Gilded Serpent presents...

Be Amazed and Dedicated in Your Dance!

Said and Aziza's DVDs

Hands, Arms & Poses by Aziza
AND Turn In, Turn Out & Turn Around – Vol. 1 by Said El Amir

Comparison DVD Review by Tammi “Yasmine” Fabris
posted November 9, 2010

When Lynette asked me to review two DVDs and assigned me these titles and artists, I was excited at the prospect. After watching both of the DVDs in depth, I would describe Aziza & Said El Amir as amazing and dedicated instructors.

Hands, Arms & Poses by Aziza starts off with a brief introduction, an all body warm-up, drilling exercises (introducing and drilling ballet arm positions, foot patterns, and hand/arm isolations), combinations, and a thorough cool down. This DVD also includes bonus performances,  career spanning photographs, and an intimate interview with Aziza.

Turn In, Turn Out & Turn Around, Volume 1 by Said El Amir starts similarly with helpful details as warm-ups (brief instruction on classic ballet positioning and moves: port de bra, arabesque, promenade,  pencil, pivot and tipp turns (tipp turns are explained in the DVD) combinations, full choreography and ends with credits and messages.

Both DVDs are geared towards ballet fundamentals, adding them to the art of Belly dance. The fusing of these classic forms seems easily accomplished by the instructor’s strong posture, controlled movements, complete intention in every move, and graceful extensions from the head to the toe.

Aziza speaks live or in real time, with a clear and crisp voice, whereas Said’s voice is recorded over the instruction and seems, therefore, a little detached. The video angles and views are complimentary to the body positions and movement. Aziza brings you in for a closer view many times throughout the instruction, and Said keeps a full-length view primarily. Said adds the element of instrumentation with a live drummer, infusing depth and culture. Aziza’s music is softly faded into the drills after the initial verbal instruction has finished. Aziza’s video takes place in a ballroom and Said’s is recorded in a studio. The studio and the grand ballroom settings are both well suited for their instruction. Absolutely, Aziza’s performance section (set in different portions of what appears to be a grand hotel) is striking and compliments the mood perfectly. The instructors’ attire, used as a visual aid, in the instruction portion of their DVDs are classic and geared towards showing the movement, and does not detract from the dance. Aziza wears brown dance pants and a blue bra top that subtly match the the room décor. Said wears active-wear and the strips on the pants are a great visual focal point for his leg work, foot work, and rotations of his hips.

A highlight difference in these works was Aziza’s format, comprised of bringing it full circle, showing the performance aspects of her moves as she teaches in full costume.  I would liked to have seen a short performance of some sort from Said to bring his work all together.

The combination sections of both instructors are friendly and easily brought into your body. They both use a conscious amount of time drilling the combinations before moving onto the next, without loosing your attention. They allow your body to adopt the movements thoroughly . Aziza’s combinations are very feminine, graceful, and diverse in visual focus and affects. The movements are inviting and speak to you. Said’s combis (as labeled in his DVD) are detailed, use a lot of preparation, and progress from one to another very evenly. I appreciated both combination sections of these artists and feasibly, could add them to my dance education. However, Aziza brought it more to a performing level; whereas, Said brought it to an instructing level for me. It was difficult to visualize the full choreography of Said’s work in front of an intimate audience incorporated into a performance or stand alone, on a stage. Aziza’s addition of the “posing in your dance” section was top-notch for me, as it can add such a full body essence to the dance.

These two DVDs have similarities but also have wonderful differences. Aziza impresses upon her students greatly, her “Be Amazed” motto throughout her journey in Hands, Arms & Poses. She shares the concept of being amazed with every move, every pose, every muscle you engage;  therefore, this will express greatness through your dance. Aziza says, “If you practice with amazement and intensity, you will perform with amazement and intensity”. The concept that every ounce matters is a precious one. Said shows, through his work in Turn In, Turn Out & Turn Around, that dedication to executing and practicing the movements from the core or the root of their beginning is extremely valuable. Simply teaching a combination is not Said’s way; he is precise and persistent in the building blocks of making every movement excellent.

These are both thoughtful master instructors portrayed on these DVDs. I recommend them to all levels in the dance.

Hands, Arms & Poses by Aziza 
Rating 4 zils
Rating: 4 zils
purchase information


Turn In, Turn Out & Turn Around – Vol. 1 by Said El Amir

Rating 2.5 zils

Rating: 2.5 zils
purchase information


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