Wings of Ayshe
Wings of Ayshe, Passion Bellydance by Ayshe
2003, and apparently region free , run time 45 minutes.
Ayshe is probably the world's premier Wings-of-Isis dancer. She also makes and sells beautiful wings. If you love wing and veil dancing, you'll love this video! Much of this video could be termed fusion between Belly Dance and Modern Dance - there are plenty of non Belly Dance moves in it, lots of dramatic kicks and similar. If you're looking for pure Belly Dance, this video isn't it - but as wings are not traditional, you probably wouldn't be looking for a video like this anyway.
As the video is a fusion piece, there are several faux pas that wouldn't be seen on a straight Belly Dance video. Ayshe's costumes are skimpier than some, but very tasteful, nice and effective.
Most of the music is very new agey, with a Middle Eastern beat. There are a few MTV type special effects on this video - but not too many. The appropriateness of camera effects is subjective - some may like it, others may not. If this were an instructional video, I wouldn't care for them; but as they're not over done here, I think they're effective from an artistic standpoint.
There are 7 separate dances:
Except for the applause at the end, you'd think this was filmed in a studio. Very dark set, but well enough illuminated dancer and wings to create a dramatic effect. Includes lots of Modern Dance moves, high kicks etc which blend well with the mood. Nice armwork and floorwork, very passionate.
Similar to Spirit Dancer, the set is dark with mysterious lighting for Ayshe's dance. New age music, apparently recorded, with live drummers you can frequently glimpse. Also a live performance, a couple of times we are treated to an audience member walking in front of the camera. This dance is slightly more sedate, yet passionate.
This is the only dance which may have been produced in a studio - no sight or sound of an audience. Very beautiful and effective beginning, Ayshe is standing against a curtain backdrop that matches her wings and costume, the only thing you can see at first are her wings moving ever so slightly. She gradually becomes more visible as she "flies" with her wings. This dance is lit somewhat brighter. A beautiful dance!
"Normal" Lighting, live performance with double wings, very beautiful with lots of turns, barrel and otherwise. Very soulful.
The mood changes with Inner Warrior, we've seen the last of Ayshe's beautiful wings. Also dark and dramatic, it opens with Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade, Middle Eastern drum rhythms join in a short while later, and eventually only the drums continue. This is a live performance.
Ayshe starts this piece with very nice single veil. There is MTV like camera work at the end of the veil portion. She then does a rather vigorous sword dance, swinging it dramatically. Then she does floorwork with the sword. There is a bit more MTV style camerawork and a cut to a shot of Ayshe dancing with the sword balanced on her head at the end.
This is the longest, and probably the most complex piece on the video. A live performance, it starts with a masked Ayshe dancing with an incense burner. A lit Shemadan can be seen in the background.
This piece is also "dramatically dark". Unfortunately, unlike the others, it is too dark to see much. I don't know if the room was purposely darkened because of the Shemadan or what, but much of this piece is very hard to view. It does seem to be a bit more traditional Belly Dance than some of the other numbers.
There is some veiled floorwork which is quite dramatic, including some skilled flutters while in a Turkish fold. Later she does kneeling head spins near her Shemadan - very dramatic as I'm sure she measured her hair and her position to prevent her hair from getting too close!
She also does a Turkish fold while holding the Shemadan up in the air - quite a feat. She then does additional floorwork with the Shemadan on her head, eventually rising to her feet to finish the dance. At one point we're treated to a closeup of her Shemadan - a very nice one!
This last number is very well lit, and is far more traditional in both music and dance than any other on this video. This is a sword and veil piece. Ayshe is quite vigorous in this number! The video cover tells us that this piece includes "ecstatic drums" - it's correct! It starts slow and sultry, but speeds up including head and veil tosses, shimmies with veil, swinging veil around with sword, hair tosses, etc. Lots of spirit!
What I liked about this video:
The breath taking wings and beautiful dancing. Ayshe obviously knows her stuff, and knows how to use her wings to maximum advantage. Her general dancing technique is very good also. As much as I love wings, its nice that the video includes other dances/props as well.
Its been re-released on DVD! YAY! VHS is now only available on the used market.
What I didn't like about this video:
Burning Inside was just too dark. I'm sure it was fine live, but it didn't translate to video well. Unfortunate, as the routine itself seems to be at least on par with the rest of the video, if not even better. This video deserves a 5 Zill rating except for this problem.
We are treated to crotch shots in a couple or three places. Nothing obscene of course, but a faux pas from a Belly Dance standpoint.
You can purchase this video from Ayshe's WebSite.