dance with you, accepting tips, etc.

You Probably Won't Care for This Video If

  • You're expecting more than 18 minutes of instruction in how to do floor work moves.
  • 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

  • For the section where Cory discusses U.S. style dancing, the use of an on-screen interviewer asking questions interwoven with performance clips illustrating the points offers an interesting presentation of this information.
  • Cory uses an assistant whose body type is quite different from her own to help her illustrate various moves.
  • Following the introduction of the moves, Cory leads a short practice routine in which she calls out what to do next. This helps people working with this video learn how to put the moves together.
  • Although it feels homemade, the video's production quality is satisfying. It's well lit, the set is pleasant without too many distractions, and the sound is clear. The editing is clean. The camera focuses where on what I want to see, and lingers when I want it to.

What I Didn't Like

  • The video doesn't devote enough time (only 18 minutes) to teaching floor work moves, which will be disappointing to people who buy it hoping to learn floor work.
  • The slow motion clip which Cory says is supposed to illustrate a Turkish drop actually illustrates a different move. Even though the video's back cover says she teaches a Turkish drop using a veil, there is no veil in sight and she doesn't teach this move.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Movements Included

  • Descents: 3 moves (slide, maya, figure 8)
  • Seated Movements: 4 moves (tug of war, vertical rib cage circle, hip circle, full upper body circle, simple knee walk in a circle)
  • Back Layout Moves: 2 moves (backbend, roll-around)
  • Side Layout Moves: 3 moves (Cleopatra, stomach roll, figure 8 with leg)
  • Other Moves: 1 move (vibration)
  • Ascent: 1 move (step forward)

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Reviews of Other Videos by this Artist/Instructor

If you'd like to read my reviews of other videos by Cory Zamora, choose from the list below:

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In Conclusion

If you're considering this video because you want to learn floor work moves, you'll probably be disappointed because it spends only 18 minutes on that. However, if you'd like an education about what a traditional U.S. belly dance restaurant show is like and how/why it differs from Egyptian dance, you'll find it very informative and you'll probably enjoy it very much. It all depends on what you want the video to do for you. I enjoy this one very much and its affordable price makes it a good value for the money, but only if you're not expecting it to teach you how to do floor work.

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Disclosures

I've never had any kind of interaction with either Cory Zamora or her assistant Petra. I borrowed the copy of the video used for this review from a fellow dancer.

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Acknowledgements

I'd like to thank Lavonne for loaning me this copy of her video to review.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Contacting The Producer & Ordering The Video

To purchase this video from Amazon:

Item

Amazon.com in U.S.

Amazon.ca in Canada

Amazon.co.uk in United Kingdom

DVD Edition U.S.
NTSC
Region 1
Canada
NTSC
Region 1
U.K.
NTSC (from U.S.)
Region 1
VHS Tape Edition Not offered Not offered Not offered

Contact Cory Zamora as follows:

Dialogue International
408 West Indianapolis Avenue
Fresno, CA 93705
U.S.A.

Phone: (+1) (559) 241-0421
Fax: (+1) (559) 221-6323
Web Site: www.bellydancingonvideo.com
E-Mail: greatdialogue@yahoo.com

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