Zorba's Video Reviews
As most Belly Dancers know, there are hundreds of videos available either showing off a particular event, a particular performer, or purporting to attempt to teach us something relating to Belly Dance. Some are wonderful, some stink - how are we to know the difference?
There are also a number of WebSites that have Belly Dance video reviews on them; the reviews on shira.net are certainly the best known and, in my opinion, by far the best.
However, as even the great Shira could tell you, she can't review them all. So as I find myself in possession of several videos she hasn't reviewed, I have created this page of "mini-reviews".
DISCLAIMER: I'm not Shira. I don't have her breadth of dance experience and knowledge, nor do I have the time/patience to put together the extremely detailed type of reviews she excels at. Therefore, do not equate my mini-reviews as being equal to Shira's - they're not!
I will provide a link to Shira's review or poll page when one exists that I know about for a particular video.
DISCLAIMERS: Shira puts a disclaimer disclosing her relationship (if any) with the producer of the video. I will too if there is any relationship, otherwise it is safe to assume there is none. Any disclaimers will appear in a bright yellow box like this one!
Like everyone else, I have a few prejudices:
- I want to see a full performance, in costume, of the subject matter being presented. It doesn't necessarily have to be the exact choreography being taught (if any), but that would be nice.
- This is the 21st century. I expect all new videos to be released on DVD, and all older videos to eventually be re-released on DVD. I know the dance world trails technology (The Greek Dance troupe I'm in finally converted to CDs in 2004!); but I don't like tape, never have liked tape, never will like tape. It's noisy, it degrades rapidly from age, it breaks, it isn't random access. It's like a Mackerel in the moonlight: It's shiny, and it stinks!
- We all know about videos with sub-standard video, lighting, or sound problems. I don't like this any more than the next person. However, I tend not to mark a video down tremendously for technical problems as long as the subject matter is viewable/hearable.
I include a place to buy the video online. May not be the only place, or even the best place, just A place!
My Rating System
Good to use as a blank videotape or a DVD Shisha mirror.
Watch it once, then use as a blank videotape or a DVD Shisha mirror.
VERY sub-par. Consider using it as a blank videotape or a DVD Shisha mirror.
Has some major problems, but is worth watching.
Has some minor problems, but is quite good.
Is virtually perfect!
With all that aside, here we go with the mini reviews (loosely organized by subject):
Balancing is a skill that most Belly Dancers become interested in early on - and I'm no exception. Therefore, the very first video I ever purchased was...
Balancing Act by Mezdulene.
My interest in balancing eventually morphed away from the usual sword to the Shemadan or candelabra. Partially because I'm male and males will do anything if there's danger involved (as the old saw goes). I know of only one male who actually performs the Shemadan dance (Adam Basma) although a number will teach it. Always seeking to do that which few other males will dare, plus thinking the dance itself looks way cool, led me to eventually buy no less than three videos (each with different way of spelling Shemadan!) on the subject - which I think may comprise the world's entire selection of INSTRUCTIONAL videos (at least in the English language), although there are plenty of PERFORMANCE videos featuring Shemadans. You can check out mini-reviews of all three of these on the
Shemadan Review Page
Or skip directly to each review in turn:
The Art of Sword and Shamadan by Princess Farhana
Schamadan by Horacio Cifuentes
Shamaadan with Aida Nour by Aida Nour
Veils Vol 2, The Roman Tie by Cory Zamora
Veils Vol 3, The Scarf Tie by Cory Zamora
Ultimate Veil Lesson by Cory Zamora
Wings, The Complete Technique by Ayshe
Learn the Lost Art of Floor Moves by Cory Zamora
Spins and Turns with Marguerite by Marguerite and IAMED
Gypsy Passion, Belly Dance Fusion Choreography by Vashti
The Elements of Oriental Dance, The Basics by Horacio Cifuentes
Contemporary Oriental Dance Techniques, Vol. 1 by Horacio Cifuentes
Bellydancing for Beginners by Cory Zamora (Hands and arms)
Learn The Art Of Male Belly Dancing by Wesley Gomes with Cory Zamora
Raqs Sharqi Lubnani (Lebanese Style Belly Dance) by Meissoun
Nadia Gamal Dance Workshop by Nadia Gamal
I love Turkish Belly Dance by Sarah Skinner/World Dance New York
Tribal Fusion Belly Dance Yoga, Isolations and Drills: A Practice Companion with Rachel Brice
Secrets of the Stage, Vol 2 By Michelle Joyce.
Every Belly Dancer should know how to play Zills. There are a number of Zill videos out there, the best known is probably...
How To Play Finger Cymbals by Harry Saroyan and Mesmera
Performance videos are more subjective to review than instructional videos. A lot of things are a matter of interest and taste!
Wings of Ayshe, Passion Bellydance by Ayshe
Nadia Gamal, The Legend by Hollywood Music Center
Cory Zamora Dances For You by Cory Zamora
Solos: The Best of Alexandra King 1984-1994 by Alexandra King
Gothic Bellydance, The Darker Side of Fusion by WorldDance New York
Stellar Body: BellyDance with Fire by Neon/WorldDance New York
Belly Dance Live! by IAMED
Belly Dance SuperStars Live in Paris at the Folies Bergére by BDSS
The Bellydancers of Cairo by Natasha Senkovich
By Dancers For Dancers, Vol 1 compiled by Michelle Joyce