"Savor the flavor of passion as we explore the magnificent potential of every dancer's indispensable tool; the fan. As amazingly versatile as you are, the fan is expressive, sassy, and powerful." -Madame Onca
This is going to be a review on the new belly dance prop DVD Fan-Demonium: The essential fan primer for belly dancers. Performed by Madame Onca and produced by Aela Badiana Productions. This DVD fully explores the amazing theatrical and visual advantages of using a prop in your performance. The ambition and love put into this class is felt during every chapter, creating an immersive atmosphere in your very own home. I will be using my experience with prop dancing and belly dance to give you my personal opinion on the level, feel, and value of this instructional DVD.
As the creator of a new prop in this ever evolving dance form, being introduced to the concept of being our own founders of movement, I love the way she describes right at the very beginning that we are the creators of the movements and folklore of this new budding formation of our dance history. We don't always have the reference of the past to help us create our movements. This also means that we need to be mindful of our expressions and intent with our creativity, making sure it has the ability to become sustainable.
In the intro of the DVD she explains that you should mind your level and physical weaknesses in a very fresh way, and then jumps right into explaining all the different fans that we have access to as performers. The only thing that I regret about this part of the video was that the main type of fan used in the DVD was still hard for me to track down online. Maybe a few more key words for me to search the product online or a link to a potential suppliers list on her website? She mentions making her own and I would love to see that process as well in the future. I didn't realize until after writing most of this review that she sells a few options on here website, 12″ fan $25 each, 16″ fan $35 each, $5 shipping handling, in red and black fabric with blond bamboo staves. This maybe an over site on my part by not going to her website in the beginning but, I purchased the DVD on Amazon.com. Even though I saw the web address listed on the cover, I felt no reason to connect to her site, I felt everything was contained within the DVD. Next time maybe a little prompt or plug for connecting to her in other social medias would helpful.
Her flavorful and detail vocabulary drew me into the DVD in a way that made me really think about every little choice in my practice. This is very hard to achieve in video format, and is one of the many reasons why I think this DVD in a valuable tool. I think that Fan-damonium is suitable for any level of dancer, but leans more towards the experienced dancer in concept and performance theory. By this I'm mean, the physical exercise is clean. You don't need to know how to belly dance to benefit from this course, but if you are an experienced/professional dancer, your mind will be challenged with new ways to construct an emotionally charged performance. Sometimes I feel we get caught up in the choreography or drills and forget to check in with the artistry of dance, especially when we add a prop to the mix. Madame Onca takes the time to stop and explain every intention of the body and prop and gives you the tools to help make those intentions second nature.
The length of the DVD is estimated to be about 92mins. When watching just the class portion I would say its about 30-45mins, which after moving a fan around for that time your arms and shoulders will be grateful for a stretch. It is a great arm, shoulder, upper back workout that also makes you feel confidant and beautiful with her encouraging instruction. The video format is NTSC and good for playing all around the world. The quality of the video is very clear, filming from behind Madame Onca into a mirror, with a well lighted studio. I noticed the audio is a little scratchy at beginning, but as the video goes on that is remedied. The menu for this DVD is beautiful, functional, and convenient with well sectioned chapters and a play all function. At the end of Fan-Demonium there are two features that I find unique to this DVD; The way AB Productions recorded the performance and the interview with Madame Onca herself.
The performance at the end is enchanting. I don't want to ruin the surprise, so I won't be talking about it to much here. I will say that I love how belly dance instructional DVDs are changing their format choices within the last few years. We are creating a fresh look on how we want to learn and connect with our teachers and its refreshing.
With the interview at the end of this video you get to hear directly from Madame Onca, in a beautiful (What looks to be uncut) one on one. Getting to know your instructor and her intentions, history, personality is very important to me. So, just getting to hear her talk about things after taking her class was a very nice addition. Dance is a very personal and vulnerable art form and meshing well with your instructors is always a bonus, if not a necessity, for some people.
In conclusion, I absolutely think that Fan-Demonium By: Madame Onca is a good purchase if you are interested in prop dancing. It is a refreshing look into the world of belly dance and prop dancing. The subject matter is good for new and experienced dancers, and is a dynamic addition to any performer study collection. I believe you can find this DVD on Amazon.com, Link Here. As well as, learning more about Madame Onca at http://thehardestworkingwomaninshowbusiness.com, And don't forget the production company Aela Badiana Productions at www.ABproductions.com. Im Dana Beaufait and thank you for joining me here in my review of the new belly dance prop DVD Fan-Demonium: The essential fan primer for belly dancers.