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Thank you to everyone who submitted a video this week. There were a lot of interesting choices- making my selection tough! I have decided upon the final three videos and have embedded them here.

Voting is now open!

The video with the most votes by Sunday, April 15th wins. Anyone may vote a total of one time. Yes, you may solicit friends and family to vote for your favorite. The person who submitted the winning video will be shipped Anasma’s Bellydance Hip Hop Liquid Fusion and Wave Explosion DVDs, courtesy of World Dance New York. These are truly wonderful DVDs. You can read my review of them here. Or buy them online from World Dance New York here.

Don’t forget the BONUS GIVEAWAY! Anyone who votes this week is eligible to win Android Goddess, also from World Dance New York!

Video 1: Amani’s Hip Hop Leylat Hob

Says Emilie… It was one of the first fusion videos I stumbled across several years ago. I like that she has a hip hop flavor, but it’s still mainly belly dancing. I also like that it’s not a tribal fusion-y, robot dance-y version of hip hop fusion. Says Ananke… I love the old school hip hop! This was a great submission because it exemplifies a true blending of style, costuming, expression, and attitude. The intro is a little long, but the dance technique is superb. Thank you, Emilie.

Video 2: Ebony Quall’s Hip Hop Tribal Fusion

Says Tiziri… Love, love, love this dance! There’s an ease and playfulness to it that is just flat-out fun. She seems totally comfortable with both bellydance and hiphop, so it really works as fusion. Says Ananke… Ebony is one of those amazing ‘multilingual’ dancers that speaks several styles fluently. If you saw her traditional Egyptian number, you’d never know she was capable of something like hip hop fusion. An entertainer in every sense of the word. Great pick, Tiziri.

Video 3: Kami Liddle and Zoe Jakes Tribal Fusion to Dubstep

Says Kelly… I loved how in synch they were and the musicality…the fluid movements and the look and feel of the performance is very powerful! Says Ananke… I agree completely. The hip hop influence here (beyond what is generally found in tribal fusion) is subtle, but well blended with the other movements. Also I very much appreciated the dubstep music! This is a great remix of a Natacha Atlas song, performed by Beats Antique. Thank you, Kelly!

So which video is the best fusion of Bellydance and Hip Hop? You decide!

Thank you for voting! If you’d like to be entered into the Bonus DVD GIVEAWAY please enter the field below, and hit submit!

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Did you read my review for World Dance New York’s DVD, “Bellydance Hip Hop Liquid Fusion with Anasma?” Are you interested in getting a copy? Here’s your chance!

I’m giving away both DVDs in the series to one lucky winner:

Here’s what you have to do:

1. Find an awesome example of a dancer fusing hip hop and belly dance (any styles thereof) on YouTube. Fill out the form below and include a link to the video. Submissions are due Sunday, April 8th 2012 at noon.

2. I’ll choose my favorite three submissions based on the criteria below and post them next week (Monday, April 9th). Readers will then watch and vote for their favorite. All votes will be due by Sunday, April 15th 2012 at noon. I’ll announce the winner of the DVDS on April 16th.

What are the video submission rules?

The video must be uploaded to YouTube publicly. It should be 3-6 minutes in length. You may submit footage of yourself as the dancer. One submission per household, please. You want to get your favorite in FAST, since I will only accept the first link to a video. If you submit a link to a video that’s already been submitted, I’ll notify you and you can try again (within the give time period). Open to residents of the U.S. only.

What criteria will you use to select the final three videos?

I’ll export the links to an external document so that I may review videos independent of your contact information to avoid any personal bias. I’m looking for dancers with great technique, appropriate expression and stage presence, as well as creative costuming. S/he should fluently blend styles in a way that is innovative while maintaining a genuine connection to both art forms. Finally, you all know that I love dubstep, so I’ll award extra points if its their music choice. The quality of the video does not matter, but keep in mind that lower quality does not often pick up the subtleties of isolation present in either style.

What are the voting rules?

Anyone may vote a total of one time. Yes, you may solicit friends and family to vote for your submission. You can encourage them to vote by telling them about the bonus giveaway…

Bonus GIVEAWAY!

