|Tribal Fusion - Yoga Isolations & Drills for Bellydance
|List Price: $14.98
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The connection and interdependence between yoga and belly dance are explored in Tribal Fusion, a reasonably comprehensive and intense program drawing on both disciplines and demonstrated by the remarkable Rachel Brice. Practices of three different lengths (15, 30, and about 40 minutes) are offered; elements in the shorter practices are repeated and expanded on in the longer ones. The yoga portions include some basic sun salutations, lunges, backbends (specifically the locust pose), and such; the more extensive belly dancing exercises and undulations focus on the hips, the chest, and shoulders. Brice's instructions are efficient, if sometimes a bit on the brisk side (it's one thing to exhort students to practice ujjayi pranayama, the deep, audible nostril breathing style used in yoga; it's quite another to do so without even saying what it is, let alone showing how it's done). Whether or not any of the female users for which this DVD is intended will be able to replicate Brice's belly dancing moves is open to question, as her technique and amazingly toned body make things look easy when, in fact, mere mortals may find them baffling, to say the least. Moreover, although Carolena Nericcio, one of Brice's mentors and the "hostess" of this program, stresses that "the main attraction (of belly dancing) is delight," Brice doesn't seem to be having much fun, never so much as cracking a smile. Little matter. When you're this good, there's no need to kid around. --Sam Graham
Bellydance Superstar Rachel Brice teaches basic tools that can be incorporated into daily practice that will bring flexibility, strength and, if practiced regularly, effortlessness into whatever Belly Dance style you choose. Instruction includes a short Yoga practice to warm up and strengthen the body as well as a final chapter on Yoga for flexibility."
- Technical issues
Both times I tried to play the CD on my "media" laptop it crashed my computer. I have successfully played many other cd's on my laptop but this one was a no go....more info
- Lots of yoga, little tribal
Billed as a "practice companion," this disk is exactly that. It is not an introduction to tribal style, a bellydance overview, or any kind of stand-alone instruction for someone trying to learn on their own. Professional dancers, people with dance training, and yoga students will get a tough workout and a lot of instruction in making small, finely controlled movements, so if that's what you want, this is the DVD for you.
The DVD says it will help dance students "regardless of level" - and it will. But it misses the distinction between a dance student, someone with a dance background and a basic level of fitness and flexibility, and a beginner with no kinetic training or specific bellydance knowledge. Brice's swan-necked dancer's build and hyperflexible extensions graphically illustrate each position and move. But there are no modifications given for people who can't achieve those full poses. I don't think I even *have* some of those muscles.
I knew it was a DVD for people more advanced than I am, so I'm not lowering the rating on that score. The biggest disappointments for me were:
1. the complete lack of arm instruction - all drills focus on the ribs, hips and belly.
2. the lack of explanation of what makes a move or sequence of moves "tribal," and the lack of any specifically "tribal" moves. All of the moves in this disk can be found on other bellydance dvds.
3. the too-short, badly produced performance piece. For a purchased DVD, I expected more than a 3:10 segment marred by obtrusive stage props and choppy editing. The only benefit was that you could really see Brice's tiny, detailed muscle movements and the costume construction. But there was *no* footwork, very little fire, and no three-dimensional movement. You can find better Brice performance clips for free on youtube.
Brice is a fantastic dancer, and I can't understand the paucity of the performace piece. Where are the bellydance DVDs that have this kind of closeup focus on performance details, coupled with an actual, extended, start-to-finish performance??? I really, really hope she releases another video that addresses this lack....more info
- Excellent for Practice and Conditioning!
This video is great for practice and conditioning. It was meant as a COMPANION to classes NOT as a class itself. The YOGA exercises and isolation drills are meant to condition your body for Tribal Bellydance, and condition they will! My only ache with this video is the performance segment. It jumps around way too much for my taste. Since the art is such a full body expression I'd have preffered to view a more complete, continuous flow of performance rather than the chopped and edited version on this video. Rachel Brice is excellent and does a great job explaining exactly how to do the isolations/ poses. I love that her voice is narrating the video (rather than her speaking as she executes each exercise). It makes it easier to understand and follow. I love that it is broken up into 15, 30 & 45 minute practice sessions. I take a bellydance class once a week and since I began supplementing with this video I feel and see a dramatic improvement and ease in my dancing. I HIGHLY Recommend this for those serious about learning the art....more info
- WOW! What a great addition to my growing Belly Dance collection!
