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Gilded Serpent presents...
In Search of the Perfect Belly Dancer’s Library
2 DVD Reviews:

FCBD DVD Steps and Combinations, Vol.7
Fluid Precision Belly Dance DVD

Review by Martha Duran

In search of the perfect library for a bellydancer I have found these wonderful elements for the bellydancer in need of fundamentals:

Fat Chance Belly Dance recently released, in honor of their 20th anniversary, Creative Steps and Combinations Vol.7 on DVD. It is 1 hour and 50 minutes long and features fully demonstrated dance steps along with a brief explanation of each step’s background. Additionally, it shows an excellent view on a picture-in-picture format of the dancers’ feet so that you are looking at Carolina Nericcio demonstrate, and you are learning from foot movements, an essential to keep a dancer grounded and well oriented while on stage. I believe that orienting to one’s feet is to secure a great performance!

I have always looked forward to DVDs by FCBD because the troupe has exquisite taste in music. This DVD, in particular, starts with an essential for every Belly dancer: a meditation warm up stretch. I loved the setting and loved the choreography, but I felt that the music was missing from this warm-up meditation section. A brief explanation of appropriate posture is given and 23 very creative steps and combinations are shared throughout the entire DVD. One might consider it a full out FCBD workshop experience! They share and fully explain the Wet Dog, Resham-ka, Water Pot, Sunanda, and Sahra Turn. I appreciated the detailed explanation on the Layback; it was carefully explained to prevent injuries. I found this DVD very necessary for a Belly dancer’s library because many of the steps we have seen them use in their own performances. After viewing this DVD, one can identify each step by name. Also identified are style backgrounds, as many have been inspired by Flamenco and Rajastani Indian folk dances. Information in this DVD is an essential for building one’s Belly dance vocabulary. Many Tribal dancers are in need of help to retain a choreography; and I find that a vocabulary is the answer to memorizing steps. You will want to add FCBD Vol. 7 to your Belly dance library!
Zil Rating= 4 zils

Another fundamental is a practice DVD: Fluid precision DVD with Kassar is a perfect follow-through; it is a fully choreographed warm-up stretch and exceptionally useful for practicing choreographies at home. Fluid movements are neatly explained in its “Isolation Section”. Then, they are fluently combined in four dance-along sections that fit easily into the taqasim sections of numerous performance pieces.

As I practiced along for a few weeks, I found that this is a DVD that is easy to play repeatedly and dance with it! As a result of the constant practice, my dancing became more precise, and I achieved more clear movements so that steps in my performance were easier to identify. I found it a little difficult to follow through on some of the floor work presented because I wanted to do it as fast as possible to allow myself time to turn and look at my television screen. I feel that this is a DVD for practice at an intermediate dance level rather than the level of learning the basics of dance. It lends itself more to understanding how to connect one’s dance steps that are already accomplished in order to make your dance more fluid (as achieved in their “Performance Section”).

Zil Rating= 2 1/2 zils

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