Tribal Fusion Belly Dance: Yoga, Isolations and DrillsRachel Brice
Year Released: 2005
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This is my first review ever, so please bear with me....
Tribal Fusion is a practice companion for Bellydancers. As the title suggests, it includes basic drills and isolations, as well as yoga movements that are useful for bellydance (especially the backbends often used in Tribal-style bellydancing).
There are three practice options: 15, 30, and 45 minutes. In between each move there is a pause, with a black screen with the name of the next move, including Sanskrit for the yoga moves. When the screen comes up again, Rachel is already in position for the next move (ex. laying on her belly on the floor, where she had been standing) which can be a bit jarring, as you throw yourself down to catch up.
The 15 minute practice includes:
- Half Sun Salutes
- Locust Pose
- Hip Locks on the Up
- Hipwork on the down
- Chest Lifts
- Undulations up to down (Body Wave)
- Cat and Cow poses
The 30 minute practice does a full sun salute with lunges and adds to the 15 minutes practice the following moves:
- Chest drops
- Undulations down to up (Reverse Body wave)
- Pelvic locks front
- Interior hip circles
- Spread leg forward fold
The 45 minute prace includes everything above, except the hipwork on the down (I think that this is an error on the DVD, because the practice is only 40 minutes, really). Added for this practice is:
- Double Chest locks
- Rib Cage Figure Eight
- 5 minutes of Corpse pose (with floaty clouds on the screen, and a doumbek drumming at about heart-beat speed)
I am at a low-intermediate fitness level, have experience with yoga, and am beginning bellydancer with one term of "live" classes, and a bunch of videos under my belt. That being said, this video is difficult. It will continue to challenge me for a long time.
I don't think this tape would be of much interest to non bellydancers, but it will be very useful for any style belly (or possibly other kinds of) dancer. Rachel is very precise with the movements being drilled, and then gradually picks up the pace, or adds variations. While you get an ab workout, that is never the intention. This is to improve your dancing, anything else is secondary. I think non dancers will just get bored with the drilling, and find this too slow paced.
The music is by Pentaphobe - ambient/industrial with Middle Eastern Rhythms - like Rachel dances to in the Bellydance Superstars. Not to everyone's taste, but I enjoyed it. It's usually pretty unobtrusive and calming, and a nice change from the canned music on most exercise tapes. During the drills the music is more standard drumming.
Rachel is filmed in an empty studio in front of a mirror. She is wearing black tights and a black top. It's very easy to see what she is doing. During the drills, she wears a tribal belt with lots of chains and long pieces of yarn hanging down, which somewhat obscures what her legs are doing. The camerawork is very good, with no gratuitous face and ab shots. It focuses on the appropriate body parts almost without exception. And no annoying props getting in the way.
To sum up: Very recommended to dancers, who this was made for. Non-dancers interested in Bellydance should stick to Veena and Neena or Rania, or anything released by Natural Journeys lately, it seems.
Rachel is a very talented dancer and teacher, as well as yoga instructor, and it comes across in this video.
The instruction is via voiceover, like in most bellydance videos, but very very well queued. Rachel is clearly camer shy - she never smiles and never looks at the camera in the whole video. Some amazon reviewers seemed to consider this dour, and detatched, but she is clearly concentrating very very hard on the form of all of her movements. Besides, I find the voiceover to be very warm and pleasant, and I usually hate them.