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Overall Rating: (on a scale of 1 to 5 stars)
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|Total Video Length||68:43 minutes|
|Performance Time||3:44 minutes (5%)|
|Teaching Time||45:56 minutes (67%)|
|Amount Of "Other"||19:03 minutes (28%)|
|Number Of Models||9|
|Cost Per Minute Of Teaching & Performing Time||30 cents|
|Cost For "Other"||$4.16|
This video by Qadria offers assistance to beginning belly dance students for putting moves together into simple combinations and choreography. It consists of three primary sections: the instruction, some performance clips, and some interviews with some of the on-screen dancers.
Qadria has designed the instruction section to be suitable not only as a study tool, but also as a light cardio workout. A posse of 9 students helps Qadria demonstrate the moves, including one who is pregnant. Most of these students are at beginner level, allowing the person using the video to feel as though she is part of the class. The instruction also offers a subtle introduction to Middle Eastern music by using drums playing common rhythms as accompaniment throughout. The components of it include:
The choreography that Qadria creates with these step combinations is not designed to go with a particular piece of music. In fact, she teaches it using maqsoum (baladi) rhythm, then has her dancers demonstrate it with masmoudi and karsilama 9/8 rhythms. It works as a structure for rehearsing the moves and becoming comfortable with transitions, but without a connection to a particular piece of music it's not particularly exciting to watch. For this reason, I think of it as being fine for learning and drilling, but not so fine for performing.
A one-page product leaflet inside the package contains a list of the combinations taught with notes on how to do each combination. This should prove helpful in memorizing and rehearsing the choreography.
Qadria advertises this video as being both instruction and workout. It's true that her structure of warmup, increasing the energy level, then cooling down is conducive to using the video in that way. The format of teaching one combination, then moving on to the next, teaching that, moving on, and then putting everything together at the end is more interesting than the "take it from the top" approach used in many other workout videos. It could be useful for a beginning belly dance student who isn't accustomed to exercise and wants help in adding some movement into her lifestyle. However, someone who exercises regularly isn't likely to break a sweat with it.
Qadria's style as an instructor is to emphasize the feel-good aspects of belly dancing - the enjoyment of dancing with friends and the positive impact on body image. She comes across as very warm, and encouraging, which makes her instructional style well-suited to students who may feel a bit insecure about their ability to follow along. However, she doesn't let the nurturing interfere with dance instruction. Throughout the video, she mentions advice on posture and other technique tips.
Following the instruction, the video contains a four-minute performance segment with brief clips of six different dancers, including Amaya, Aneena, Artemis Mourat, Samra, Anne Snell, and Margaret & Emily Snell. This is the weakest part of the video, because the soundtrack for all these performances is the continuous 9/8 karsilama drum rhythm. It's obvious that this was substituted for the actual music used by the dancers in those performances because their moves don't synchronize with the sound at all. I would have preferred to see a single 4-minute performance using the actual music chosen by one dancer rather than this jumble. I have seen performances in the past by several of these talented artists, and this presentation doesn't do them justice at all.
The video ends with a series of six interview clips featuring Qadria herself and several of the students who helped her demonstrate the instruction. The students in the interviews include, in order, Anderson Beckman, Dana, Mary Ann Flournay, Jaleelah (Jennifer King), Amirah, and Misao. Qadria's intent in including these interviews on the video is to demonstrate the diversity of students who embrace this dance form, and share how the dance fits into their lives. If you live in a community without local classes, these interviews could help you feel more connected to the the larger dance community. Some of these interviews provide a real look into the person's feelings about the dance, while others are very superficial. I'm particularly disappointed with the interview with Qadria, because the interviewer seems to be constantly putting words in Qadria's mouth rather than allowing Qadria to speak for herself.
Qadria and her students all wear classroom attire for the instruction section. Qadria wears a crop top, leggings, and hip scarf, so it is always easy to see what her legs are doing. Most of the students wear practice costumes with skirts or harem pants to give a variety of ideas to students who may be working with this video. At any one time, nine students join Qadria on-screen, with some rotating in/out as each section begins. According to the credits, the participants include everyone from the interviews, plus Leslie Barteaux, Ankhara, Christine Wiecek, Izdihaar, K'asha, Luna el Howas, Sahalie (Karen Jetton), Shala, and Zazoo (Robin Polilli). The credits also list one of the "dancers" as being Erik King, the baby that Jaleelah was expecting at the time the video was filmed. As the credits roll, a photo of each dancer appears next to her name.
The production quality is generally excellent. There is plenty of lighting, the camera angles show what they should, it is always easy to hear Qadria's voice over the background drumming, and the finished product has an attractive, polished look about it. The only thing that's not entirely polished-looking is that it appears to have been filmed in Qadria's dance studio rather than in an elaborate television studio, but that's not a problem for me. A scene selections menu makes it easy to jump to each rhythm's instruction segment, but there are not chapter breaks for the combinations.
These moves are used as building blocks for the combinations.
If you'd like to read my reviews of other videos by Qadria, choose from the list below:
|If you're a newcomer to belly dance, this video can help you learn how to transition from one move to another. Students who have been belly dancing six months or less are the ones most likely to find this video valuable. I don't see the choreography as something a person would want to use in a performance, but it has its role to play as a tool for drilling moves it. Although I'd recommend the combinations as a tool for beginners who would like guidance in varying their moves, I don't see them as being a fit for experienced dancers looking for ideas on what to include in their performances.|
|Qadria sent me a complimentary copy of this video to review. I had not previously had any relationship with her.|
Contact Qadria as follows:
Phone: (+1) (919) 786-9895
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