Dance to the Great Mother

A Video Review By Shira

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

While pregnant with her second daughter, Delilah was invited to dance for a family planning conference. For the occasion, she created a special dance to explore and celebrate the process of creating new life. In her third trimester, she recorded the dance on tape and made it available through this video. About half the video consists of the dance performance, and the other half is commentary from Delilah.


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What Users Think

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The Chart

Formats Available NTSC
Overall Rating StarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStar
Packaging StarStarStarStar
Total Video Length 38:39 minutes
Performance Time 18:40 minutes (47%)
Documentary/Interviews Time 16:18 minutes (41%)
Amount Of "Other" 4:41 minutes (12%)
List Price $39.95
Cost Per Minute Of Documentary & Performing Time $1.14
Cost For "Other" $4.79

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While pregnant with her second child, Delilah was invited to do a dance performance for a family planning conference. Drawing inspiration from the archetype of Isis as the Great Mother, Delilah has created choreography that depicts the relationship between a woman and the new life growing within her. The dance performance lasts about 18 minutes, and is followed by about 14 minutes of Delilah talking about how she came to create the dance, what it means for her personally, and what kind of responses she received from women in the audience when she performed it.

The dance consists of six segments, as follows:

  • A Wooing
  • This Woman Has Life in Her Body
  • A Heartbeat
  • Gestation
  • A Soul Is Called
  • A Welcome to the Planet

I've watched this video many times on a casual level, just popping it into the VCR at video parties and such. When preparing this review, I actually studied it for the first time, and found myself appreciating it on a very different level. This time, I paid attention to the titles introducing each of the six sections, and focused on the dance moves being done to portray each concept. In the process, I discovered a level of depth to this dance that I had not previously appreciated. Delilah skillfully uses many symbolic gestures to express the theme of each segment.

The section with Delilah's commentary wasn't as strong as I might have liked. She spoke about her own history with belly dancing, her view of the history of belly dancing, and some background into what led her to create her Great Mother dance. She touched on some issues that are very important to pregnant women, such as the body image issues of feeling fat in a culture where thinness is valued, but I found myself wishing she would probe them in more depth.

You Will Probably Like This Video If

  • You would feel inspired to see a pregnant woman performing a dance to celebrate the new life growing inside her.
  • You're pregnant yourself, with body image issues, and you'd appreciate a positive role model.
  • You're intrigued by ancient Egypt, and you'd enjoy seeing how a skilled dance artist has interpreted Pharaonic dance.
  • You've lost interest in watching the same old belly dancing, but you can still enjoy innovative dance interpretations.

You Probably Won't Care for This Video If

  • You would be uncomfortable watching a dance performance featuring a very pregnant dancer with a bare midriff.
  • You're looking for pregnancy how-to's or medical information - that's not the purpose.
  • You'd prefer a mainstream belly dance performance.

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What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked

  • Delilah performs a beautiful dance with a lovely blend of her belly dance expertise and her vision of ancient Egypt.
  • Delilah offers a positive role model for pregnant women who are coming to terms with their changing bodies.
  • The production quality and camera work are excellent. They enhance the dance rather than calling attention to themselves. The effects are simple, such as using a blank wall as the background with no scenery, but I found them attractive.
  • Delilah's web site offers a RealVideo movie clip that shows a preview of this video.

What I Didn't Like

  • I might have preferred a little more substance in the section of the video where Delilah offers commentary.

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In Conclusion

If you're looking for either 1) an inspirational video for pregnant women or 2) a video with artistic dance innovation, this might be a good choice. If you're looking for a video that features great mainstream belly dancing performances, this is not the right one for you. On this video, the dance style Delilah uses is Pharaonic, which is an interpretation of how dance may have looked in ancient Egypt. The emphasis in the dance performance is exploration of the relationship between a mother-to-be and her unborn child, with symbolic moves and gestures.

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Reviews of Other Videos by this Artist/Instructor

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

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I first became interested in Delilah when I saw her do a captivating veil work performance at Rakkasah in California around 1986 or 1987. Interestingly, she was wearing the same beautiful costume for that performance as she wears for the opening performance in this video. Seeing this performance led me to buy her videos. I was impressed by the rich content and good production quality of her videos. Over time, I sought her out for a private lesson when I happened to be in Seattle, attended some workshops that she taught in my area, and attended one of her retreats. I've been a fan of hers ever since seeing that original Rakkasah performance, but didn't really get to know her until I attended her Inanna retreat in 1997.

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Contacting The Producer & Ordering The Video

Contact Delilah as follows:

Visionary Dance Productions
PO Box 30797
Seattle, WA 98103

Phone: (+1) (206) 632-2353
Web Site:

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