Belly Dance Party, by Neon

A Video Review By Shira

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Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Summary

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

Assuming you can do basic moves already such as hip lifts and hip circles, Neon shows how to assemble these building blocks into step combinations in this sequel to her two Instant Belly Dancer videos. Although she focuses on the needs of people who want to use belly dance moves in their social dance at parties and clubs, Neon's combinations are also excellent for beginning belly dancers.

Cover

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
All regions
Canada
NTSC
All regions
Not offered

This video has not been released in a VHS tape version (at least, not in the English language.)

(Amazon's claim that the DVD version is Region 1 is wrong. Amazon doesn't offer a way for sellers to indicate that their DVD's support multiple regions, so they're forced to pick just one. I have personally tested this DVD and found it to enable all regions.)

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

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 Belly Dance Party, by Neon?
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 June 10, 2004.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

The Chart

Recommended Level Beginner with some prior instruction
Formats Available NTSC. Also available in PAL version in Russian.
Overall Rating StarStarStarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStarStarStar
Packaging StarStarStar
Total Video Length 79:22 minutes
Performance Time 5:52 minutes (7%)
Teaching Time 71:27 minutes (90%)
Amount Of "Other" 2:03 minutes (3%)
Choreography No
Cultural Information No
Music Education No
Health Issues No
Number Of Models 1
List Price $23.00
Cost Per Minute Of Teaching & Performing Time 30 cents
Cost For "Other" 59 cents

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Description

On this video, Neon teaches 10 different step combinations, each 32 counts in length. She states that she intends for these combinations to be used in clubbing and parties, but they are also all perfectly usable for belly dance students, teachers, or choreographers who are looking for new ideas. Neon offers a couple of suggestions in passing on how the combinations might be used in a party, such as picking a couple of them to teach guests. She has particularly crafted each combination to be usable in the small amount of space available on a crowded dance floor or in someone's home. Neon doesn't dwell on how to do building-block moves such as hip circles and hip drops - people who need detailed descriptions at that level should first work with her two Instant Belly Dancer videos or any other video that teaches elementary moves.

The difficulty of the combinations varies. Some are reasonably simple and should be comfortable for a beginner who has already learned the elementary moves such as hip lifts and circles. Others are at a somewhat more challenging intermediate level. So a buyer won't outgrow this video right away.

The instruction is very well organized. For each of the 10 combinations taught, Neon begins with a demonstration of how the finished combination looks, accompanied by techno music. She is shown on-screen both in a front view and a back view. Next she breaks the 32-count combination down into four groupings of 8 counts each and teaches each 8-count grouping. At the end of each 8-count grouping, she leads a review of the entire combination thus far, to ensure you won't forget what you have already learned. After teaching the fourth set of 8 counts for the combination, the video shifts to a view of Neon wearing party garb and she demonstrates the completed combination.

After teaching the 10 combinations, the video offers three practice sessions to review and drill them. Each practice session runs through the 10 combinations in order, with no narrative or cueing. The first is reasonably slow and runs for 3:28 minutes, the second noticeably faster, completing within 2:44, and the third fastest of all, completing all 10 combinations in only 2:31. This section would be most useful to people who have made the effort to learn all 10 combinations. Viewers who pick and choose to learn selected combinations will find these practice sessions less helpful.

For the 6-minute performance segment titled "The Arrival," Neon dances with a tray of lit candles on her head to music with a New Age flavor. Her style as a dancer is the American nightclub, with more athleticism, torso undulations, and expressive arms than would be seen in Egyptian dance. She does many movements such as deep-knee bends that most dancers would find challenging even without a tray of candles on the head, and yet everything is so well isolated that her tray never wavers. Her image as a dancer is superimposed over an ever-changing background, sometimes of stars, sometimes of a close-up image of herself. This is one of the few videos on which I have liked the result of this effect - usually, I find it annoying, but on this video I find it to be artistically appealing. I think the key is that the dancing itself is always easy to see, and the special effect showcases the dancing rather than interfering with it. This same performance segment also appears on Neon's video of performances titled Stellar Body - Bellydance with Fire titled "Arrival of the Celestial Object." The choice of music and dance style is definitely not mainstream belly dance, but matches well with the overall tone of the video and its target audience.

The production quality is excellent. The sound quality is clear, and it's always easy to hear Neon's explanations. The image is well lit and sharply in focus. Neon demonstrates each combination in its entirety, in high heels at both the beginning and end of the section that teaches it. She uses two images of her on screen, one showing the front, the other the back. On-screen text always identifies precisely where in the video you are - which combination is currently being taught, and which set of 8 counts within that combination. Frequently, on-screen graphics such as arrows or diagrams help illustrate what the body is doing. Neon wears a bra top with trendy pants and mesh gauntlets for the instruction. These garments contrast well with the background, so it is always easy to see how her body is moving, and these party clothes also help reinforce the attitude that this is something you're learning for fun.

You Will Probably Like This Video If

  • You have mastered elementary belly dance building blocks such as hip circles and hip lifts, and you would like help assembling them into a dance.
  • You like videos with a light, happy tone that portray belly dancing as something that is fun to do.
  • You want to use belly dancing moves as part of the social dancing you do at parties and clubs.

You Probably Won't Care for This Video If

  • You take belly dancing very seriously and think everyone else should, too.
  • You want to focus on drills in technique.
  • You want to learn a complete end-to-end choreographed dance.
  • You believe belly dancing should be done only to Middle Eastern music.
  • You are interested only in Egyptian style belly dance.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked

  • Neon presents the instruction in a way that makes belly dancing seem like fun.
  • The video is very well organized.
  • Neon explains the movements very clearly.
  • Neon makes intelligent use of helpful on-screen graphics such as arrows to illustrate which body parts should move in which direction.
  • Combined with a warm-up and cooldown, the three practice sessions could be used together as a mildly aerobic workout, especially if each is done twice.
  • Excellent production quality.
  • The performance segment suits the mood and tone of the overall video and its target audience.

What I Didn't Like

  • It might have been nice to have on-screen text cues identifying each combination in the practice sessions.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Reviews of Other Videos by this Artist/Instructor

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

Instructional:

Performances:

Workouts:

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

In Conclusion

This instructional video delivers what it promises: a series of belly dance combinations useful for party dancing because they are simple, varied enough to look interesting, and designed to be danceable in the small space of a crowded dance floor or living room. In addition, it can serve as a valuable tool for belly dance students who are looking for a video that teaches sassy, fun-loving combinations, or for a choreographer who is looking for new ideas. Throughout the video, Neon treats belly dancing as something that is fun to do, but she also offers detailed explanations and tips for proper technique.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Disclosures

I have chatted with Neon through e-mail, but I don't know her very well. She sent me a complimentary copy of this 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
All regions
Canada
NTSC
All regions
Not offered

This video has not been released in a VHS tape version (at least, not in the English language.)

(If my DVD region information above differs from Amazon, trust me, not Amazon. Amazon doesn't offer a way for sellers to indicate that their DVD's support multiple regions, so they're forced to pick just one. I ask sellers which region codes they support, and if I have my own copy of the DVD I use software to to verify the region codes.)

Or, contact Neon as follows:

Email: sales@worlddancenewyork.com
Web Site: www.worlddancenewyork.com

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

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