Two very different DVDs on Turkish Dance reviewed
DVD review by Surreyya
Love Turkish Dance –
me start by saying how adorable I find Sarah Skinner to be. She
is very natural, fun, and full of charisma. She seems
like that person you would like to have at every event and
every party to brighten the mood. That said, I left the
viewing of this DVD a little confused and unsure that I found
the Turkish element I was looking for.
DVD cover is gorgeous. Hats off to Sarah for her costuming,
which she discusses on the DVD; the girl can put an absolutely
mesmerizing look together. I do question how uniquely
Turkish the costume is though, and it starts the whole DVD
out on the wrong foot for me. Sarah gives great instruction
and is fun and lighthearted in the delivery of the dance steps
and choreography she puts together for the viewer. However,
I feel consumers purchasing this DVD for instruction in Turkish
Dance may be better served with a subtitle such as “Introduction
to Turkish Dance” or some indication that it is for beginners
or newcomers to this style. This is not a DVD for experienced
dancers (nor does it claim to be) but the title led me to think
there might be a level of knowledge or instruction that I didn’t
find within the program.
juicy, fiery, colorful characteristics, moves, gestures and
overall presence of what I have considered the “Turkish flavor”
of dance were not found in this DVD.
there is some fun skirt work (which is NOT Turkish, but rather something
added by US dancers in recent years), and a strange interpretation
of the song “Mastyka”, which is a drinking song not a song
about chewing gum as suggested on the DVD. If you
are a Turkish dance purist, I would not recommend this DVD.
like that Sarah introduces the
9/8 rhythm (which is sadly all but gone in most Bay Area
Turkish performances), and I sure hope it plants a seed for
to take interest in the rhythm.
the instructor and the content of this DVD were just mismatched.
I do think there are a few good nuggets on this DVD (general
costuming, intro to 9/8, etc.) but I would like to see Sarah
instructing on a different topic not so specific or controversial
as Turkish Dance can be. I think she is a great instructor
with a lot of character and potential and I look forward to
see what she puts out next.
Rating: Two zills and an “A” for effort!
Available for purchase here
Style Belly Dance – Elizabeth Artemis Mourat
was lucky to find this CD on eBay; this was not submitted to
us for review to my knowledge. This is among the most prized
DVDs in my collection, and I can’t believe it still plays,
it is so scratched.
Artemis covers a brief history of the Turkish style, its intersections
with the Turkish Romany, and its departures from Egyptian style
of dance. In a simple, clear and concise fashion, she covers
the basics and some advanced steps for fast and slow music
and explains the slow and fast Romany 9/8 rhythms and their
differences from the Cabaret Karsilama. Sensible but stylish
choreographies are taught to both slow and fast music, and
a series of unique gestures, tracing back to Romany roots are
also worked in for embellishment and fun.
emphasizes throughout the DVD that many characteristics of
this style of dance are not understood by other cultures, so
people might be confused to see you perform this style.
never hurts to reinforce this truth to the ambitious performer
who is anxious to drop their newest street moves. Artemis
performs all of the steps and more in a fiery, passionate performance
oozing with character and sass. This DVD is clean, clear,
full of the elements I enjoy about the often misunderstood
and too easily criticized Turkish style of dance. While I
can surely enjoy the refinement and grace of other styles,
is something powerful, earthy, raw, honest, and inherently
human about Turkish style Belly dance. Artemis will bring
these elements out in you. Watch her perform, and you’ll be
Artemis’ website states that more Turkish style videos are
forthcoming. I hope that she will find a way to include the
incredible zill work (or maybe spicy floor routines) that
the Turkish are also so famous for.
Rating: Four zills ringing loudly in a 9/8!!
Available for purchases here
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