Friday, May 20, 2011
The Happy Drunk Reviews- Opulent Motion with Sarah Skinner
These days I am watching a lot of TV, crying a lot, and using beading ( via Naima's tutorial ) as a way to keep my hands busy. ( at this point I am still just trying to thread the little prissy bitch beading needles). I ordered Opulent Motion-The Artistry of Slow Moves by Sarah Skinner a few weeks ago, and after all the drama died down I felt like watching it. Husband is having surgery next week, so I am sure between caring for him, I will have a lot of down time to bead ( or try to), and reflect on bellydance. This no pressure, slow-focused DVD seems to be about my speed right now.
I told you when I reviewed her Bellydance with Veils that I was a new Sarah Skinner fan. I have her new DVD-The Bellydance Shimmy Workout on pre order and am gonna get the rest of what she owns. Even though I do chuckle at and agree with this quote:
" Beginning dancers prefer to take intermedate level classes,
Intermediate level dancers prefer to take advanced classes,
Advanced dancers take private lessons to work on their basics"
- Author Unknown
I still don't really buy beginner DVDs, usually I feel like it is a waste of my time, and frankly, they bore me. Her new shimmy workout is marketed as a beginner level DVD, I am gonna buy it. Know why? Listen closely, I have figured out the reason that Sarah Skinner's DVDs are so cool.
Economy of words. She wastes nothing. She doesn't waste a single word. In all of her DVD's including this one, she goes through the movement, not in a rush-but not dragging us all along, then she moves on. Even when she re-explains something it moves quickly.Period. Her DVD's have that sensation of moving fast without seeming rushed. She has a way of perfectly explaining something in a few sentences.
Something I have learned in teaching my classes is that people aren't stupid. If someone is going to get it, they will get it, and if they aren't they just aren't. If you waste time over-explaining, then you waste everyone's time. MOST DVDs out there move way too slowly for my taste, and spend too much time over-explaining. On both DVDs of Sarah's that I own, she is a wizard at the perfect level of explanation.( ironic,that it took ME so long to explain that, huh?).
In Opulent Motion I found again, that I "knew" most of what was on there, but couldn't tear myself away from the TV. They way she puts things puts you at ease and opens up your "dancer's ear". ( part body, part brain). The DVD covers a wide range of what is basically Taqsim movements, steps, and modes of expression. This DVD is about dancing SLOW, and pretty much everything Sarah does in this DVD is like savoring a piece of chocolate. In other words, don't watch this after you have downed a Red Bull. You won't get it.
She goes through the slower rhythms; slow masmoudi, chiftitelli, etc.and manages to teach, and at the same time make you watch what she is doing. There is no, ( insert loud nasal voice) " Now LADIES, this is what you do. FIRST, you put your RIGHT foot to the RIGHT, and then...."....instead she is moving as she talks, and even if she repeats a move there is an ease and flow to it. A damn breath of fresh air, that is what it is.
I have a theory that most dancers communicate through movement and like the computer programmer whiz that cannot tie his own shoes, most dance teachers are way better at dancing than they are at talking. Rarely do you find someone who is fabulous at communicating through dance and words. They are either o.k. at dance and good at words ( me), or they are o.k. at words and great at dance ( most of the dancers I know). When I find a chick who can do both really well I latch on and don't let go. I suck on that teat with all I've got.
The other reason to buy this is sheer volume. I think it has, like, 40 something chapters. And at the end she dances several different types of slow dances and the commentary is AMAZING. She takes you through the dance.
So buy this. Everyone buy it. Advanced, beginner, intermediate, you WILL get something out of it.
Now off to tackle some Tea cups. ( Thanks Naima!)