This dvd by the lovely RB, is amazing! Even though it is not an entire workout, that's ok! It's not meant to be. But it is, however, a WONDERFUL addition to any workout you are already doing. Whether it be belly dance related or not! Rachel's voice overs are clear and easy to understand and her moves really work! Some of the drills were tiresome and difficult to do but sticking with it day after day i came to find that i was getting better and better! Just takes a bit of focus, determination, and enthusiasm. I feel more confident as my moves have become cleaner, sharper, *more controlled*. I recommend this for any belly dancer *beginner or advanced!* It's a must-have for your collection!...more info
- Brice not the best
I don't know what it was about this DVD but I just didn't like it. It could just be the sinuous nature of the dancer herself. I know bellydancers that swear by her, but I didn't find the instruction that overwhelmingly educational. The extras- that included a performance were defintely the highlight of the video, kind of like watching a train wreck - I just am not moved by skeletal types though, I prefer to see women more like myself dancing....more info
- Questionable for Beginners...?
I bought this DVD earlier today and was eager to try it out when I got home and got the privacy to work out.
This DVD was enthusiastically recommended to me by a good friend; in fairness, she did warn that it wouldn't be an easy workout and I was ready for that. However, after doing the 30 minute workout, I felt like there should be (or have been) a DVD out that precedes this one for people who are newbs to belly dancing and yoga, or at the very least a section of the DVD that discusses those need-to-know things for people unfamiliar with tribal belly dance and yoga. Brice's instructions on what to move where and how are concise and I appreciate that...but I still felt like there was something I was missing in the course of the drills. Now that I've done the workout and have had some time to reflect on it, I can't say that I would recommend this to someone as a buy-it-first DVD. Also, I felt that sometimes things moved a bit too fast and I was left scrambling, trying to simultaneously figure something out and catch up.
I really don't mind the drills. I know I suck at them now but I also know that they will be incredibly useful to me in the future. The camera angles and movements during the drills was quite lovely; between the shots of her whole body working and the close-up shots of the specific parts that were working for a move, you get a really good sense of what parts are to be doing what movement. The yoga cool-down was wonderful too after all of those drills.
Also, I agree with a few other reviewers; I wish she would smile or at least grin a few times! I felt like I was watching a stern school-marm. For me, I've noticed that if the person in the DVD looks relaxed and like they're having a good time, I'm more likely to be relaxed and enjoy what I'm doing. Rachel looks pretty cold and tense the whole time...so I was too :(...more info
- Love her!
Mostly technique, don't expect to much dancing combos. Just to watch her move is worth it!...more info
- Not for beginners, and not perfect either
The makers of this video assume that you already have a basic knowledge of tribal fusion dance, something that is not explained on the back of the case. If you're still looking to learn more about tribal fusion and can't find a local teacher, Sera's "East Coast Tribal" DVD may be the better choice. I acquired this video because my current teacher recommended it for drills, and that's what I use it for. In that regard, the combination of yoga and drills seem to work well, though it can be disconcerting to watch the first time through and not know whether you're supposed to already be lying on the floor or standing. The camera work for the performance segment is almost painful to endure. I know that Brice is a good dancer, but the choppiness of the film editing does a good job to obscure that fact.
Overall, for the price, if you just want a video to help you stretch and do drills to, this will work for you. Otherwise, if you want more instruction and choreography, you will be better off looking elsewhere....more info
- Great DVD!
Rachel Brice is very skilled and makes muscle isolations- the set of movements that mark her as one of North America's most important tribal dancers- accessible to students of any level. ...more info
- Putting the Belly back into Belly Dancing!
