Leyla Jouvani's DVD
21 shimmies and 1001 variations
I find that
IAMED consistently puts out quality performance and instructional
videos so I was eager to view this release. I was very curious
what all 21 shimmies were!
The video is
professionally done. The sound is good and clear with the volume
of the music and the instructors voice consistent. The menu includes
sections on the history of belly dance, IAMED and Dance Tips.
The later was very helpful and informative.
Leyla Jouvani, is from Yugoslavia and her husband
(and drummer) is from Germany. The video is well lit with the
focus on Leyla. Her husband is seated off camera. She is wearing
a purple choli, stretch pants and matching hip belt. My only complaint
is she is wearing those Isotoner type slippers (a personal issue
for me). The set is similar to a living room with a wood floor
and pillows and fabrics draped around large vases filled with
Leyla and her teaching style immediately. She has a very pleasant
way about her and she smiles though the entire video.
She is very
patient and thorough in her explanations. There are close-ups
and distant shots so you can always see what she is doing. She
counts out the movement and the rhythm for every section. I cannot
stress enough how thorough she is with each individual movement
through the entire video. She also stresses repeatedly that when
doing a variation the additional movement should be done slowly
while in the shimmy.
There is no
warm-up. She says you should be "ready" to begin which
I guess implies being warmed up already.
There is a Hip
Shimmy, Arabic Basic Step, Hagalla, Half Hagalla, shimmy with
Hagalla, and the Ghawazee shimmy for which she gives a very
brief history of the Ghawazee.
For Shimmy Cairo
Style she says, "Girls with less tummy use your muscle power
and stamp forward harder." She is so cute. Egyptian shimmy
is next and with a torso circle variation. She again emphasizes
the second movement should be done slowly.
rotation shimmy with variations she says, "Enjoy your body
because a woman is the most beautiful thing in the world."
- very nice encouragement.
She really goes
over these movements well. She shows it first then breaks it down
slowly including the timing and rhythm.
Moving on to
the Muscle shimmy or "freeze", combined muscle and hip
shimmy (her fave), variations with a camel, reverse camel, figure
8 and side to side, vibration (or bounce shimmy), vertical Afro
shimmy(Lebanese style), combining Afro and vibration shimmy, shoulder
shimmy and about 5 variations then the choo choo shimmy and several
variations. WHEW! She always is stressing that the second
movement should be slower than the shimmy when combining movements.
THEN she does
the Afro choo choo shimmy! She stresses it should only be done
to Afro or Latin music.
To me it
looks like what I remember seeing in high school when the football
players would practice. No offense to Layla it was just amusing
the twist shimmy or washing machine shimmy is next. She shows
it with weight shifts and other variations. Then she shows a flutter
shimmy - 4 ways. The Saudi or Gulf style hand shimmy also used
in Flamenco and Samba is next. She does the appropriate foot pattern
as well which she does not explain but you can clearly see. Now
we are getting exotic with the fast Samba shimmy. Muscle shimmy
while kneeling, used in floor work, then the calf shimmy and buttocks
shimmy - Oh my!
When she does
the final "shimmy" - the Zaghareet shimmy, I have to
laugh. She goes over the reason why you should cover your mouth
when doing this "shimmy".
follows; I think it is from an IAMED show. It is a good performance
and shows quite a few of the shimmies she has just taught.
recommend this video. This video is very long at about 2 hours
and 15 minutes running time. You certainly get your monies worth.
I think this
video would suit both the beginner and intermediate dancer. Layla
covers basic music theory, timing and rhythms in Arabic music
which as we all know some teachers do not cover and something
I think is very important for beginning dancers. I also think
she is an excellent teacher because she explains the movements
very thoroughly and breaks them all down in an easy to understand
2 snaps in a
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for other possible viewpoints!
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