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Overall Rating: (on a scale of 1 to 5 stars)
This video teaches an energetic drum solo choreography designed for use by advanced-level and professional dancers. The music used is a drum solo by Egyptian drummer Reda Darwish. The choreography matches quite well with the music and uses an assortment of moves that fit well together to create an exciting dance. I would recommend this video only to dancers with 4 years or more of belly dancing experience, because the choreography is complex, with many challenging moves.
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|Recommended Level||Advanced (4 years or more belly dance experience)|
|Total Video Length||38:07 minutes|
|Performance Time||8:33 minutes (22%)|
|Teaching Time||28:50 minutes (76%)|
|Amount Of "Other"||:44 minutes (2%)|
|Number Of Models||1|
|Cost Per Minute Of Teaching & Performing Time||$1.07|
|Cost For "Other"||80 cents|
This video, which features instruction by Jamilla al-Wahid, is designed to teach advanced-level and professional dancers how to do an exciting 2 ½ minute drum solo choreography. The music used comes from "Drum Talk", a collection of drum solos performed by Egyptian drummer Reda Darwish. It opens with Jamilla performing it in full costume, to offer a preview of what she will be covering. With her beautiful red Egyptian costume and the compelling choreography that fit the music perfectly, it was a very effective opening that left me thinking, "Wow, I'd like to learn that!" The setting for the performance was a sky blue background, with some subtle shadows, and several drums artistically arranged off to one side of center. The lighting was excellent - I was able to easily see Jamilla and her costume throughout the entire performance, and the colors were complementary rather than clashing.
Next comes the "meat" of the video: a 29-minute segment that teaches the choreography from beginning to end. But don't think you're going to learn this dance in just 29 minutes! In most workshops aimed at advanced-level dancers, the instructors allow approximately 1 hour of class time for each minute of choreography taught. If we applied that rule to Jamilla's 2 ½-minute choreography, that would mean that you should plan on taking no less than 2 ½ hours to learn it, and you probably should allow more than that because there's not much repetition in this dance. Jamilla follows this format to teach each move:
It's hard to teach choreography on video, because it's just not possible to spend the time reviewing each step before going on to the next. I think Jamilla did an excellent job of attempting it, but even so I'd advise you to make friends with your rewind button and repeat each combination a few times before going on to learn the next. I expect some people may find her format of repeating the entire dance from the beginning after teaching each new step to be tedious, but I personally liked it because I liked putting the step just taught into context immediately. I also found that this format made it easier for me to retain everything.
In this instructional segment, Jamilla wears a black unitard with mesh midriff area, and over it a contrasting belt with beaded fringe. The instruction occurs against the same sky blue set as the performance segment, except that the drums have been removed. Once again, I found myself enjoying the excellent lighting and sound quality.
I've mentioned several times that this video is intended for advanced-level and professional dancers. Here's why I would not advise a beginner or intermediate to tackle it:
At the end of the instructional segment, Jamilla performs the choreography one more time. It's the same dance as the opening performance, in the same costume. I did like the fact that I didn't have to rewind all the way to the beginning to see the dance performed again once I had completed the instructional part, but I would have preferred to see Jamilla wearing a different costume this time around, just to give it a somewhat different look.
The video closes with a performance that Jamilla did in 2001 at a belly dancing event in California known as Rakkasah. She improvised a drum solo that was nearly 4 minutes long with Reda Darwish (the musician whose drum solo was used for the choreography on this video) sharing the stage with her. The combination of an excellent live drummer teamed with a talented dancer created a very dynamic performance, and it was nice to have the additional performance showing more of Jamilla's style. Unfortunately, the Rakkasah videographer's equipment produced a blurry result that was hard to watch because of the poor video quality. It was a stark contrast to the superb production quality of the rest of the video.
|There aren't many good "continuing education" videos available for belly dancing, and this one is excellent. Even if you're not interested in learning a specific choreography to specific music, you may find this video offers good ideas for spicing up your own drum solo performances. It's like having a drum solo workshop in your own living room which you can review over and over. If you're an advanced dancer with experience in memorizing choreography, you'll find that this video is aimed at your level.|
I had the pleasure of meeting Jamilla's mother (Fatima al-Wahid) over dinner at a belly dancing event in the late 1980's, and had a delightful time laughing throughout the meal at her steady stream of hilarious comments. I have also purchased a lot of merchandise from Fatima's vending business over the years.
More recently, I've had the opportunity to get to know Jamilla herself at belly dance events, and I've always enjoyed chatting with her. I don't know either Fatima or Jamilla well enough to claim that they're friends, but I do always look forward to saying hello to them both at belly dancing events.
Jamilla provided me with a free copy of this video to review for my web site.
Or, contact Jamilla Al-Wahid as follows:
(+1) (916) 331-6452
or order her video from Fatima's Bazaar at:
Fatima's Bazaar & Cultural Dance Studio
or (+1) (916) 482-3568
Web Site: www.fatimasbazaar.com
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