Secrets of the Stage, Vol 2
Secrets of the Stage, Vol 2 By Michelle Joyce.
Overall Zorba Rating:
2008, apparently region free , run time approx. 1 hour, 19 minutes.
In the second release of the series, Michelle Joyce shares with us tips for successful performances.
The simple and straightforward main menu consists of:
Plays entire DVD
Michelle appears in street clothes, and explains how this DVD is not about how to improve one's technique, but rather how to improve one's performance skills. She continues by briefly introducing the material on this DVD with brief footage of different dancers while she continues speaking. By the way, can I have your necklace Michelle? Its WAY cool!
Dancing in Different Venues
This segment starts with Michelle explaining her "mental checklist" she runs through when negotiating a gig - very sensible and useful (including some stuff I'd never even though of!).
The rest of the DVD consists of performance footage of various dancers with their own personal voice-over explaining what they did and why they did it.
Michelle is the first, she explains her considerations for restaurant performances. She appears in at least two separate performances here.
Sandra comes next, explaining her take on large stages while she does a lovely performance on one. She also contrasts the large stage performance with a restaurant setting.
Louchia also gives us the large stage lowdown. Her floorwork is impressive! She includes tips on hair and makeup.
Tips and Audience Participation.
After an introduction by Michelle in street attire, we have:
Michelle on audience participation. Various clips of her restaurant type performances while she tells us of her experiences and recommendations. She also discusses tips and body tipping.
Zaheea, "alternatives to body tipping". A very interesting segment as Zaheea doesn't like, or do, body tipping and doesn't understand why anyone would or should! A very good inclusion here as it gives excellent alternatives!
Maria on audience participation. Like Michelle, she discusses tips and body tipping. I love her accent!
Summer Sahar - audience participation. She raises the interesting point that restaurant dancers should talk to their audience - and then tells some anecdotes on how to do so.
Sandra returns to give us her take on audience participation. She likes to have an audience participation/tipping section after her choreographed show is completed. She gives tips on how to spot an audience member who would be most likely to get up and dance when invited.
Next is a brief segment called "Tipping Techniques", with Michelle giving a mini-lecture. However, it isn't just about tipping, she also discusses how to get people up dancing and how to interact with someone who is (already) dancing.
Michelle continues with a short section called "Tipping: Problems and Solutions". Not a lot for me to comment on here - she has some good ideas and information that I hadn't heard or thought of before. Good addition.
After the usual Michelle introduction, we have various dancers give us their take on the subject of professionalism.
Bahaia is first. She has plenty to say on the subject, all of it good. Her voice over performance is particularly effective here, as she has a minor veil mishap and discusses what she did and why. Her performance here is very beautiful as a side benefit!
DaVid is next. I'm particularly gratified at his inclusion as he is one of my favorite male dancers! He also has a lot to say on this subject, such as taking possession of the stage, and always try things out before performing them. Costumes/props as well as dance technique. As with Bahaia, we're treated to a very nice stage performance!
Shoshanna then takes the stage for a lovely performance - with a 4 yard veil, of course! She tells us of the differences between a seasoned pro vs. a beginner performer.
Entrances and exits are expounded on next. Michelle gives us the usual introduction in street clothes, then voice-overs several dancer's entrances and/or exits. Seen here are Tamra-Henna, Oreet, Namira, Tanya, Bahaia, DaVid, Louchia, Magidah, Shoshanna, and Nanna Candelaria.
Ask the Audience.
A brief section, taped at a recent By Dancers For Dancers DVD shooting show, talking to various audience members about what they like to see in a Belly Dance show. Very insightful!
Credits roll, with each dancer's WebSite address prominently displayed. After this, each dancer's music is detailed; song name, artist, and album This kind of attention to detail is what separates a pro-level video from an amateur production.
What I liked about this video:
Well produced, well edited. No goofy MTV camera effects. In attempting to teach the "unteachable", this video covers new ground no-one else has attempted before.
Its on DVD and its reasonably priced. It should make producers of very good, but very overpriced Belly Dance videos ashamed of themselves. Cheeky Girls does it again, delivering a world class product at a reasonable price.
What I didn't like about this video:
There really isn't much to dislike. I was a bit alarmed at Bahaia's proximity to her dropped veil during her performance; but this is a nit, at best. There is a minor chapterization problem at the beginning of the entrances and exits segment.
You can purchase this video from Cheeky Girls Productions.