|Do you have questions about Shira's reviewing methodology, such as how to interpret the chart, what the categories mean, or what her biases are? Click here for an explanation.|
Overall Rating: (on a scale of 1 to 5 stars)
The video focuses exclusively on teaching various arm movements for use with belly dancing. Some are soft and sinuous, some sharp accents. The video starts with the assumption that you're already familiar with basic belly dancing moves such as hip accents, undulations, and body waves, and it shows how to use arms to frame or enhance them.
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.
The above poll includes responses submitted since October 28, 2002.
|Recommended Level||Beginner Who Already Has Some Knowledge Of Hip & Body Movements|
|Formats Available||NTSC, PAL|
|Total Video Length||46:35 minutes|
|Performance Time||5:30 minutes (12%)|
|Teaching Time||35:50 minutes (77%)|
|Amount Of "Other"||5:14 minutes (11%)|
|Number Of Models||1|
|List Price||$34.95 for NTSC
$44.95 for PAL (in U.S. funds)
|Cost Per Minute Of Teaching & Performing Time||85 cents for NTSC
$1.09 for PAL
|Cost For "Other"||$3.84 for NTSC
$4.94 for PAL
The video's opening credits include a nice half-minute clip of Katia performing graceful arm movements to flowing music. In brief introductory comments, she provides a helpful table of contents of what the video contains.
The video is divided into the following major sections:
I found the warm-ups and teaching of arm movements to be the strongest parts of the video, and the choreography the weakest part. The performance provided a nice closing, especially since Katia's performance used some of the arm movements taught on the video.
In the warm-ups part, Katia made several excellent points about correct posture and the need to warm up the whole body. I agreed with her decision to not teach whole body warm-ups on this video--she appropriately kept the focus on arms, but also appropriately mentioned that full-body warm-ups were important and should also be done.
In the sections dedicated to teaching assorted arm movements, Katia introduced a wide variety of arm moves suitable for a variety of musical styles. She also did a nice job of showing how to incorporate those various arm movements into the dance through combining them with various hip moves. Some of the moves she taught were fairly simple, and others more challenging, so this video could keep a beginner busy for some time while still having something good to offer more experienced dancers.
I found the teaching portion of the choreography section hard to follow. It showed Katia going through each move in slow motion while voiceover described what was being done. The music intended to accompany the choreography was not played until after this voiceover of the entire routine from beginning to end had finished, so it seemed really out of context and hard to figure out how the moves would match up with the music. If I were a beginning dancer, my first reaction would probably be, "Huh? Run that by me again, please?" Since it is possible to rewind a video over and over, a really determined student could probably figure it out, but I wasn't determined enough to try! Still, I'd recommend that beginner-level dancers make the effort to learn the choreography, since it provides a nice structure for learning how to put a variety of moves together into a completed dance.
Following the choreography was a 5 1/2 minute performance showing Katia on stage at a belly dancing event. She used a beautiful rainbow-colored silk veil, and did a nice show.
The video ended with closing credits, followed by what appeared to be outtakes from the choreography instruction. Unfortunately, they weren't quite funny enough to work well as bloopers. I think the video's ending would have been better without the outtakes--the 2 1/2 minutes devoted to them could have been better spent taking more time to teach the choreography.
|Katia and I had never had any contact of any sort before a mutual friend suggested I might want to review her video on my web site. I agreed to look at it, and Katia sent me a complimentary review copy. After I watched it, we had further contact as she responded to my follow-up questions for this review.|
Contact Katia as follows:
Belly Dancing Information & How-To's: | About Belly Dancing | How-To's | Middle Eastern Culture | Belly Dancing Fun & Frolic | Belly Dancing Poetry & Art | Reviews: Books, Music, Videos | Find Belly Dancing Teachers/Performers | Tech Talk | Links |