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Habibi, You Are My WHAT?! Leyla Lanty's Essential Arabic for Dancers - Volume 1

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Do you wonder what Arabic singers are singing about?
Do you wonder how to interpret Arabic songs to your audience?
Do you want to put real meaning into your dancing?
If you do, this fun and informative DVD is for you!
Leyla presents a toolkit of over fifty of the most commonly heard words and phrases found in Arabic songs along with gestures and body language that go with them.
She includes cultural notes throughout to explain the context and underlying meaning of those words and phrases. She will have you "singing along" with a well known popular song and will give you insights into two other favorites.
Based on Leyla's workshop of the same name the DVD is fully chaptered with "hidden" markers within the chapters allowing people to skip to sections that they want to study or practice.

About the Actor

Leyla Lanty has studied speaking and singing in Arabic with native Arabic speakers. She is known for her Egyptian style cane dancing, zill playing, and music interpretation. On frequent study trips to Egypt, she interacts with dancers, musicians, and "just plain folks", observing how they embellish their words with gestures and body language whether singing, performing or just having a conversation.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Leyla Lanty
  • Directors: Leyla Lanty
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    G
    General Audience
  • Studio: Leyla Lanty Productions
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2009
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002P9TZLY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,098 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

The short version: I liked it. A lot.

On this DVD, Leyla Lanty provides an introduction to selected Arabic words that can be useful for dancers to know. The bulk of the instruction focuses on words that frequently appear in Arabic song lyrics, with exercises on how to listen for them, and suggestions for gestures to use with them while dancing. At the end, Leyla covers some additional words and gestures that dancers may find useful when interacting with Arabs.

This DVD is also a useful companion for people who are learning how to speak/understand the Arabic language and would like to expand their vocabularies to include words often used in song lyrics. Song lyrics often use words that an Arabic study program wouldn't bother to teach, and this DVD helps fill that gap. Leyla is very knowledgeable about this topic, and teaches it very well.

I wish this DVD had existed back when I was a student dancer. The price is affordable, and with all the information Leyla presents it offers an excellent value for the money. For more information about this video, see my full-length review at [...]
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If you're a bellydancer, you probably won't want to know all there is to know about the complex Arabic language, but if you've ever wondered why songs are sung by men to men, what that finger to the cheek means, or how many ways there are to say 'love', this is a great start.
It's a simple format: Layla Lanty speaks as if she's taking a workshop in your own lounge - well, she's taking a workshop somewhere in the world! And this is a very straightforward recording of that workshop. There are bloopers, just one or two, and simple flipcharts, and that's about it. As I said, simple and straightforward.
The chapters all make sense - although perhaps a bit long to learn in one go - and the range of words are entirely suitable for dancers. I particularly liked the addition of cultural background to help 'make sense' of gestures, oh - and why songs are sung by men to men (it's about being modest and not being too forward or explicit about love and women).
Sure there are lots of production values and video techniques that could make this a better DVD, and yes I would have loved to see Layla dance to the song she discusses, but overall this is one excellent DVD for any bellydancer unfamiliar with the language who really wants to ensure no gaffes are made and look like she or he knows what the songs are about.
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This DVD is pretty much the recording of one of Leyla Lanty's classes where she instructs the audience with large written props. You do get the basics and Leyla shares a lot of information about nuances of the language as applied to dance given that she has extensive experience in the middle eastern dances. I suggest taking your time with the DV D and watch it many times until you get it to stick, although she does make it easy to learn associations of words and meanings and how to listen to specific words in lyrics. Keep this in your reference library as a valuable tool.
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Ahalan, Ana is me Teresa. (hello, my name is...)

Here is a woman who only appears to know 2 words of Arabic,
Habbi (term of endearment) and albi (heart), trying to teach you a language she knows nothing about.
If her goal was music appreciation, then hearing a clip of your favorite over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again will ensure that you will indeed, appreciate never hearing those songs again.

I may have inadvertently got a "out takes" DVD, can a camera person be truly that unskilled, and hearing the teacher say wait, I messed up, leads me to believe they haven't heard of editing either.

Save your self the money,
Buy a language cd and call it a day. I guarantee you will learn a lot more.

Shokran (thank you)
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