Raqs Sharqi Lubnani
Raqs Sharqi Lubnani (Lebanese Style Belly Dance) by Meissoun
2005, Region free , run time approx. 60 minutes.
Meissoun is a well known and well regarded Belly Dancer in Switzerland, who is known for her Lebanese style. In this video, she passes her knowledge on to us.
Disclaimer: I know Meissoun as an on-line acquaintance, although I cannot say I know her well. I purchased this video when it was first introduced in 2005
This video is VERY professionally produced. The video is top grade, the sound is top grade and the instruction is top grade. Other than a pair of short "talking head" vignettes, the entire video is done in voice-over format as the viewer can select on of no less than SEVEN languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Esperanto (!), or Swiss-German. What, no Greek?
Wearing an attractive pink practice costume that shows up well against the dark background; Meissoun starts with a brief introduction that admonishes us to be well-warmed up before attempting the movements taught. Good advice! She also tells us Lebanese style is generally performed in high heels, which she wears throughout the video (Now THAT would be interesting on a male dancer! Sounds like the quickest way I know to break an ankle! ). The video is well lit throughout.
She then starts with the first movement, explaining proper posture (standard Belly Dance posture) and hand/finger configuration (slightly different than other styles of Belly Dance). She shows us the movement several times while explaining it. Then she does it again to a simple 4/4 drum beat - repeating it a number of times, turning to different orientations so we can see it from all sides. Then she repeats showing us the movement, this time to appropriate music. Again, she shows it several times from several angles.
This is the format of all 15 movements taught. Some of the simpler ones she doesn't use the 4/4 drum beat, but rather goes straight from explanation to music. Each of the 15 movements taught are chapterized, so you can go straight to any movement of interest immediately. Furthermore, each movement is actually two chapters, the instructional part, and the demonstration part (with music).
The next portion of the video, entitled "Training" shows us the same 15 movements as before - but this time it is only the musical demonstration - but much longer for each movement. As before, each movement is chapterized so you can find it quickly and, if your DVD player allows it, you can put each movement on "repeat" so you can dance along for as long as you wish. This is an extremely excellent use of the DVD format.
With the last portion of the video, we are treated to a performance by Meissoun in an attractive dark blue costume. I always enjoy performances like this, and hers is very nice.
But wait, there's more!
If you insert the DVD into your computer's DVD drive, and navigate to it, you'll find the complete text of all audio on the DVD in PDF format - and in all seven languages. A very nice touch.
What I liked about this video:
Meissoun's clear instruction, and good demonstrations. The VERY good use of the DVD format with excellent chapterizations. The inclusion of the PDF texts. The credits tell us what music was used as well as thanking Meissoun's teachers and inspirations - including Nadia Gamal!
Its a DVD! YAY!
What I didn't like about this video:
What's there not to like? I can pick a nit that her costume was a bit too dark for the dark background in the performance segment - but even that wasn't a bad situation.
You can purchase this video from Meissoun's WebSite.