First off let me say that Ginette’s tapes do not do justice to her live classes. However, this really doesn’t concern us, since we live in the videofitness world.
Ginette’s new producer is Eric Fenato (Dream Weaver). The production quality of this tape is fair. It’s not the visual quality of the usual CIA tapes we are accustomed to, but as far as sound is concerned, it is pretty similar. Shots taken from afar are kind of blurry but the close-ups are crystal clear (I don’t know if this was intentional or not). The music is almost in the background as Ginette’s voice often masks the music. The soundtrack is the type of instrumental techno music you would find in a rave (this is a style I really love). Obviously the set is quite different as well. Seems like the workout was filmed in a bar of some sort. Anyways, in the center to the back of the set there is a stage (where Fred Kung-aka wood and Isabelle Cosme-aka water will be doing the lower impact version of the workout), where you also find a staircase with metallic-like frames. There is a small red exit sign to the far right of the screen. Ginette (earth), Tom Pieper (metal) and Tracy Glennon (fire) are in the front of the stage and do the regular workout.
If you can get past the “technical” flaws, I think that this workout is actually better than the last one, but in the same style. She does march between combos (I didn’t count, but I think it’s like 5-6 combos total), but only to explain what is coming up next. There is some high impact, but it is really minimal, and the back crew does modify for the viewers). The workout is a smidgen more intense than the original Urban Tai Chi I find, making it a good medium to high intermediate level workout. Since the total workout clocks in at 45 minutes (including warm up and cool down), it can be really good for when you are time constrained.
Bottom line: If you liked Urban Tai Chi chances are you will like The Explorer as well. I know that as far as I’m concerned, I really love Ginette’s style and personality (I like the way she approaches the “new agey” stuff). Usually I can’t stand the the new age type stuff, but with her, I find it much more palatable, and even enjoyable (maybe because she flies through it, and doesn’t go as s l o w as yoga or regular tai chi).
Ginette is loyal to her “persona” on her previous Urban Tai Chi. However, it does seem to me that she is a tad more chatty, and throws in a lot “woos”. She also cues on the wrong side (ie she says march right, and she goes left) 2-3 times during the workout.