Gilded Serpent presents...
A to Z Advanced Stage
Instructional DVD and booklet
review by Monica
instructor Keti Sharif has created a treasure
for dancers desiring advanced material to work and study with
at home. Hers is the rare instructional DVD that has the potential
to appeal to a variety of dancers. Those who value their dance
in an ethnic context will appreciate the consistent references
to Egyptian stars such as Samia Gamal, Tahiya
Karioca, Soheir Zaki and Farida
Fahmy. Those who enjoy a spiritual dimension in their
dance expression will perk up at the concept of sacred geometry
and combinations named after ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses.
Fusion dancers might enjoy the salsa and bollywood combinations.
Likewise, myriad folkloric elements and stylizations are present
for the dancer who wants to incorporate a little beledi or folkloric
feel into a performance.
Through it all Keti Sharif manages the rare trick
of presenting belly dance as a challenging and ethnically
rooted dance form, as well as a constantly growing and dynamic
It is rare
that an instructional video marketed to advanced dancers follows
through to actually challenge experienced students or performers.
This one does. There is no breakdown or explanation of movement.
The assumption is that the student can do the basics, can layer
movements, can embellish technique and is comfortable with rapid
Sharif offers, then, is not movement after movement or repetitive
drills, but a series of combinations. This is where the 'A
to Z' in the title comes in; combinations are named and presented
alphabetically. Each combination is presented three times,
with two breakdowns and explanations and then a slow-motion
demo to music.
of the combination names call for a bit of a reach. She mixes
made-up names ("Divine Wave"), places and landmarks ("Luxor",
"Nile"), items ("Gallebeya"), and ballet terms. There is a
larger organizational pattern to the combinations as well:
for example combos F through J are "Folkloric Stage Style",
K through O are classified as "Classical Oriental and Taqsim",
P through T are "Theatrical Belly Dance".
was filmed in the grand ballroom of a five star hotel in Cairo,
and the light-colored background is lush and lovely. Ms. Sharif
wears fitted pants, a coin hip scarf and a cut off top. It
is quite easy to see her legs and body line.
All of the
demonstrations are fun to watch. She is a gifted teacher and
her explanations are thorough and creative. Even when I occasionally
found the names or the commentary to be somewhat esoteric I
was never overwhelmed by that; everything she says clearly comes
naturally to her and she seems very real and down to earth.
She is clearly having a great time and comes off as very personable.
A dancer that can translate this well into video must be quite
dynamic in real life!
teaching style is such that I felt both included and as if
I were really dancing while also inspired and challenged.
I highly recommend this as a tool for dancers at an intermediate
level looking for a challenge and to anyone up through a professional
level looking for inspiration.
also comes with a booklet that is extremely helpful. I decided
to go through the DVD without the booklet first. While it does
stand alone, when I added the written choreographies into the
mix it was wonderful. I imagine the intrepid student writing
notes, variations and inspirations into the margins of the booklet!
has done a wonderful job creating a product that caters to dancers
who are well beyond a beginner level but who want to work with
an instructional video.
Product purchase- http://www.ketisharif.com/products.html
a comment? Send us a
Check the "Letters to the Editor"
for other possible viewpoints!
Bert and Amaya
Workshop Photos by Ed Lampo and Report by Monica
makes you feel special and sexy!”, one participant was overheard
Wings, The Complete Technique, a
private lesson with Ayshe a review by Mara al-Nil
Well, I have to say that I must take a bit of an issue with the
title of this DVD. “A private lesson” with Ayshe?
More like an intensive, private seminar! This 2-hour “workshop”
is one of the most comprehensive instructional DVDs for dancers
Belly Dance Super Stars Video
by Amina Goodyear
and Directed by Jonathan Brandeis Executive Producer: Miles Copeland.
"... However, as there is no audience,
most of the dancers have a difficult time conveying the emotions
of the dance to the video viewer. Only Jillina and Dondi seem
to overcome this obstacle. "
October 16-17, 2004,
photos and text by Amy Luna Manderino
Festival lived up to it's name, with two days of creative and
innovative dance that broke the mold and showed the versatility
of American Bellydance.
The Folk Tours Dance & Music Camp
Review by Piper (and baby pics too!) Photos by Carl Miller,
upon a time, in far away lands, I performed five shows a night,
seven nights a week to great live music. I don’t miss the
wily club owners, late nights, or cigarette smoke, but I do miss