I take several belly dancing classes from different styles and instructors. The dancers that I am mesmerized most have incredible belly isolations and core strength. Rachel breaks down the isolations in three workouts (15, 30, 45 mins) allowing you to really focus on the lower belly movements. She incorporates the whole core body in isolated movements. I have already seen definition in my core abs by practicing five minutes a day, as Rachel recommends. As previously mentioned, she is an incredible dancer. Her greatness is she doesn't focus on her in this DVD, she focuses on transferring pure technique to you! She puts the Belly back into Belly Dancing. ...more info
- Excellent but For Dancers Who Already Have Firm Foundation
I am a beginning dancer & love Brice's interpretations and technical skill.
The video offers several nice features, one of which is the option to choose between 3 different practice lengths. They are all excellent workouts and will build conditioning, strength, flexibility, and stamina. Right now I hold steady at the 30 minute workout but hope to build up to the 45 minute one soon.
Although I am a beginning dancer, I have 5 years of yoga experience. Rachel is an advanced yoga practitioner and does not model modifications of poses for people with injuries or beginners. I know this is probably because she wanted to focus on dance & taking time to explain modifications would take time away from the dance practice.
She does suggest modifications in the introduction but this is still not effective for beginners to yoga. That said, since I am not a beginner it causes me no problems & I enjoy the yoga segments. The segments sometimes don't transition well between one another. For example, one yoga segment ends with a standing pose and the next begins with a floor position. This is no big deal though.
The dance approach parallels the yoga approach. Her instruction is clear but I think the viewer needs a solid foundation in basic ballydance vocabulary and movement before he or she can integrate Rachel's highly muscular interpretations.
For example she does an "inner hip circle" which is intitiated by highly controlled abdominal contractions. If you are a dancer coming to the video with no knowledge of a standard hip circle, you might have difficulty layering the general pelvic movement with contractions. Or, at least I did. I feel almost all of her moves are layered, and therefore relatively advanced. It seems like the movements of bone structures are intiated and layered with muscular contractions & this is very difficult! That said, the beginning bellydancer who has experience with yoga and is getting a foundation through another source like classes or another video should be just fine. Rachel's video easily compliments a foundational practice for the beginner and can stand on its own for the more experienced. I am using Waverly Fitzgerald's "Beautiful Technique" video to help me grasp a technical foundation of basic moves.
Rachel never fails to inspire me & her performance on the video is 100% awesome. If I may, though, I'd like to say that the video producers really screwed up her perfomance by using silly and jolting camera transitions. I suppose they thought this would heighten the drama of her performance.
Dear BellyDanceSuperstar video people: Rachel does just fine in communicating beauty, passion, and dark intensity through dance. She does not need weird camera techniques to do this for her. In fact, you kind of got in the way of her stunning performance. So, just let her do her thing next time.
If I were an intermediate dancer I would easily give this video 5 stars. But for a beginner, I rate it 4 for the reasons listed above.
I'm off to stretch my quadriceps so that maybe one day I can do superhuman floor work like Rachel. Happy dancing. ...more info
- I LOVE the Isolations (edited 1/7/09)
When I first wrote my review for this DVD I had stated that the only thing I didn't care for was the yoga. Well, nearly a year later, and I've been learning yoga along the way. I have found a new appreciation for this DVD now that I can follow along with the opening yoga sequences. I'd still advise caution to those that are new to yoga or are not very flexible, but now I love them!
On to the isolations and the breakdown of them... I LOVE IT! They are broken down at a slow pace, then the pace is quickened. Most especially in the undulations, and the hips on the down. She has possibly the best breakdown and explanation of hips on the down that I've seen. Made it easy for me to follow that step in my class.
Some may gripe that Rachel Brice is too skinny, but the one advantage to her being as toned as she is, you can SEE how the muscles are supposed to move in these isolations. She is thin, graceful and toned, not emaciated looking at all.
And the performance she does on this DVD? Beautiful! She is so fluid and graceful. Makes all the moves look effortless.
I recommend this if you are looking to improve and sharpen hip and undulation moves, but don't get it if you are looking for something that focuses on choreography. ...more info
- Good but I want more....
