Totally Turkish - Belly Dance
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(Aug 25, 2010)
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Turkish Oriental belly dance is fast, furious and full of spunk. It is defined by strong movements, bold hair tosses, kicks, spins and sassy isolations. With deep roots in Turkish Romani dance, Turkish Oriental stage dancing carries an energetic and raw quality. In contrast with the more ballet-infused Egyptian stage dancing, movements are big, bold and energetically outward. <P> Totally Turkish begins with a flow warm up, then moves into technique sections on steps, turns and saucy isolations. From there we begin breaking down the choreography into bite-sizes sections and drills. We then sequence the combinations into a full choreography to a fast and fun version of a traditional piece of Turkish music called Benefese. <P> In this DVD, a basic knowledge of belly dance and finger cymbals is assumed. However, the choreography is broken down into small pieces that can easily be drilled and learned with or without finger cymbals. <P> This choreography is full of fast steps, quick turns, kicks, and sass! For seasoned dancers the choreography is fast, challenging and fun. But don t worry if you are just getting started in belly dance the sections are broken down slowly and drilled extensively for enhanced learning. <P> Extras include a finger cymbal choreography, a Romani dance tutorial, and a costumed performance. The Romani tutorial includes a breakdown of the Romani (or Gypsy) 9/8 rhythm with examples of posturing, steps, and gestures.
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On the plus side: Ruby is a competent dancer and teacher. The production is decent. For an intermediate or advanced dancer who wants a quick intro to Turkish (Oryantal) style ... its worthwhile.
The choreography is broken-down and drilled with plenty of repetition. It is mostly shot from good camera angles (i.e. as if you are in dance class following the teacher.)
NO WARM-UP. Instead you get a "laundry list" of the moves and combos you need for the choreography. It's all talk no music ... boring ... This would be a 4-star review if they had a warm-up section with some music (even basic drum beats!) and incorporated the moves and combos into the warm-up. Talking through a "laundry list" of moves is NOT a warm-up. Given that this is a fast-paced choreo ... this DVD needs a warm-up section which prepares the body for the specific moves in the choreo.
If you buy the DVD ... watch it through once and create your own warm-up so you don't pull any muscles or anything.
The producer also needs to get rights to more than one song per video. As mentioned above, my personal preference is to integrate the movement and combo drills into a warm-up with slower music. This DVD goes from talk-through to full speed on fast music with nothing in between. Using that same song for an hour+ class gets old. Yes ... we are learning the choreo to that one song ... but it might be nice to see how the combos look on different music. For example some slower music might provide a bridge between the talk through and the full speed choreo.
In the Roman section, some of her moves were very authentic and well-done but others were totally off-beat. Still it was a nice touch to add.
What would keep me from giving a 5-star review even if this DVD had a decent warm-up ... No background! Ruby mentions taking classes in Turkey ... but from whom? Her stye is obviously heavily influenced by Didem ... why not say so? Which moves are modern (Didem style) and which are old school oryantal like Nesrin Topkapi? What moves are her own? Call me crazy, but I like to know the context of what I am learning. There is so much "fakelore" out there. I like to know the lineage and sources of a dance.
Datura remains the gold standard of dance video ... but they don't have anything in Turkish style. Totally Turkish is it (except for Artemis video) ... so I am grateful for it ... But my fantasy is Didem teaching on Datura. Ahhhh ....
I bought this DVD used, am mostly happy with the purchase and would recommend it, flaws and all.
after a 1 hour yoga and a long walk, I tried to do her video and managed to get a twinge in my upper right quad? (B/c of not a proper warmup for this style)
I'm debating on whether or not to EVEN keep it but there are so few dvd on Turkish dance.
I like that she has zills in there, and other than the Lack of a WARMUP anywhere it seems like a ok dvd?
I found this video fun and challenging, I would recommend it highly to the intermediate to advanced level dancer.
And the performance, of course, is stunning.