Stage Presence with Lauren Zehara
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(Dec 14, 2012)
Want to be the kind of relaxed, happy dancer audiences love to watch?
Do you want to fill the stage with warmth, confidence, humor and emotion? Would you like to enjoy your own performances and know — for sure — that audiences are enjoying them, too?
Join Lauren Zehara and her students for a Stage Presence for Belly Dance workshop that will help you set the stage on fire!
Lauren guides you through the mental and physical secrets of stage presence, specific to belly dance, including:
- How to project confidence without looking like a diva
- How to use your body to infuse your dancing with emotional content
- The 4 levels of engagement, and how to move from NO audience engagement to a genuine dialogue
- How to quiet your nerves and relax onstage
- How to get rid of the ‘deer in the headlights’ look
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EXTRA THINGS COVERED:
How to use posture to appear confident.
Posture,relaxing and extending seated practice
Where in the body does emotion show?
Learn a simple combination that,while she is doing the combination a screen comes up that tells you the count breakdown,then she goes into adding emotion into the movement.She goes over a couple of different emotions with the combination.
Combination with frame movement
Adding a pause and working the combo
Compare version-where she divides her students into groups and then lets you see the difference in the emotion within the combo
A side by side screen shot of the performances for the first group then the second.
Part is all about the mental aspect of performing,How not to look like you are counting on stage.
The four levels of engagement:
Engagement in action
I love her shimmies might I add.Off topic I know.
I want to give lauren and A just for effort.It is extremely hard to even begin to teach someone how to take an emotion and put it into a dance.But there are some drawbacks.
Overall this is a good dvd I gave it three stars and here is why.
A. The replay value for me is very low and
B.It is mainly for a beginner getting into the arena of performing.For something a little more universal try Michelle joyce perfomance series.
WHAT I LIKED:
I think the most valuable concept in this video is the information about the 4 Levels of Engagement. This section should be required viewing for any bellydancer! It's a bummer, as an audience member, to see a technically strong dancer who is stuck at Level 2 engagement. That little extra difference that bumps it up to Level 4 really makes the difference between a beautiful dance, and a beautiful dance that makes the audience feel something.
I think there was a nice variety of exercises and suggestions presented. The "before and after" split screen view was really neat to watch, and an effective way to demonstrate the difference these techniques make.
Lauren Zehara's teaching style is easy to follow, and her personality is very likable. If she came to my city, or if I were visiting hers, I'd go out of my way to take a class with her because I can tell it'd be a lot of fun. In the video, her attire is flattering and allows the viewer see her movements clearly.
I actually wasn't bothered at all by the DIY production values of this video. I think it was very well done. The space is very nice and well-lit, and I didn't have any trouble understanding the audio.
WHAT I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE SEEN:
I think it was great that the students in the class were of varying levels of experience. For the beginning to intermediate dancer, I think this will make it very accessible and relate-able. For my own learning, I would have liked to have seen a few advanced/professional dancers working through these concepts. Perhaps the inclusion of more advanced dancers would have adversely affected the class dynamic, so maybe this would make good bonus material at the end of the DVD, or as a bonus download on the instructor's website.
At about 20 minutes in length, I also think the "Learn a Simple Combination" section was drawn out longer than necessary. I fast-forwarded through a few of the repetitions. I think the "Putting it all Together" section where the students danced through a song and were given different cues went on a little long, too. During this segment, I felt like it would have been more helpful to have seen more students improvising to a shorter selection.
I was tired of the music by the end of the video. I think there are only 2 songs used, and the music is kind of generic and electronic. This may have been out of necessity, but I think it would have been valuable to see these concepts applied to different kinds of music that had more rich and varied qualities.
I was also very disappointed that there was not a performance by Lauren Zehara at the end. This is pretty standard practice for a bellydance instructional, so it was a surprising omission. Especially because she has such a friendly and sparkling personality as she teaches, it would have been very valuable to see how she brought her own personality to the stage, and how the instructor herself applied her own concepts in a performance setting.
I think that this DVD will provide useful ideas to any bellydance performer, from beginner through professional. If I'd paid this same price for an in-person workshop, I'd have definitely felt like I got my money's worth. This topic is so crucial, I would love to see Lauren Zehara put out a follow-up to this, with different students/exercises/concepts to deepen the practice.