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Overall Rating: (on a scale of 1 to 5 stars)
On this video, Mahisha from Colorado Springs teaches introductory moves aimed at a level a total novice can understand. The major sections are Hip Moves, Neck & Head Moves, Chest Moves, Basic Arm Moves, Traveling Steps, Locks, Shimmy, and a nice 13-minute performance at the end. The bulk of the time time is spent on instruction. Regardless of what style you like -- Egyptian, Turkish, American Tribal, or anything else -- the moves taught on this video will be solid building blocks for your development as a dancer.
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|Recommended Level||Beginner (2-18 months)|
|Formats Available||NTSC, PAL, SECAM|
|Total Video Length||99:38 minutes|
|Performance Time||13:26 minutes (13%)|
|Teaching Time||82:25 minutes (83%)|
|Amount Of "Other"||3:48 minutes (4%)|
|Number Of Models||1|
|List Price||$36.95 for NTSC, $40.95 for PAL & SECAM|
|Cost Per Minute Of Teaching & Performing Time||39 cents (NTSC), 43 cents (PAL & SECAM)|
|Cost For "Other"||$1.41 (NTSC), $1.64 (PAL & SECAM)|
On this video, Mahisha from Colorado Springs, Colorado teaches a variety of belly dance moves suitable for beginning students. The video's production structure is reasonably simple: no fancy sets, voiceover, titling, or costuming, but it does invest where it counts: in good lighting and sound quality so you can easily see what you're supposed to see and hear what you're supposed to hear. Mahisha comes across as a skilled instructor: she offers articulate explanations for how to do each move, and demonstrates each one from multiple angles.
The video doesn't waste any footage on opening credits -- it starts teaching right from the beginning. It starts with advice on how to begin your session: warm up (but it doesn't tell you how to warm up), breathe, put your mind in the right frame for the work ahead, and assume the correct posture. Mahisha's comments on posture are right on target -- the posture she teaches is the right one for avoiding risk of injury.
The first section on Hip Moves lasts for about 22 1/2 minutes. Mahisha teaches several introductory hip moves, mostly of the slow-music undulation category.
The next section on Neck & Head Moves lasts for about 10 1/2 minutes. In addition to three neck & head moves, this section also includes two rib cage moves. I suspect the person editing the video goofed and inserted the title for the next section (Chest Moves) in the wrong place.
The Chest Moves section is about 3 minutes long and covers a couple of kinds of rib cage circles.
In Basic Arm Moves, which is about 20 1/2 minutes long, Mahisha teaches two exercises to build range of motion. Then she introduces several moves in the snake arm family, which she calls Waving. This is immediately followed by three different moves in the hip circle family - I'm not sure why those appeared in the section for arm moves.
In Traveling Steps, which is about 13 minutes long, Mahisha covers three different traveling steps.
The Locks section, which is about 4 1/2 minutes long, teaches the general concept of locks and then shows different ways to do a lock with different body parts.
The Shimmy section covers a couple of different shimmy variations in its 6 1/2 minutes. This is the final instructional section of the video.
The video closes with a 13 1/2 minute performance that Mahisha did in 1999 at the Veiled Spirit show. There were several things I liked about this performance. One is that she did a 3-part routine (a fast song, then a slow song, then a drum solo) which showcased three different types of belly dance presentations. The opening number was a brisk entrance piece, which consisted of coming on stage and dancing to fast, rhythmic music. The second song flowed with a Spanish influence, and Mahisha used it to do a double veil performance that incorporated a strong toreador cape work flavor with lovely silk veils. The closing number was a lively drum solo. Her costume was lovely. The camera work showed her from varied angles, which was nice, although sometimes the close-ups were too tight on her face so that it was impossible to see the dancing. Her movements were very well matched to the music. The lighting wasn't ideal for videotaping, but it was good enough that I didn't have to strain to see what she was doing.
This was followed by a brief credits section about one minute long, and the remainder of the tape (about 3 minutes) consisted of outtakes from the filming meant to offer a chuckle or two.
|I probably wouldn't recommend this as a beginner's first tape (unless you have a teacher, in which case this tape is probably fine) because it doesn't tell how to warm up or how to start combining different moves into your own dance. But if you've been working with another beginning tape and now you're ready to move on, this one is worth considering. It will provide a nice review for the beginning moves you learned elsewhere, plus build on them with additional moves to expand your range. At about 100 minutes in length, it's more than triple the length of some other belly dance instructional tapes I've seen in the marketplace. It packs a good selection of beginner-appropriate moves into the space available, which makes it a good value for the money.|
If you'd like to read my reviews of other videos by Mahisha, choose from the list below:
|Mahisha mailed me a complimentary copy of this video to review for my web site, and she submitted a listing for herself to my teacher and performer directory. We exchanged a few e-mail messages when I was working on the review of one of her other videos and I had some questions for her. I've had no other contact with her.|
Contact Mahisha as follows:
Phone: (+1) (719) 531-6311
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