Dances from the Heart II,
by Suzanna Del Vecchio

A Performance Video Review By Shira

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

Suzanna Del Vecchio delivers performances to seven different songs by various artists such as Desert Wind and Light Rain.


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The Chart

Formats Available NTSC, PAL, SECAM
Overall Rating StarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStar
Packaging StarStarStar
Total Video Length 30:31
Performance Time 28:33 (94%)
Amount Of "Other" 1:58 minutes (6%)
List Price $35.00 VHS tape version
$49.95 DVD version
Cost Per Minute Of Performing Time $1.23 VHS tape version
94 cents DVD version
Cost For "Other" $2.26 VHS tape version
$1.79 DVD version

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In this sequel to Dances from the Heart, Suzanna Del Vecchio performs to a collection of seven different pieces of music. Her style as a performer is very much that of American-style belly dance. Her demeanor is very elegant and lifted, and she uses her limbs (especially arms) more than an Egyptian dancer would do. Suzanna demonstrates command of various isolations such as stomach rolls and flutters and uses them frequently in her performances.

The video opens with a segment called "Ancient Ritual". Using the song "Anahut" from Kairo by Night Volume 2, Suzanna does a Pharaonic-style dance outdoors among pillars that evoke images of ancient temples.

Two of the pieces use songs by Desert Wind, "Moon Goddess" and "Ecstasy". Desert Wind's music is New Age style, particularly featuring flutes and synthesizers. In "Moon Goddess," Suzanna uses a magnificent four-yard silk veil. She begins the piece with a half-minute sequence of continuous spinning, varying the way she holds the veil to create an ever-changing flow. A half minute might not sound very long, but try spinning that long yourself and you'll quickly appreciate the skill it takes to do it! The closing song, "Ecstasy", is based on the karsilama rhythm. It is filmed outdoors, in front of some of Colorado's spectacular scenery.

In "Oriental Suite" and "Passionate Balady", Suzanna demonstrates that she is comfortable dancing to the orchestral Egyptian music as performed by Daniel Derserkian. Although her dance "accent" is definitely American, she responds to the shifting rhythms and musical accents with confidence. In both pieces, she wears elegant bedleh (costumes) that match well with the Egyptian Oriental mood.
"Dark Fire" is a fusion piece featuring violin music by Light Rain. Suzanna injects strong elements of modern dance flavor. True to the meditative mood of the music, she dances with a large veil, and also incorporates some floor work.

"Gypsy Spirit" is probably my favorite piece on this video. Suzanna performs a fusion of flamenco and belly dance to Ibrahim el Samahy's song "Amayaguena" from Moon Over Cairo Volume 3. Her dance incorporates many flamenco arm moves, creating a beautifully integrated result.

I love watching Suzanna perform in person, because her performances offer both technique and passion. The technique comes through on this video, but it doesn't capture the level of passion that I've seen in her live performances. Still, she has produced some interesting fusion pieces.

The production quality on this video is excellent. The images are sharp and clear, with excellent sound quality. A few special effects are used in ways that enhance the overall presentation. The camera angles vary, and always show what they should to highlight the dance. The credits at the end identify the song title, artist, and CD title for all music used on the video, and indicate where to get them.

You Will Probably Like This Video If

  • You enjoy American-style belly dancing with some fusion elements.
  • You would appreciate a video by an artist skilled at stomach rolls, backbends, and other challenging moves.
  • You enjoy seeing floor work performed by someone with the strength and flexibility to do it well.

You Probably Won't Care For This Video If

  • You believe that belly dancing should be done only to Middle Eastern music.
  • You're interested only in Egyptian-style performances.

In Conclusion

Generally speaking, I find this video to be stronger than volume one of Dances from the Heart. On this one, Suzanna seems more comfortable dancing for the camera, and the image quality is sharper. In each piece, the music, set, costume, and dance interpretation seem carefully combined to create a pleasing result. The music, energy levels, costuming, and set are all varied enough to make the video as a whole interesting. Suzanna is one of my favorite fusion artists because she clearly understands the individual dance forms that she is fusing and combines them with crisp technique and artistically pleasing result.

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What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked

  • The assorted dances evoke varied moods.
  • The costumes, music, set, and Suzanna's interpretation all work well together in each piece.
  • Suzanna is a strong, flexible dancer with excellent technique.
  • The credits identify the music used.

What I Didn't Like

  • Doesn't capture the emotional expression Suzanna shows when performing live.

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Reviews of Other Videos by this Artist/Instructor

If you'd like to read my reviews of other videos by Suzanna Del Vecchio, choose from the list below:

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I have spoken briefly with Suzanna when seeing her vending at dance festivals, and we have exchanged links to each other's web sites. However, we've never had an opportunity to become better acquainted. Suzanna sent me a complimentary copy of this video to review.

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Contacting The Producer & Ordering The Video

Contact Suzanna Del Vecchio as follows:

P.O. Box 61383
Denver, CO 80206

Phone: (+1) (303) 399-2622
Web Site:

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