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Shake It Up: Exotic Bellydance Performances [DVD]

Ansuya , Virginia    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 12.74 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Ansuya, Virginia, Ava Fleming, Sohaila, Viktoriya
  • Format: Colour, Limited Edition, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Hollywood Music Center
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Jan 2008
  • Run Time: 65 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000BD1LLI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 244,635 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Visual and Aural Treat 7 Aug 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Let me begin by stating that I am a relative novice in the appreciation of the belly dance art form.

This DVD contains 12 dance performances and runs for just 61 minutes which rattle along all too quickly. The girls are beautiful, the sets are lush, costumes are stunning, and the music is varied and lively. All the dancers look like they are enjoying themselves, and never does the production get boring.

There was not one performance I didn't enjoy, but I will pick out the highlights (for me at least). Meleah's "Zen Arabiana" is very hypnotic, and Jayna's "Solo Tabla" perhaps the most 'jiggly' performance. Sohalia seems to be having the most fun of all - her "Abart Al Shat" is extremely cute and fun throughout. Kaya turns in the most sexual performance with "Al Heyla" - truly a dance of seduction. However the best is left for last with the very cute Sadie's almost understated performance of "Badawiyya's Teasing". She is graceful, lithe, and mesmerising.

Others have criticised this production for being overtly sexual. Yes it is sensual, sexual and erotic in parts (without being distasteful), but surely that is what dance is meant to be (to a greater or lesser extent)?

If I do have any criticisms, then firstly the fact that out of the 12 dances only one is not a solo effort, and secondly the DVD ends rather abruptly without end credits. However, helpfully amongst the extras there are mini-bios of the dancers, a potted history of belly dance, and a rather pointless 'making of' featurette.

To sum up, if you are looking for an hour's dance entertainment then you could do a lot worse than giving this visual and aural treat a look.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear 27 Nov 2006
By Shantell Powell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Oh dear. Where do I begin?

First of all, I'm glad I didn't pay money for this. I saw it at the dance studio where I teach, and since I had some time to kill, I put it in the DVD player.

I suppose I should have guessed from the "Exotic" in the title that this video would pander to all the stereotypes. The video is an Orientalist's wet dream. Let's see what stereotypes are to be found:

Reclining pasha? Check.
Veiled mysterious women leaning up on said pasha? Check.
Hookah pipes and Turkish rugs and King Tut busts? Check, check, and check.
Dancers using those hokey walk-like-an-Egyptian arms? Check.
Dancers making porn faces at the camera while they dance seductively? Check.
Belly dancers as strippers? Nope.

So they missed one. Maybe their next DVD will cover that one.

Some of the performances had me staring with my jaw agape. Although Meleah's floorwork routine starts out interesting enough (if I ignored the faux sultan and seraglio in the background), it soon becomes bizarre, when she gallivants around the room in stirrup pants with some sort of[...]-enhancing metal jewellery. Yikes!

Kaya's performance to "Al Heyla" borders on pornographic with her over-the-top pouting, moues, and silent gasps of pleasure. If she spends half the effort on her isolations as she does her facial gyrations, I bet she'll be a fantastic dancer.

That being said, not everything is bad. Adam Basma's dance company, although not the best I've ever seen, look like they're having a great time, and the feeling is contagious. I'll betcha they're terrific to watch live.

Sohaila's khaleegy dance is cute, and I really love the serenity of her facial expressions. She never looks like she's faking her smiles.

I also really enjoy Sadie's dance. She dances with effortless grace, and although her backbends are extreme, they don't leave me cringing in sympathetic pain. They look very natural for her. She really looks like she knows what she's doing, and she gives us the standout performance on the DVD. I want to find more performances by her, now.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the price 9 Aug 2010
By D. Nichols - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The folks at Hollywood Music Center deserve a vote of thanks for providing these entertaining belly dance performance DVDs. Anybody who enjoys belly dance will find something to like in Shake It UP! - and probably something to dislike as well. Like other HMC productions, this one offers a selection of styles, some traditional and some - a bit edgy. In my opinion, it is, on balance, fine entertainment and well worth buying.

