Gilded Serpent presents...
Bellydance Stars of New York
time 55 minutes,
WorldDance New York 2005
DVD Review by Eugenia
features Jenna, Blanca, and
Neon, and includes a special performance
by Jehan, "renowned NYC choreographer and master
teacher whose creative vision contributed significantly to shaping
the three performers' individual dance styles". (The Golden
WorldDance New York, this DVD provides an almost spiritual
cinematography, appropriate and tasteful close-ups, professional
sound and visual effects as well as a beautiful backdrop will
make this production one of your favorite performance DVDs.
who some might recognize as the bellydance instructor in one episode
of Sex in the City, dances in a traditional style, to traditional
music. Her strong and curvy figure sways and moves with precision.
In an improvised solo called "Lama Bada," she speaks with her
arms, linking every movement fluidly to the next. In her drum
solo, performed with live music by the Taksim Trio (Souron
Baronian, Haig Monoukian, Mal Stein), Jenna demonstrates
endless energetic shimmies. She communicates with the musicians
with her eyes and expression, coming across as naughty and lively--a
different side of her personality coming through her dance.
and Blanca do a well-choreographed double sword dance together,
also to the music of the Taksim Trio. The two dancers begin the
choreography with red and green veils, wearing corresponding costumes
of full skirts and coin scarves. As the veils pull away they
dance gracefully with two swords each, then one, which they balance
on their heads.
originally from Mexico, does two amazing improvised solos to Jehan's
music. In "Oceans of Ecstasy," she dances with two candles, then
switches to a veil. Her eyes are intense and magnetic; her torso
slithers like a snake. Blanca controls her veil expressively,
sometimes letting it swirl about her like a green cloud, then
suddenly twining it about her arms like a long serpent.
Apple quotes her in her bio section: "I became a bellydancer
against my conservative beginnings...against the notion that to
be a dancer, one has to be a size zero, and start ballet at 3...After
years of painful work, I realized that it was all for nothing...until
I connected with my spiritual side and began to dance from that."
this spirituality blended with fluid movements in the next piece,
titled "Enter the Temple." She wears a gauze layered skirt and
simple matching top. Demonstrating incredible floorwork,
she does continuous, smooth back bends with her head touching
the floor, showing perfect control by sometimes not quite letting
her head touch the ground, swooping back up in a circle, towards
the front, and back again in the pattern of a infinity sign.
style differs from Jenna's precise traditional movements and Blanca's
fluid spirituality. Publisher of WorldDance New York and originally
from Russia, she demonstrates a versatility which expresses her
own view of "bellydance as a sophisticated mainstream dance art".
(The Golden Apple)
traditional Indian dance moves, some modern dance techniques,
and hip hop in correspondence to Jehan's techno and rap-influenced
pieces. In one utterly hip hop moment, she kicks her knee up and
bends her torso and head down to meet it, then snaps her body
straight instantly. She also skillfully layers shimmies, undulations,
and drop kicks all at the same time.
Neon has long,
blonde hair which flies beautifully, a lean and sculpted body,
long limbs and a muscular midriff most women would envy. She demonstrates
professional knowledge of visual effects by often striking beautiful
poses and pausing in them for a second. She can also change from
one movement to the next quickly, and enjoys spinning endless
circles while tossing her hair in abandonment, creating a dizzying
effect for the viewer.
also a conscious master of visual effects in performance, is a
true goddess. The size of two or three of the other bellydancers
combined, she also moves with their combined fluidity and grace.
single performance in this collection was an intense experience--her
speed, strength, swirls, kicks, dazzling smile, enigmatic eyes,
hair, everything--make her a complete bellydancer. She projects
with her eyes, snaps her hips and chest dramatically, and does
the most beautiful undulations I have ever seen.
she shimmies she looks like a waterfall; the endless coins across
her midriff and on her hipscarf create wonderful shimmering
effects. Jehan has truly perfected the art of isolating various
body parts. After transitioning to sensuous floor moves, she
at one point tosses her hair so wildly that it is both frightening
One can see
that Jehan has the soul of an artist. As the founder of the Temple
of Jehan Dance School as well as producer of Goddessdance,
her importance and influence on contemporary bellydance is as
clear as the power she has to simply amaze her audience.
So whether you're
looking for intensity, traditional bellydance, or modern sophistication,
The Golden Apple has it all for you. It even provides complete
samples of music by the Taksim Trio and Jehan.
Only one thing
disturbs me about this DVD, however--the cover. Why is goddess-like
Jehan not on the cover with the other three bellydancers with
their slim figures, long necks, and tiny heads?
a comment? Send us a
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