To me, rumba is the most beautiful of the Latin dances and when danced well, it verges on ballet in terms of beauty. On "The Magic of Dance', Ian and Camilla dance the most beautiful rumba I have ever seen. They dance to "The Story of My Life" (Michael Crawford) and their dance tells a story of lingering passion but ultimate loss, and they dance it with such expressiveness. At one point, Ian reaches his hand out to Camilla and over the course of a couple of seconds, she slowly and tentatively places her hand in his: this is the way rumba should be: unhurried; it isn't called "the dance of the indecisive heart" for nothing! At another point, Camilla is moving away from Ian and he reaches out and grabs her around the waist and draws her to him into his embrace: more ballet than rumba but one of the most singularly romantic moments in a dance I have ever seen.
I have seen so many people take a "boots and all" approach to rumba, where something dynamic is happening every second, but I don't think that such an approach honors the spirit of the dance. In rumba, whirlwind fast movements express passion, while slow lingering movements express yearning, and it is from this interplay of passion and yearning that the beauty of the dance emerges. Camilla and Ian are for me the finest example that I have seen of this interplay and how deeply moving it can be.
And this is only one of the gems on this DVD. They do a funky little chacha to a Latin Jazz version of Summertime, Paso Doble to The Phantom of the Opera, and dance American Smooth, Waltz and Foxtrot beautifully. On the other hand, I wasn't keen on their Jive, I think that Camilla's costuming made it hard to appreciate her technique. And the samba barefoot on the beach didn't quite come off, probably because sand doesn't lend itself well to samba steps. The instructional material is aimed at a basic level, but I still found figures in the chacha that I haven't seen before and will certainly include in my dancing.
Overall, this is one of my better DVD purchases and I will continue to watch it over and over to enjoy Ian and Camilla's artistry.