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Belly Dance Rocks, Reloaded and Revolution; Three Times the Fun

by Maria-Zahira

As inspired as many of us dancers often are, occasionally we all hit a road block with creative ingenuity.  There is, however, a medicine all ready in place for this ailment and it comes in the form of creativity-igniting performance videos. 

The International Association of Middle Eastern Dance (IAMED) has a trilogy to inspire the choreographing genius within all of us: “Belly Dance Rocks,” “Belly Dance Revolution” and “Belly Dance Reloaded.”    Every dancer needs to infuse their own skill with an enthusiasm only other dedicated dancers can inspire.  This DVD triplet lends itself to the kind of jump start you’ll need to keep shimmying, hip dropping and grapevining with pizzazz.

Belly Dance Rocks contains many of the belly dance greats we’ve come to know and love as well as troupes and soloists of whom we are just beginning to see more.  To start on this DVD is the infamous Fahtiem performing in a lovely, glimmering, dark tangerine colored costume.  Her movements, as usual, exude the grace and sophistication only a seasoned dancer with years of experience and training can possess.  Her hallmarks of original veil work and proclivity for choosing emotive music are ever present in this engaging piece.  Additionally, Fahtiem’s deliberate movements are perfectly accented by her musical selection, containing a rhythmic beat and elegant choral background.    

Sa ’Elayssa does the best Bollywood/belly dance blend I have ever seen in her piece

entitled “Little India”.  She chose a golden colored costume and matching veil with rich depths that flatteringly highlight all her best features.  The costume has the perfect amount of fringe at the hips which accents her perfectly executed hip work.  Most impressive are the classic Indian mudras, symbolic hand gestures of profound spiritual significance, that Sa ‘Elayssa delivers with an expert’s ease. 

Belly Dance Revolution, featuring dancer Celeste on the front cover, is another array of dynamic dance performances.  Jillina’s Sahlala Dancers wow us with “Little Armenia”, a piece in which they do a traditional Armenian dance in bright orange and brown costumes.  Their professional polish helps them to stand out as a troupe and challenges others to rise to their level of capability.  Ava Fleming treats us to variety of her sensual movements as she hits every accent there is to hit with an innate flair.  Celeste delivers a riveting performance appearing as a golden goddess in her brightly colored costume.  She does precise veil work with a smile and draws the viewer in with subtle changes in her facial expressions.  Let’s not forget those juicy hip movements!

Belly Dance Reloaded contains dancers we have come to know and love such as Louchia.  Having performed a multitude of times with Jillina’s Sahlala Dancers, Louchia is a well-educated and trained performer in her own right.  Here, she performs “Pamiran”, a Tajik dance from the Pamir Mountains.  This classical piece is a treat for the appreciative dancer as we are given a window into the arts of a different culture.  Louchia’s uses elaborate hand movements that speak of a strong Eastern European influence.  She wears a bright costume of colors green, fuchsia and gold and is a joy to watch.  Leyla Jouvana comes out in the grand finale of this DVD performing “Dance of the 7 Veils.”  There are a lot of veils all right and many a dancer knows how easily props like these can go awry.  Not for Leyla, however, as she deftly dances with each one, removing them with expertise as the talented Roland drums.

I highly recommend purchasing this set, or even two of them, as it is a great gift for anyone who appreciates superior dance entertainment.  Fun for the novice or seasoned dancer, this trio comes highly recommended by all who watch it.  Let’s enjoy it and look forward to what IAMED gives us next! 


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