Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Temple of Jehan - Ultimate Bellydance Fitness Workout

Overall: Horrifying
Duration: 45 minutes

This DVD is divided into 7 sections: warm-up, strength, sensuality, joy, passion, energy, cool down. This should give you an indication of the overall tone and theme.

The warm up is fairly lame - the voiceover doesn't actually describe what the dancers are doing, so when you are bent over in a stretch you have to keep looking up at the tv to see what's going on. Not only that, but the dancers aren't very sync'd up, and the technique, overall, is pretty poor. We went through 7 minutes of things like "oriental poses" and "feel the vibrations of the earth".

Next is Strength, led by Drag Queen Cher. Watch out for those close-ups - they are scary! And what's worse than Drag Queen Cher leading a crappy bellydance DVD? She's doing it in bluejeans!! And not just any bluejeans, *bedazzled* bluejeans. I could barely follow this portion for a number of reasons (poor instruction, weird camera angles, etc) but primarily, I was fixated on Drag Queen Cher's bedazzled bluejeans. Ladies, take my word for it and don't try this at home!

Sensuality is the hair-tossing portion of the video. You need really long hair for this part or you'll have nothing to flip around. (These are the types of girls I get stuck standing next to in workshops.) Joy is mostly like an aerobic workout, while Passion & Energy are some typical cabaret moves, led by people with poor technique and little instruction, so good luck following along. The cool down is absolutely identical to the warm up, except the dancers are wearing different outfits.

Should you ever do this DVD (and I highly recommend that you don't), pay special attention to the lyrics of the songs. They say stuff like "my body is a temple... it has many rooms". They included some fascinating extras, like the "Cast of" video (in case you need even more shots of Drag Queen Cher) and the very special "Body Prayer", which can only be described as hippie performance art to spoken word.

Available from Amazon

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