Video Fitness

Suhaila Ensemble - Performance

Suhaila Salimpour

This is a bellydance performance DVD. I'm reviewing this (as I did Golden Apple) since we have many dancers here, some of whom may use performance DVDs and videos to improve their dance, as choreo ideas, or to try to do do-longs for practice or a workout.

If you want a bellydance performance video for whatever reason, this is a very well produced DVD- for the most part, the lighting os good, the angles clear, the volume good and the dancers distinct. Occassionally there are some close up face or body shots, which seems to be required in a bellydance tape. Despite these shots, this is very clear to see, so if you are using it for some aspect of improving your dancing, it is easy to see what the dancers are doing.

This DVD includes solo performances, and large and small group numbers. The dancers are all very good and I like the music quite a bit. Suhaila's daughter performs, and she is adorable. The numbers are predominantly a nightclub style, with some interesting elements, including a number with quite a gymnastic flair.

There were two things that really surprised me about this performances.

1- the troop is the most cookie cutter dance troop I've ever seen. All the girls look very similar to each other and wear the same outfits. It is not uncommon to see dance troops wear different outfits. What amazed me though was that they all had very similar body types, very similar hair styles (even down to the color). It was a little odd, since bellydance typically celebrates individuality over conformity.

2- The costumes at times were a bit overly revealing. Its not like you see anything, but I had a hard time imaging doing floorwork in the skirts (which were just two panels of fabric) they wore. Some of Suhaila's outfits were strips of fabric attached to a waistband. Given some of the moves they were doing, I guess I expected something with more coverage and more modest.

If you like nightclub style dance, this should be very helpful for you. If you're about ethnic, tribal or folkloric dancing, this probably won't be your bag. If you like bellydancing that features a wide array of body types and different styles, again, this is not it- the women are all curvy yet thin, and they reflect very similar styles in their dance and dress. I personally enjoyed the dances very much. Given that bellydance performance videos tend to be hard to find and are often quite pricy, this is one of the Natural Journeys dvds that is more reasonably priced and easier to find.

Instructor comments: A wonderful dancer. She is incredibly musical and absolutely present in the moment when she dances.


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