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on 2 June 2011
A great resource and easy to follow.
I have the reformer one from this series too, for those of you thinking it might not have the complexity of other DVDs - look closer! Classical pilates is an excellent rock solid over view of the different levels attained in mat work. Again, the practitioners demonstrating give you no indication of how hard it is, because they are soooooo strong and speed through it. If in doubt get your mat out and give it a go. The instruction is good and easy to follow.
To improve the series, I think there should be a slow-mo version of some of the moves, with the voice going through the internal body instruction to give the student a really good insight into what is to be achieved.
I have a collection of Pilates DVDs and books and I have to say the classcial series gives me excellent grounding in the principles and Joseph "hard core" pilates practice. It is very applicable to dance training and gym training. I can also see why some pilates classes, I have attended, have confused me, due in part, to their mixing of difficulty and levels in a "basic" class. This DVD is a good reference.
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on 25 August 2014
The commentary is interesting, factual and to the point. Watching the superbly fit and disciplined individuals performing each move and sequence is extremely informative and quite inspirational - as is learning about how to progress from basic, through the stages to super advanced.

Modified basic: about five and half minutes.
Basic: about four minutes.
Intermediate: about thirteen minutes.
Advanced: about twenty minutes.
Super advanced: about four and half minutes.

Background is a wooden floor in front of a heavy curtain. One instructor at a time, occasionally a second instructor is shown in an insert window doing a variation of the exercise. No music. Very clear audio. Very easy to use menu.

However, once I'd watched the DVD once or twice I wanted to use it to actually guide my at-home practice. Practically an impossibility! The voiceover is not a complete guide through each sequence, rather it only supplements actually looking at the screen, which is not something I want to have to do during a routine.

The problem is not that it's fast (it is, but that's part of a great challenge), or that the commentator doesn't count for you (yup, I can pick up the basic rhythm and count for myself). It's that he doesn't even guide you, which is absolutely what I need when I am practicing at home without a qualified instructor keeping an eye on me! Although I can keep to a consistent beat and count, staying perfectly in time with another is impossible without periodic guidance (even top orchestras need a conductor!) You're never quite sure if you've managed to keep count at exactly the same speed as the on-screen exerciser and therefore if it's time to change sides or move on to the next exercise. And if you take a moment to look at the screen, because of the speed and concentration required it's too easy to end up missing three out of the five repetitions and find yourself scrambling to catch up.

All of which is a shame because the sequences are challenging, effective and really quite fun.

I guess some may say that once I've practiced the DVD a few times the routine will be practically memorised and therefore none of the above will be a problem. Maybe, but I have quite a few yoga and Pilates DVDs, which I do in rotation so some time can pass before I do any particular one again - meaning it's hard to remember the exact routine.
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on 9 November 2014
If you want to know what real original Pilates is like as designed by Joseph Pilates this DVD is for you. The exercises are tough, precise and quite quick flowing quickly from one exercise to the next with no breaks. Once you know the exercises it is a great flowing workout with more movement and mobility than modern styles. BUT - this is a tough workout and if you are looking at Pilates for injury recovery or back problems this is not for you - this is great for athletes looking to keep good core and muscle balance. Done incorrectly Pilates exercises can make back problems worse not better so if you have a back problem find a teacher and learn correct technique before using DVDs.
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on 27 December 2012
I would recommend this to all those interested in teaching and practising the true "Classical Pilates" as taught by Joe Pilates himself - the most informative book since Friedman and Eisen's in the 70's.
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on 7 July 2014
Very clear dvd - bit slow for some, but once you get going and past the basics, the advanced stuff is good. Nice to see the classical moves.
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