Belly Dance Show Basics video / DVD is a 2-and-a-half-hour instructional program that will introduce you to the full set of skills needed to perform a classic belly dance show. The program includes breakdown and practice of the basic belly dancing vocabulary of steps, but the main focus is on learning how to put the show together and make it great. Tanna Valentine, a New York-based star belly dancer and instructor, suggests structure, music, and ways of expression that will work best to create your own show as a glamourous and memorable experience for a special occasion or as a gift to your friends.
A classic belly dance show in the “American Cabaret” tradition consists of 6 parts: entrance, veil dance, party dance, ciftetelli with or without floorwork, drum solo, and finale. While a typical show lasts about 20 minutes, Tanna offers a 6-minute mini-show for practice and performance on special occasions.
The music of Bellydance Show Basics is by New York’s favorite Middle Eastern band leader and master Arabic percussion instructor Amir Naoum Chehade. It can be downloaded from iTunes or purchased on Amir’s CD Bellydance New York. Together with the 6-minute mini-show, Amir’s CD contains the full-length versions of each song used in the show, as well as other belly dancing favorites you can use to improve your skills - or expand the mini-show into a full-length professional performance.
In a “Concept” section for each of the 6 parts of the classic show, Tanna Valentine explains the mood, the expectations of the audience, the image the belly dancer may seek to create, the ways she can project her energy, and interact with and manage her audience. Tanna teaches how to differentiate each part of the show through expression and dance vocabulary, and delves into the logistics of each segment, giving you the blueprint for a flawless and confident performance.
In the “Step-by-step” section for each segment of the classic show, Tanna breaks down a number of the steps appropriate for that rhythm and mood. These steps are rehearsed in the “Practice” sessions. Practice sessions can also be played as one non-stop segment with music and vocal cues or with the music only. The six “Choreography” sections offer a simple and elegant sequence for each of the six portions of the show. If you would like to practice your performance skills by following Tanna, you can play the choreography sections as one full 6-minute show with music and vocal cues or with music only.
Tanna also offers a rich array of resources to help you create and perform your own show.
Special sections of the program are dedicated to learning the basics of floorwork, and to playing finger cymbals. “Staging your show” is all about the logistics of performing a bellydance show in a public venue, such as a restaurant or lounge, as compared to a performance in your living room.
In the “Costuming” video section Tanna discusses traditional bellydance costuming, explaining the diversity of possible styles and how to obtain them (accompanied by costume demonstrations), and experiments with creating impromptu bellydance costumes from everyday items found in her closet.
In the “Makeup” section Tanna is joined by her makeup model, New York belly dancer Mary. Tanna demonstrates dance makeup application from foundation to the decorative elements such as rhinestones applied to the corners of the eyes. The demonstration offers meticulous step-by-step makeup instruction.
In the “Performance variations” section Tanna improvises to the music of the belly dance mini-show, demonstrating alternative steps, patterns and modes of expression.