The Golden Apple: Bellydance Stars of New York (belly dance performances)
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The DVD features a number of songs from Jehan's "21st Century Priestess," an Arabesque fusion 2-CD album (StreetNoiz Records) and NYC "Taksim" trio playing traditional bellydance songs and jazz fusion.
DVD bonus features:
* Performance by Jehan from Jehan's Off-Boradway extravaganza "Goddessdance" - "21st Century Priestess"
* "Jammed Tight" - Near-Eastern jazz fusion - original composition by Souren Baronian, performed by "Taksim" trio
* Optional subtitles display discography for Jehan and "Taksim" and English-language lyrics of Jehan's songs
* Discography pages for Jehan and "Taksim" trio
* Photo slide shows
Top Customer Reviews
It's a DVD that I appreciate more with each viewing, and it is also wonderful to listen to. The songs are an exotic mix by Jehan, who writes a world music fusion with lyrics that are full of erotic mysticism, and celebrate the goddess in every woman, and by the Taksim Trio (Souren Baronian, Haig Manpukian, Mal Stein), a group that does marvelous interpretations of near-eastern melodies.
The costumes sparkle with color and are beautifully designed, and they flatter and flow with the dancer's movements, and though the performances are not brightly lit, the details of the garments are lovely.
Jenna, whose choice of music tends to be more traditional, does three numbers, one of them a drum solo that is very effective, and it is followed by sword dance duet with Blanca that is incredible. I cannot imagine how such a feat is done, but it is a marvel to watch. Jenna has consummate grace, with arms that move with such a natural flow they are like a flower unfolding.
Blanca is exquisite. There is a youthful charm about her personality, and a nubile sensuality that is seductive with a touch of innocence. Her two solo numbers are passionate and expressive, and she is part of the sword dance duo mentioned above.
Neon is superb. Her sculpted figure is astonishing, and her electric movements are so expertly done that she makes it all look easy. Neon does 3 numbers, and the final one, in a fantastic red costume, is riveting, and brings the art of belly dancing to a new high.Read more ›
The DVD includes almost an hour of performances by NYC performers Neon, Jehan, Jenna, and Blanca, as well as a jam session with the skilled and talented Taksim ensemble. The production values are strong, and although the camera rarely holds still, cuts and pans are not obtrusive. Face shots are kept to a minimum. The focus is generally on the dancer, or the part of her body doing a particular movement. The sound quality is excellent, whether the music is live (ie. with Taksim's jam session) or canned. If you were so inclined, you could turn the video off and listen to this as though it were a CD.
In general, the dancers have large, expansive movements. Each dancer has her own musical taste. The music ranges from traditional Egyptian to Arabesque hiphop to new age breathy vocals. Although I doubt the style of every performance, costume, and song will appeal to any one person, I do believe the DVD is well worth the cost.
The DVD can be used as a costume show of sorts, with each dancer wearing a different outfit every time they dance. Mostly the dancers are in bedlah (the bra and skirt "uniform" of the belly dancer), although the first dance is performed in a one-piece brown velvet dress.
Among my favourite performances are Blanca's floorwork improvisation. I really didn't like her skirt (I couldn't help but think she's wearing diapers under it!), but I'm a sucker for good floorwork, and she has an excess of style, grace, and strength.Read more ›
The performances are mostly done to non-traditional music by Jehan. The music is mystical and sensuous and really hooked me. I was disappointed to find that all of Jehan's CD's are completely sold out when I visited her site. Neon, Blanca and Jenna express the messages of the songs, truly interpreting them through their dance. These dancers also demonstrate the sense of empowerment that the dance has given to so many of us. My instructor would describe them as "real" as they are not "performing." They dance with a clear sense of freedom, emotion and joy rather than stiff, rehearsed routines. Each dancer is obviously enjoying herself and this is so important in this dance - they're definitely letting their inner goddess out to play, and She's having a blast. The performances are very sensuous without being overtly sexual or inappropriate and the sets and costumes are absolutely magical. There are candles, veils and an amazing sword duet.
The most outstanding part of this DVD, I think, is Jehan's performance. This is the first and only performance DVD that I've seen that features a goddess-sized dancer in all her beauty and magnificence. They deserve kudos for that.
If you're not stuck in the mindset that traditional middle eastern dance should not be deviated from, have a true appreciation of art and recognize bellydance as an art form, you'll appreciate this DVD.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This DVD features skilled belly dancers who are quite talented. There was one performance with Jehan done with veils. Read morePublished on April 12, 2012 by apriles78
found this video selling sex and not the art of belly dance. Belly dance should be sensual, but I did not feel this was in the true spirit of belly dance. Read morePublished on December 21, 2009 by Jennifer Mora
The reviewer that got bashed for saying this is a mediocre dvd is correct. To a passionate dancer or afficinado, the routines more often than not are awkard and flat and really out... Read morePublished on October 8, 2008 by Erin
Okay, girls! Get ready for some costume envy! They are fabulous!
This is a fun and fashionable DVD that showcases several styles of dancing that you are sure to enjoy. Read more
It gets a bit repetitive, some dancers have good technique but no passion. It left me feeling like there was something missing.Published on March 21, 2008 by Azime
It has a lot of new age type music. Wasn't really my cup of tea. But I always love to watch Neon, as she is an amazing dancer.Published on September 1, 2007 by CherryJellyBean
Don't know, I bought it for a chick. It gets 5 stars simply the picture of the girls on the front.Published on July 23, 2007
I found this video to be well presented and professional.
The content is exciting and well performed. Read more
Fair production value, although the dances/dancers are very poorly lit at times. Bellydance fans will probably appreciate this DVD. Bellydancers may find it repetitive. Read morePublished on November 7, 2006 by Work of Life