I really like the idea of combining bellydance with yoga. I think they complement each other.I liked this DVD a lot. I did the 45 minute workout and it was great only one complain though it is too short I did not feel like I got a good yoga or bellydance practice. Other than that it was good I will use it on those days when I don't feel like doing much....more info
If you are already down with the basics, this will be a waste of time. I do pop in the DVD every so often just for fun. I find it inspirational, if nothing else.
- Camera needs work
I loved the dance performance (although short), but the camera work made it hard to watch the moves. It seemed to interfere with the performance flow. The yoga session was informative, but made me feel this is not for beginners. Could have used someone else with her to show trying, but not achieving perfection....more info
- Immensely helpful
I feel that some of these less-than-favorable reviews are a little unfair...it's a DRILLS DVD, people! It's not fair to say that the DVD is boring and repetitious...that's what drills are: repeatedly working the muscles you need to improve your performance. I've said this on a previous review: if you take ballet, how many thousands of plies and releves do you have to do? That's not very exciting, either, but it is entirely necessary to the very heart of ballet.
Okay...preaching over. ;)
I haven't owned this DVD long at all, but already I can tell a difference in my performance. All those repetitions create muscle memory...in other words, you don't have to think about what you are doing...your body already knows. It becomes instinctive. The yoga, too, is wonderful for toning and stretching the very specific muscles needed for belly dance. I take a weekly belly dance class and a drills class with a wonderful instructor...however, twice a week is really not enough if you are serious about dancing. If you ARE serious about dancing, I think this is an excellent DVD to prep your muscles: not only to dance better but also to protect yourself from injury.
I also disagree with some of the complaints about the quality of the video itself. I thought the set was fine (for $14.98, I don't expect the quality of MTV) and I thought the camera angles were terrific. Rachel performs the isolations in front of a mirror so you can see both the front and the back of the movement. The camera also views from the side and close ups on the muscle being worked. You are able to see every side and angle of the isolations and asanas...which made it clear to understand and to replicate.
I only have two small complaints: I'm not sure this DVD should be marketed for all levels. I've practiced yoga off and on for years, so I was able to dive right in. I think it would be nice, however, if there was a small introduction for total newbies with an explanation of breathing and some other general information...and maybe some tips on variations for those who aren't quite ready for some of the asanas (they aren't supposed to be easy and they're not). Easier yet, I think it could be marketed for beginner-intermediates on up.
The second complaint is totally trivial: Smile, Gorgeous! You don't have to grin like the village idiot, but show that you're having a good time. Trust me; people will still take you seriously.
Still, I'm giving this DVD 5-stars because of its effectiveness. Thanks, Rachel! I'm buying your second DVD, too!...more info
- Bought for my Daughter
I bought this for my daughter's birthday present. She asked for this one.
The artist is one she really likes--it was first on her "list"....more info
- A good toning workout
The video has three time lengths to choose from: 15, 30, or 45 minute workouts. Instruction is clear and excersizes are effective. A good addition to your bellydance routine....more info
- tribal fusion
This video has good instructional lessons for beginning through advanced students practicing or learning bellydance....more info
- Definiately informative
The movements are slow and well defined, but that doesn't mean that they are easy...some of these movements are extremely difficult to master. It gives you a better understanding of how much practice it takes to do these moves!...and will give you a very challenging workout!...more info
- Not easy......
She goes slow but is very difficult. I still have not been able to go through the entire dvd after 1 month....more info
- I'm really enjoying this!
I bought this video and am really enjoying it so far. I have no dance experence of any type, but the instructions were pretty easy to follow. Each yoga pose, or belly dance technique is broken up into seperate sections and repeated a few times. Its nice because the repetition actually helps you to get the hang of the move. I also like that its broken into sections so at the end of a section its easy to pause and work on whatever technique a little more on your own. The dvd is also pretty fun. Its different then the boring sit ups, crunch, push ups routine, so I think its a lot more likely I will use it consistantly. However a word of warning, it is not the most challenging or exausting workout. If thats what your looking for this is not what you need. Also The dvd only teaches a few bellydacing techniques. It doesn't really show you how to put it all together into actual dance. It seems like if you want to learn to bellydance its more of an addition rather then the main way to learn. I'm actually planing on buying another video to get a little more instruction. However it is a great dvd and worth the money....more info
- A wonderful companion to any cardio Belly Dance routine
This video was an impulse buy for me at a bookstore. I watched the DVD the same day and was thrilled! The belly dancing techniques were broken down well and the dancer moved very slowly when the voice-over was instructing, making it easy to see what muscles she was contracting and releasing on each move. The yoga before and after the belly dance section made me feel more limber and helped condition my muscles for the fluid movement required for this type of dance. Some reviewers suggested there was too much Yoga. Well, the 45 minute routine has 10 min yoga warm-up, 20 min Belly Dancing drills, and 10 min yoga cool down. The other five minutes were for relaxation. To me this combination felt right, so maybe it's just a matter of preference.