Anyone who votes for any one of the three final videos during the week of April 9th to 15th is eligible to win this DVD (Android Goddess: Tribal Fusion Bellydance), also from World Dance New York!

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Submit your favorite video:

*I won’t use your email address for anything else, promise!*

Thank you for participating, and good luck!

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Dubstep… my only… weakness…

Okay, I admit it… I love dubstep. And I love the new fusion of belly dance and hip hop which is often performed to dubstep music. When I saw this video I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. Fortunately the DVD publisher, World Dance New York, was willing to send me one to review for free. It’s probably one of the coolest fusion videos I’ve seen… ever! Seriously.

The Best Thing About this DVD: is the program itself. Anasma has created something that is uniquely a true synthesis of two styles. Every move is at the same time both belly dance and hip hop. The fusion carries through to her costuming, music, and her expressions, as well. It’s modern and fresh but still true to the origins of both forms. If you’re familiar with Anasma’s work, you know that this is her specialty. It’s also pretty rare. I often see the label of “fusion” describe routines that are just non-traditional. The dancer picks and chooses moves from different genres, but there is no true blending. You definitely won’t find that here.

Other Things I Like:

  • There’s a lot of content- two disks and over four hours worth of content. You get an explanation and drill set for both the belly dance and the hip hop moves, plus a choreography, and some performance footage.
  • The belly dance drills are good enough to stand alone. You could pick up a few nice combinations even if you never use the hip hop section.
  • The choreography is really cute! It’s a wonderful synthesis of the information that’s covered and good enough to be performed at a fusion themed venue.
  • The DVD production values are very good. The lighting and videography are appropriate, and itโ€™s easy to find what you need through the DVD menus.

Be Warned: Although it’s not clearly stated in the description, this DVD is probably best suited for intermediate and advanced level dancers. You will need a good understanding of the mechanics of movement, from either a background in belly dancing or hip hop, for the choreography. There’s really only enough time for Anasma to breeze through the breakdown of each movement, and not enough explanation is given for beginning dancers.

To Summarize: This is a wonderful resource for experienced dancers interested in expanding their realm of experience across different genres. Even if you’re not interested specifically in hip hop, there’s a valuable lesson here as to what a true fusion of styles looks and feels like. The quality of the content and the instruction is excellent.

And there’s a part 2! Check out Wave Explosion, the sequel to this DVD.

Interested? I’m giving away both DVDs in the series. Stay tuned for my next post. ๐Ÿ™‚

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World Dance New York sent me this three part series, and I have to say I was very impressed!

Each DVD of Fantasy Belly Dance features three instructors teaching their own themed choreography. Through movement selection, expression, costuming, and music they embody a character or image and tell a story through dance. For each routine there is a walk-through of the choreography and a full theatrical performance.

My favorite things about this series:

  • The quality of the instruction and content. These are top level dancers who are teaching routines using the techniques for which they are best known. The choreographies are well done, and they don’t look like ‘DVD choreography’. They use real music, too, and not ‘DVD music’. There’s also a lot of content on each disk.
  • There is a diversity of styles including cabaret, tribal, and fusion. Different dancers choose to embrace their theme to different degrees, so some routines are suitable for a traditional performance while others might best be saved for alternative venues or themed shows. Some routines include props (sword, zills, veil, wings of isis), but not all.
  • There are bonus features for every instructor’s section. In addition to the choreography breakdown and performance, the dancers include a discussion on their philosophy for their particular piece. Some sections have tips for how to handle props, proper body conditioning, or even how to set up a sacred dancing space using an altar! It was neat to be able to listen to how each dancer approaches the art.
  • The DVD production values are very good. The lighting and videography are appropriate, and it’s easy to find what you need through the DVD menus.

Be Warned:

The description on the back of the box says that these routines are for intermediate or advanced dancers, and they aren’t kidding! While they do break down and walk through each choreography, there is generally no instruction on how to do each particular move. You should know your circles, shimmies, and eights before attempting.

The Series:

Mystery features Neon as a serpent in a cabaret fusion piece, Sera as shadow in Gothic tribal fusion, and Ayshe as a phoenix using the wings of Isis.

