Kaishi Chai’s Expressive Belly Dance Veil
Jrisi and Devi’s Fan Veil Combinations
Veil with Aziza
DVDs reviewed by Samira Shuruk
posted May 17, 2012
If you’re like me, you have tubs of fabric and always see the “need” for more. But our love of fabric is NOT just manifested in our stashes and projects, it’s also reflected in our dance, our beautiful veil dance and more recently the fan veil dance. Each of these three DVDs offers something positive for different dance goals.
Expressive Belly Dance Veil with Kaeshi Chai is an easily accessible basic intro to veil. Her chapters include an Intro, Using the veil to Express Yourself, Selecting Fabrics, Steaming your Veil, Basic Veil position, Basic Veil technique (shown front and back), Combo 1, 2 and 3, a few other moves and 2 performances.
Her veil dance style is very New York, which is both dramatic and theatrical.
Kaeshi has a positive and encouraging way about her teaching, with moves that are pretty straightforward and basic, I would say beginner to intermediate level. Particularly useful items are the way that she breaks down how to hold the veil while allowing for zills, and the discussion on breathing with your veil technique. Beyond these items, she gives a few really nice details to help with refining your veil work, something quite useful for beginners and beyond.
The one thing I felt was missing in this DVD was that there was no discussion of the mid or lower back in her section on posture. It would be nice to assume everyone buying a belly dance DVD has a teacher who teaches full posture, but I believe it it not the case.
Kaeshi’s performance was dramatic and full of energy. She was in control of her veil and was even percussive at times. She is a lovely dancer to watch and also had some beautiful moments of gliding smoothness.
Rating: 3 zils
Belly Dance Vol III. Fan Veil Combinations with Jrisi and Devi comes from Australia. It wouldn’t play in my DVD player, but played fine on my computer. Of the three DVDs in this review this one had by far the most content. I have other fan veil DVDs and Jrisi and Devi gave a lot more information than they do as well.
The teachers alternate throughout the DVD. They both come across as very sweet and they communicate clearly. Their intro included great details such as marking your fan so you know which hand it goes in, and using an emory board to eliminate splinters. They also share different ways to store your fan veils.
Each move and combination was shown from both the front and the back. Clear details were given on how to do the combinations and at the end of each one there were written tips. I think this technique could be quite helpful for many learners.
They share a total of eleven combos, some brief, some lengthy, all lovely.
One detractor from the video was that the instructors were wearing black and dancing in front of a black background. One could still see them, but it is most definitely not the ideal manner of presentation.
I don’t know the instructors – or their backgrounds – and have not seen them dance before. I felt that one demonstrated beautiful feet – lovely point and great sweeping/brushing off the floor. She also gave nice details on lines to hit in the dance. I’m always delighted to see an instructor with beautiful technique such as this.
Their performance clips included a duet, a solo to live music and another solo. The dances were wonderful additions to the DVD particularly as they demonstrated fan veil usage to different styles of music and with different styles of the dance.
Rating: 4 zils
Veil with Aziza. Aziza is an engaging and thorough teacher and both of these comes across clearly in this DVD. She begins with an accurate history of veil in the dance and goes through the process of choosing the veil and holding the veil before going into the main concepts that she focuses on in this production. The application section starts with a warm up then goes into two technique sections, each being followed by a combo that incorporates the techniques. After a cool down, you are treated to a performance.
The concepts that Aziza teaches in the beginning and emphasizes throughout are great. They help the dancer actually dance with the veil as opposed to just doing a series of tricks with the veil. She repeats these ideas as they apply with the techniques, technique variations and combos. She also reiterates the concepts at the end. This is a well organized DVD.
Aziza teaches posture right at the beginning of the warm up and shows proper posture from both the front and side. The warm up appropriately included good shoulder and arm warm ups.
I feel her techniques, concepts and teaching methods are really useful for any level of dancer. A beginner will learn strong basics and have items they can work with for quite some time. An intermediate or more advanced dancer may pick up a new trick or two or a new combo or may refine an existing technique. An instructor may develop new ways of describing moves inspired by Aziza’s teaching.
Rating: 4 zils
One thing that I loved about reviewing the Kaeshi and Aziza DVDs together is the comparison of East Coast vs West Coast veil style. With Kaeshi, is it easy to see how she adds an interpretive element to her dance, drawing the viewer into a dramatic story as she weaves a plot with her veil. With Aziza, it’s clear she been inspired by the flowing ethereal, yet strong, stylings of the west coast veil masters.
These three DVDS all had different strengths. Kaeshi’s is a great beginner veil DVD with simple and clear explanations and a nice variety of basic moves. Jrisi and Devi provide a really large amount of strong material for fan veils. Finally, Aziza’s Veil DVD is appropriate for all levels of veil dancers including teachers seeking inspiration.
Hathor Dance Studio, Jrisi and Devi
Ready for more?
- 2-3-12 Conditioning and Floor work; Two Strong Strengtheners!Cassandra’s Conditioning Class, Ruby’s Flawless Floorwork,
It was with a bit of concern that I agreed to review these DVDs, as I have an extensive background in these topics.
- 1-15-10 More Fans, More Veils…
She includes a lot more ground information by using combinations, aptly named tables and turns, and the introduction to a lengthier fan veil that is 3 meters long instead of the standard 1.5 meters.
- 12-18-08 Fabulous Fan Veilzz w/ Mahsati Janan
Like I said before, this video is for those who are familiar with belly dance already. The fan veil is a new concept and performance skill , as well as a new prop in Middle Eastern dance.
- 12-15-08 Unveiled: 3 Instructional DVDs on Veil Dancing
Fabulous 4-Yard Veils by Shoshanna, Seven Veils Romantic Bellydance by Sarah Skinner, Bellydance With Veil by Sarah Skinner
- 5-16-12 Gypsy Flair Romani Party! 2 DVDs with Fun and Energy in Mind! Ansuya’s Istanbul Nights and Liz Strong’s Turkish Roman Dance
I reviewed two very pleasant, fun DVDs, Istanbul Nights by Ansuya, and Turkish Roman Dance with Elizabeth Strong. Both DVDs have much to offer, and are surprisingly different from each other in their interpretation of Romani Dance and teaching styles.
- 4-4-12 Fire and Ice, Sugar and Spice! Mystic Moves With Ava Fleming and Hip-Notic Bellydance With Kaya
I have had the pleasure of reviewing two very good DVDs: Mystic Moves with Ava Fleming and Hip-Notic Bellydance with Kaya. Both dancers adhere to different styles of Cabaret or Oriental Bellydance, and I found their approaches both engaging and refreshing!
- 1-19-12 Two Musical Sundaes with Dancers on Top, “Babelesque Live in Tokyo 2009”, Bellydance Superstars Series, “Dancers for Dancers, Volume 5”, produced by Cheeky Girls,
Two DVD’s. Two live shows. Two very different productions! It is hard to stand them side by side.
- 12-19-11 Are These the Droids You’ve Been Looking For? Two Pop & Lock Fusion DVDs Reviewed
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.
- 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.