I must note that there is no actual "dancing" instruction on the DVD, just movement drills. You stand in one spot for the duration of the drills. This is all about fine-tunning and improving your technique. It does not cover all Belly Dancing moves, but I did feel that it covered the ones that are most difficult to master for beginners. I myself am new to Belly Dancing, and after carefully following this video my entire abdomen felt like it was on fire. If you are careful to contract and release your ab and back muscles as shown, this makes for one heck of a workout. Of coarse you can only do your best to mimic what you see on the screen...the first time I followed the DVD my body moved nothing like the professional dancer. This was ok, since after only a few sessions I could see great improvements in my body's ability to produce the fluid (but difficult) motion.
This is a great companion to any cardio Belly Dancing DVD. You will be able to get more out of the cardio because you will be performing the movements more accurately. Executing accurate Belly Dance motions at a fast pace is far more challenging than doing your best to follow the jirations of professional Belly Dancers....more info
- I liked it
I'm still new, I use it but I can see where it really is a beginers dvd alot of yoga I was expecting more dance moves to be shown. Not upset about spending money on it I would not return it. :)
This tape has a good yoga workout on it, as for the belly dancing, the slow tribal dance is harder than it looks. ...more info
- If this had been my first Bellydance Superstars purchase, it would have been my last
Now that I have this video, I understand previous complaints and comments. I've watched everything but the extended yoga workouts. Based on the 15-minute yoga workout, I think this will be valuable for teaching me the isolation exercises and helping me develop a fitness routine. As I advance, I have every confidence that the longer workouts will also be helpful. With that in mind, I think this was worth the money I paid.
Having said that, I'll say that others' reviews about the spastic editing were right on. The "performance" is very disappointing. Don't even think you'll be able to pick up technique from this, because the camera angle changes too abruptly and at too strange times. If you want to see how Rachel does her Tribal Fusion thing, look elsewhere. The outtakes section seems to be there more because people expect it than for any entertainment value.
If this had been my first purchase of a bellydance performance tape, it would have been my last. I'm glad I started with "Solos from Monte Carlo" so I know that good tapes exist....more info
- great review for basic locks
Overall a great DVD that I use regularly to practice severe isolations and locks. Boy do I get a work out! I can dance for two hours in class and feel great. This DVD I start to sweat and gas within 15 minutes! Each drill tells you what you will be doing so you can practice or skip the scene to the next drill. I review the belly dance movements more than the yoga, but I really appreciate the combonation of both as it reminds me I need to stay (and become) flexible for dance.
Rachel Brice's movements are so fluid I get inspired to become better and practice more often. I don't recommend this for early begginners, as the poses and movements are very structured and require some previous experience. I practice this in front of a mirror to get them a close to correct as I can and review them over and over. I have to say it has made me work harder and become better.
You can choose between 15, 30 and 45 minute exercises. They are just longer versions of each other, I would prefer they were three different levels of drills. That's one draw back.
Also the preformance (as I have read in other reviews and have to agree) is choppy. She is so fluid and the editing is cut and chopped for "artistic" effect. It's also very short. I would rather see more instuction and performance than the intro, merchandising and outtakes.
This DVD should be part of a series! It's like they give you a taste and when I looked for more of the same I couldn't find any.
I would buy any DVD with Rachel Brice in it. I have many DVD's for practice and this is the one I use most often. I highly recommend....more info