Two Pop & Lock Fusion DVDs Reviewed
by Sarah Schneider Koning
posted December 19, 2011
I’d like to preface this review with my thoughts on good fusion. I’m no stranger to Tribal and so many of its varied "fusions", as I’ve watched the style change, grow and define itself for the past 17 years. I’ve seen some very groundbreaking, mindblowing blends of belly dance with modern, hip hop and world dances. But more often than not, I see dancers in an easily definable costume, dancing to easily definable music, without stylized movement. I believe it takes a balance of all three elements to achieve good fusion, with stylized movement being the strongest ingredient in any form of dance. With this in mind, I think both DVDs subject to this review cover two sides of the same coin and are valuable to the student looking to fuse Belly Dance with Pop and Lock, depending on their level of training.
Side one of the coin: You are looking for a BELLY DANCE style with Pop and Lock undertones…
Industrial Elements Vol. 1: Industrial BellyDance
– A Complete Introduction with Aradia
Run Time: 90 minutes
This instructional DVD focuses primarily on teaching Pop and Lock technique layered into Belly Dance, though does not specifically label itself as Tribal style. It begins by breaking down popping, ticking and locking and proceeds to demonstrate combos utilizing these foundational moves. There are ample sections of practice for each move and combo, allowing the student to grasp the material before moving on. The DVD culminates in a performance by Aradia, demonstrating strong belly dance style with the harder edges of Pop and Lock blending in nicely. This DVD encourages the viewer to warm up prior to participating, as there is not a warm up or conditioning segment. Warning: If you are purely attracted to this DVD by the title, prepare to be disappointed. This recovering Goth kid didn’t sense even a touch of the edgy, abrasive aesthetic of Industrial. However, if you are a beginning-intermediate belly dancer, looking for a smooth introduction to Belly Dance/Pop and Lock fusion, this is a great place to start!
Production Quality: Fair. Studio background is cluttered with advertising banners and performance content is shot on equipment of lesser quality. As an added bonus, there is an insert listing and explaining each move, which I found pretty handy.
Music: Great music choices, easy on dark ears, though not Industrial.
Overall Rating: Three Zils
The other side of the coin: You are looking for a POP AND LOCK style with Belly Dance undertones…
Android Goddess: Tribal Fusion Belly Dance;
Robotic movement, waving and popping styles with Fayzah
Run Time: 140 minutes
This DVD definitely covers a lot of ground within its two hours and twenty minutes. It begins with a thorough warm up and intense yoga/pilates workout for conditioning. Most of the content of this DVD focuses on break down of robot style Pop and Lock, demonstrating and explaining isolation, separation, hits, pauses, stops and myriad other moves. Talk-throughs are not rushed; Fayzah takes her time demonstrating each concept clearly and expertly. It did take over an hour to actually touch on any sort of belly dance and the segment focusing on Tribal stylization is short compared to the Pop and Lock content. If the student already has a strong background in Tribal style belly dance, this video could be the next step forward in expanding their fusion repertoire.
Production Quality: very clean and professional, with strong attention to detail in instruction, performance and costuming.
Music: Funky retro style for ‘botting, not much belly dance influence until the later chapters.
Overall Rating: 4 Zils
Product Purchase Information
- Aradia- http://www.spellboundbellydance.com.au/online_store_42.html
- Fayzah on Neon’s site- http://worlddancenewyork.com/collections/bellydance/products/android-goddess
Ready for more?
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Regardless of your particular fitness poison, I am not surprised that Neon has managed to challenge the viewer and integrate useful and challenging movements that are actually helpful to your skill as a dancer.
- 8-17-10 Tribal Videos Today, Tribal Fusions, Volume 2 from Bellydance Superstars Tales of Desire from Hollywood Music
It’s my belief, that as dancers, it’s good to keep up with what’s happening within the greater dance community, even if it doesn’t suit our taste or style. It’s especially important for dance instructors to recognize who the industry leaders are. It doesn’t matter if it’s Egyptian Raks Sharki or Flamenco/Gypsy/Zambra Mora or in this case, Tribal Fusion–knowing who is the current crème-de-la-crème will give you a stronger knowledge base from which to teach your students. Investing in one or two high-quality professionally made Tribal DVDs will add breadth to a dancers video collection.
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- 9-17-09 Pop, Locks and Shimmy x 2, 2 DVDs with Almost the Same Name
So what’s with the title dilemma? who deserves the crown for the first pop, lock, and shimmy DVD, or who did the best one? After dancing along several times to each DVD, what matters most to answer the question who did it right – the appropriate title to the appropriate production.
- 3-14-09 So,
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A reader’s position at this point will depend on whether you think that bellydance and Middle Eastern dance are one and the same, and whether you feel any particular sense of ownership over either one of those terms.
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Core Training for Bellydancers Bellydance, Yoga Conditioning with Ariellah, Industrial Strength Dance Workout with Shakra, Bellydance Arms & Posture with Rachel Brice
- 12-19-11 Learning to Dance the U.K. Way,
Hillary’s "Beginners’ Egyptian Dance" and Charlotte’s "Learn to Bellydance"
Strange names for movements used in the U.K. such as “snaky arms”, and the most repeated “wobbly walk” and “wobbly movement” in describing shimmies, as well as “quiver in your bellybutton” are off-putting.
The saxophone was popularized in beledi music starting in the 1970s. Although I wasn’t introduced to Middle Eastern music until the ‘80s, I believe the first recordings I happened upon featured Samir Sourour.
- 11-16-11 "
Through the process of comparing and contrasting these two DVDs, I learned that in our technical age, although there are many people out there that have knowledge that can and should be shared, production value really does count for something.
This caused me wonder: she states she improvises 99.9% of the time she performs, but how does she improvise her work while she performs on stage (if she likes it, she memorizes it?) and teaches it later in her workshops?
- 10-11-11 And Here’s a Work from…the Lovely Jenna DVD: "Bellydance, The Next Level"
When I’ve gone to Jenna’s classes, I noticed she had a knack for making the students comfortable with themselves while learning new steps. This persona still comes across on DVD.