Serpent presents...Two Reviews of the Same
By Dancers, For Dancers
New Video Project Showcases SF Bay Area Talents
DVD Review by Dawn
cooperative video project spearheaded by Michelle
Joyce presents six top San Francisco Bay Area professional
dancers doing what they do best – dancing!
a dancer’s eye, the video offers clear clean views of the body
in motion. Though occasionally a hand or foot may be out of the
frame, this video patently avoids the “bust shot” in favor of
tasteful 3/4 and full body views of the dancer. There are also
no floating birds-eye views or harsh racking foot-light angles
to distort their physiques or distract form the moves. Just clean
and clearly captured video of beautiful dancers.
All of these
dancers are solid performers, dancing in the American Cabaret
style wearing costumes that run the gamut from hand-made to high-end
import. From Michelle and Sandra’s
exquisite Bellas to Mira’s perfectly
fit self-made ensemble, the video showcases dancers. Their costumes
are as inspiring as their performances.
professionals, these dancers present the style of performance
you would see in an intimate restaurant or at a house party. As
the viewer, you feel like each dancer is performing just for you
and with the bright lights, you can see the nuances of each dancer,
the angle of a hand, the lift of an eyebrow. For the student of
dance, these performances offer valuable lessons on how to present
your dance professionally.
contributed more than just their performance to their project
. From the design of the cover of the DVD to the marketing and
PR, each performer is taking an active role in the success of
this communal venture. More information about this project, the
dancers involved and other details are available on the video
Dancers, For Dancers:
How Our World of Dance Should Be!
Review by Eleyda
Dancers, for Dancers: A Collaborative Video Project” is a DVD
focused on Belly dancers from the San Francisco Bay Area who perform
a more traditional style of Middle Eastern Dance. This unique
DVD, as the title implies, is from these fabulous performers:
Mira Betz, Nanna
Each one of them donated a skill to create this DVD. Still photography
was by talented and renowned photographer, Michael
On the DVD,
each dancer performed two dances, except Luna, who just had one.
Luna’s piece was the longest and was composed of traditional dancing,
as well dancing with props (little lanterns), and a dance on glass
cups while balancing a sword. (It was as outstanding as it sounds.)
dances represented a school of cabaret styling. Although some
of the dancers used props, the DVD did not seem overloaded with
them, and I had an excellent opportunity to watch top-notch
performers showing the essence of Belly dancing.
of their costumes was traditional cabaret and the dancers themselves
made some of their own costumes. Nanna was the only dancer with
no second wardrobe, which was a shame, but her blue costume is
one of my favorites, so I did not mind seeing it again. I heard
that some people did not like some of the simple costumes, but
I did like them! In fact, I liked them more than the elaborate
ones. All the costumes were exceptional and appropriate for each
dancer, giving each her own charm, which can be difficult when
the dance style is more traditional, and therefore, similar. However,
these dance names are familiar to most of us and although they
are similar, each one adds her own charm and personality.
This DVD is
a living example of the saying, “simple does it"! The dancers
performed on three ordinary stages. The camera angle was usually
wide open, allowing one to appreciate the dance completely. I
appreciated the editing, especially for Luna’s piece. Even if
she had to change props, Luna’s song played without interruption
and her dance was a long, smooth interpretation. (I loved the
ending credits with bloopers included.)
I think they
kept the presentation to the minimum precisely because they produced
it, and consequently, they meant to “play it safe”. I might have
enjoyed more risk with the camera or maybe a couple of the stages
could have been a bit more elaborate.
the group had formed a family feeling, I noticed that sometimes
the dancers interacted more with the people behind the camera,
than they danced for the camera. I think that, in a sense, this
DVD sets the standard of what it is to get a diverse group of
dancers together to perform, each remaining solo. Even the title
is appealing in that regard, showing we are a big community of
dancers who are able to support each other in performance.
product is available through each of the individual dancer's websites
as well as here-
a comment? Send us a
Check the "Letters to the Editor"
for other possible viewpoints!
Belly Dance Workshops:
Realistic Expectations by Eleyda Negrón
difference between a Christmas gift and a workshop though, is
that in the worse case scenario, you can always return your gift
and change it for something else, but… What do you do with
a workshop that didn’t suit you? It can become a waste of
time and money for both ends.
Kohl: Drawing the Line by
Along with henna, kohl has been part of the beauty regimens
of women since the dawn of history, and an unbroken line connects
the eyes of today with those of the ancients.
How We Got our Video Groove
On by Zari
however, it seemed that getting a video is like getting a gig:
sometimes, you have to create your own opportunities.
How to Charge What You
Are Worth by Michelle Joyce
first step to becoming an effective negotiator is to emotionally
detach yourself from the outcome. If you can’t walk away
from the deal, you have already lost.
Photos PAGE 2-Carnival
of Stars Photos by Michael Baxter
Sponsors Alexandria and Latifa November 11 & 12, 2006 Centennial
Hall, Hayward, California
Tips on Getting Tips
audiences don’t know that they are expected to tip. Don’t
take it personally.
The Grand International Bellydance
Tour or How We Fled India at Midnight, Eluding Our Captors and
Evading our Go-Go-Dance Responsibilities. or What Would Fifi Do?
may not have been such a problem for us had the prostitutes not
been posing as bellydancers!
Calling all professional
dancers! How much do you charge? by Nanna Candelaria
the years, we dancers have unwittingly kept the general rate ridiculously
low in restaurants and nightclubs.