Make no mistake, there are some fine performances by solid performers. Highlights for me: the always exquisite Ava Fleming, a lively Viktoriya, Ansuya, Virginia, Sadie, and an almost painfully beautiful performance by Jamileh. One much appreciated favor: the Badawiyya'a Teasing dance by Saidie with those incomprehensible abdominal movements. These are just too seldom seen in belly dance performances for my taste. One or two will appear, a belly roll here, a flutter there, and that's it. Saidie's are mesmerizing in themselves but are also seamlessly woven into the dance. For me, this complex and fascinating performance is probably the high point of this DVD.

My personal inclination is toward the traditional and I don't much care for most fusion dances, which seem to me something like those insipid fruity drinks stirred up for people who want to drink but don't like the taste of liquor. For those like me who don't seek the odd or edgy in belly dance, DVDs have menus that let us page to what we do want, those complex, layered performances that this DVD does offer.

Criticisms of this DVD are mostly nit-picky. I agree, I would lose the pasha. I like to watch belly dance - I don't like to watch other men watching belly dance. I don't care if they are in the audience - I just don't want to look at them. Other criticisms I would take with a grain of salt. Critics (mostly female) of belly dance can be cruel and downright strange. Dancers are criticized for showing too much skin and for having too much fabric in their costumes, for wearing too much makeup or not enough. Some HMC performances have been criticized for being lifeless and unengaged, but if the dancers smile and project, they're accused of displaying objectionable facial expressions. I once read a critique of one dancer's performance in which it was objected that she had fat thighs. Whatever the merits of this woman's dance, in no imaginable universe could her beautiful thighs be considered fat.

I would point out though that some of the performances on this DVD are a bit sexed up. In my view this is not a good tendency. Belly dance that takes on gestures and poutiness more often seen in stripping runs the risk of ending up with a performance that is neither fish nor fowl. People who like stripping won't like it because the woman isn't naked enough, and people who like belly dance (many of whom are women) won't like it because it's sexed up and tawdry.

The long and short of it though: if you appreciate those hypnotizing belly dance moments and the relief they offer from this nasty world we live in, ignore the nit-picky and get this DVD. It has more than enough good dancing to make up for any small deficiencies.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars this is good 2 July 2006
By Amanda Norr - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I bought this video from a local teacher and vendor, because she is in it. Jamileh. She is great and I loved taking her workshop, there is also a soundtrack. A couple of the dances are down right weird, but I would say that this is a good dvd to add to yours and mine growing collection of all things bellydance. You will like it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Performances. 14 July 2014
By CAF - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My granddaughter dances to this dvd every time she is with me!
Great Performances...it is hard to find just performances without instruction.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Visual and Aural Treat 7 Aug 2013
By Floydoid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Let me begin by stating that I am a relative novice in the appreciation of the belly dance art form.

This DVD contains 12 dance performances and runs for just 61 minutes which rattle along all too quickly. The girls are beautiful, the sets are lush, costumes are stunning, and the music is varied and lively. All the dancers look like they are enjoying themselves, and never does the production get boring.

There was not one performance I didn't enjoy, but I will pick out the highlights (for me at least). Meleah's "Zen Arabiana" is very hypnotic, and Jayna's "Solo Tabla" perhaps the most 'jiggly' performance. Sohalia seems to be having the most fun of all - her "Abart Al Shat" is extremely cute and fun throughout. Kaya turns in the most sexual performance with "Al Heyla" - truly a dance of seduction. However the best is left for last with the very cute Sadie's almost understated performance of "Badawiyya's Teasing". She is graceful, lithe, and mesmerising.

Others have criticised this production for being overtly sexual. Yes it is sensual, sexual and erotic in parts (without being distasteful), but surely that is what dance is meant to be (to a greater or lesser extent)?

If I do have any criticisms, then firstly the fact that out of the 12 dances only one is not a solo effort, and secondly the DVD ends rather abruptly without end credits. However, helpfully amongst the extras there are mini-bios of the dancers, a potted history of belly dance, and a rather pointless 'making of' featurette.

To sum up, if you are looking for an hour's dance entertainment then you could do a lot worse than giving this visual and aural treat a look.
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