Desire features Naraya in a tribal fusion piece embodying Salome, Blanca as a lovelorn nymph using traditional cabaret and veil, and Darshan as a ritual priestess using tribal fusion and veil.

Magic includes a section by Autumn Ward as an enchantress, Isidora Bushkovski the warrior princess using sword (with great bonus features!), and Ariellah as the goddess Kali in a tribal fusion piece.

To summarize, this is a great resource for dancers who are looking to add a little something different to their repertoire. I would also highly recommend it to intermediate level students who are learning to develop their own style or learning how to express themselves through their performances.

Interested? Check out my next post. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Although they can never replace live instruction, practicing from home with DVDs can nicely compliment your study of Belly Dance. There are literally hundreds to choose from, so I put together a few of my favorites (Cabaret style) here:

BEGINNER

Instructional Bellydance with Jillina, Levels 1 -3

Jillina breaks down moves in a way that’s easy to understand and follow, putting them into combinations and finally a choreography. A good tool for building movement vocabulary, although there is less emphasis on practice and drills. My home study tip: use these DVDs to add more movements to your repertoire, but be sure to apply what you’ve learned to practice. Try to incorporate them while improvising to your favorite music.

Turkish Style Belly Dance with Artemis Mourat

If you’ve never taken a class with Artemis, you should! But if you can’t get down to Washington D.C., then this DVD is probably the next best thing. Artemis is a phenomenal dancer,ย  instructor, and person. On this DVD she breaks down each move with several explanations that are great for different learning styles. With so few Turkish DVDs available, this is a real gem!

Bellydance Basics and Beyond: Technique for a Solid Foundation

Jenna has put together a fabulous tool in this DVD, from movements to combinations to choreography. Beginners will find a clear introduction to the dance with ‘room to grow’ as their technique improves. More advanced dancers will learn the finesse that comes with mastering movements and transitions. This is my top choice for new dancers, and at over 2.5 hours of content it’s quite the bargain!

 

INTERMEDIATE

Bellydance- The Next Level: Transitions, Turns, and Layers

Another wonderful DVD from Jenna and World Dance New York. If you liked the Bellydance Basics and Beyond, you’ll find the same easy to follow instruction and clear camera work that shows each movement from the front and the back. I especially like this DVD because it covers a subject that is,ย  unfortunately, ignored too much in many classes: transitions! If you already have solid movement vocabulary, the instruction in this video will teach you how to weave everything together to create beautiful choreography and improvisational work, too.

Preparation, Drills, and Cool-down

This DVD comes from the 2003 winner of the Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition, Azhia. Designed as the “dancer’s companion”, the video leads the viewer through training exercises to increase strength and flexibility. Perhaps most valuable, Azhia demonstrates how familiar movements can be modified an infinite number of ways to add texture and variability to circles, eights, and shimmies. This is great choice for dancers who feel comfortable in their basic technique, but who are ready for an expanded approach to their study.

 

SPECIALTY

Flawless Floorwork: The Lost Art of Belly Dance Floorwork

This video is really wonderful in its scope and depth of the topic,ย  providing much more than a nice breakdown and practice of the movements. There’s also a fitness section to help build the considerable amount of strength and flexibility required for floorwork, and a brief introduction to its history and place in the dance. Anyone who’s done it knows that the most frustrating part of moving around the floor is your costume always being in the way. Well, Ruby addresses that, too!

The Heartbeat of Bellydance: Rhythms and Bellydance Combinations for Drum Solos

This video by Jenna works as a great introduction to dancing to drum solos and live music. Viewers learn several movements and combinations, but also how to dance to the various drum rhythms in an improvisational setting. There’s three choreographies to learn, too, one each for beginner, intermediate, and advanced dancers. The introduction to Middle Eastern rhythms and musicality, an important component of any dancer’s study, is nicely done by Raquy.

Belly Dance with Veil

Sarah Skinner introduces veil turns, wraps, and traveling steps in this comprehensive DVD that also covers topics like selecting the right fabric. A great resource for beginner students, there are a few combinations or variations here that will interest intermediate or advanced dancers, as well. Certainly for all that it includes, this is a great value.

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