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DVD/Videos: home practice?


Guest Minna Laine

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Guest Minna Laine

I tried to search for an appropriate topic for my question, but couldn't find one. If there is one, feel free to point me there and close this :)

 

There was a discussion about home practice on adult ballet students forum and someone suggested buying a ballet lesson DVD go give coherence to practicing at home. Can anyone give suggestions as regards to what could be a good DVD or video for this kind of use?

 

(Some background, if it helps: I am 28 years old and hav been dancing for 3,5 years now, being somewhere between advanced beginner and early intermediate, just starting pointe work...)

 

Thank you,

Minna

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Hi Minna,

 

What about the NYCB workout DVD? I have it myself but I'm afraid it doesn't have any pointe work on it, it's just technique, some floor barre , ab strengthening and general warmups.

 

If you want to check it out some more, you can find it on Amazon.

 

Hope this helps some.

 

Kelly

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Victoria Leigh

Finis Jung has a series of ballet class videos. I have not seen them, but I know that he is a very highly respected teacher. They are advertised in Dance Magazine.

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Minna,

I just bought:

 

Contemporary Dance: class for adult beginners

 

Bob Rizzo's To the Pointe - beginner through advanced pointe work with Michelle Benash

 

Bob Rizzo's Turns, Leaps&Bounds with David Howard

 

Bob Rizzo's Simply Ballet - An Easy-to-follow Master Class fo Beginners with Michelle Benash

 

The New Ballet Workout, featuring Melissa Lowe

 

Please let me know if you'd be interested in any of these; I can try to write a short review! :shrug:

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Guest Minna Laine

Hello all,

thanks for your suggestions. I have been thinking about buying at least New York City Ballet workout or possibly its sequel, of which I have read some positive reviews.

 

Jans, almost all of those sound interesting :o To the Pointe and The New Ballet workout especially so, but all Bob Rizzo's videos sound promising :thumbsup: If you have time to write some comments about those, it would be much appreciated.

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Guest ~Wren~

Jans,

 

I would love to hear about "Simply Ballet" - I actually came looking for a dance chat board in hopes that I would find someone who was familliar with this DVD.

 

I start class for the first time in 20 (gasp! ) years next week, and want something to supplement with at home.

 

Thanks!

Wren

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The David Howard tapes are really good. I'm using the barre portion to strengthen up a bit before classes start. His are very good. I use the intermediate/advanced one though, he has a beginner one that I own but it is REALLY basic.

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Hello everyone,

I've got a terrible flu (again) from my husband, so my head isn't working properly, but here's some thoughts for you - please feel free to ask more or ask for clarification if I'm not expressing myself clearly...:

 

Contemporary Dance: class for adult beginners

 

The whole DVD is about a class, so I think it's quite boring. It's good for basic work-out (to get warm) and if one is not familiar with modern dance (like myself) it's a nice introduction. But I don't think I'll watch this very often because it is, as I said, a bit boring after you've done it once.

Teacher is nice and students vary a lot (old people, young people, flexible, absolute beginners etc) and I like the fact that it's shooted in a proper classroom with windows and sunny atmosphere, so you feel like you are really attending a real class.

 

Bob Rizzo's To the Pointe - beginner through advanced pointe work with Michelle Benash

 

I found this one very useful. There are good exercises for absolute beginners and advanced. I don't think the scenery or "background" is very entertaining or interesting, but I don't mind. The movements and exercises are clear and shown well, so that's the most important thing.

 

The tape is divided into 4 sections:

1)Beginner barre&center

2)Intermediate barre&center

3)Advanced barre&center

4)Variation (advanced :wink: )

 

Bob Rizzo's Turns, Leaps&Bounds with David Howard

 

This one was the most difficult one. So I haven't done it yet, just watched. :rolleyes: It says on the back cover: "T, L&B is a unique collection of Ballet combinations you'll cherish and use time and again. Join Ballet Master David Howard as he guides you through the absolute essential exercises for center floor work. The variations are fun, easy to follow and designed for all levels of dancers"

 

I'd say that combinations are fun and useful, but they're not for beginners. So I wouldn't say they are for all levels of dancers. I think I'm going to simplify them, and I definitely think I have to watch them with play-pause-play-pause-rewind-play-pause-rewind -method. :lol: But it's not boring and I think for advanced student these are ok (especially if you have a big living room where you can practise...), but I definitely need a lot of repetition. :ermm: Movements are shown first with model standing back to the audience (=you), so you can practise the same way than in class (if not standing in the front row).

 

Bob Rizzo's Simply Ballet - An Easy-to-follow Master Class fo Beginners with Michelle Benash

 

Well, this is simple and I'm going to use this for having basic class at home. The thing that actually annoys me a bit is that for instance this dvd is meant for beginners, but for a person who hasn't taken any proper ballet class and is only doing this at home, there's no explanations concerning movements. They just begin doing plies in first, second and fifth(!). Michelle Benash says some corrections and tells that model shoud correct her foot, but for example when students do tendue back she won't say that heel should lead etc. So in my opinion it is possible to do all movements wrong. And I may confuse this with the new ballet workout but I think it would be good to show the models and their feet when they are doing something - not their faces, especially when half of the combination is already over when the camera man returns to the full-lenght shooting. This happened especially in The New Ballet Workout. The scenery/background is like in a corner of a cellar studio, so not very interesting either. But a very basic dvd, models are young, long-legged girls. :speechless:

 

The New Ballet Workout, featuring Melissa Lowe

 

Well, this is a very ballet-based workout. Also more complicated than what I expected. It consists of floor work, barre work and center work and I must admit that I haven't finished watching this yet, but I think I watched for about 3/4 and it seems useful.

As I wrote in previous section, the thing that wasn't so good was the shooting: mainly it was ok, but during barre work the cameraman shooted Melissa Lowe's face or some irrelevant details when I would have liked to see the whole body, because the movements weren't that simple. It's like in a movie when there's someone in the room attacking the hero and camera shows something else and you feel like shouting "hey, come on, show the action, I'm not interested in that flower decoration of wallpaper" B)

It's different if you choose to watch some detail or someone's face, but when talking about watching a dvd when it's possible to see only those parts which the cameraman decides to shoot, full-length scene should be to rule.

 

***

In my opinion, getting the contemporary dance -dvd was the only one that I regret a bit (too expensive compared with the benefit), others were worth of buying! I ordered them from Amazon and Dancebooks.co.uk.

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May I ask where you purchased the "To The Pointe" video? I'd like something to help me break in my shoes at home and what better than simple barre work. Thanks.

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NadiaDanseuse

A word of caution:

 

Learning at home via Video is no substitute for qualified instruction, ESPECIALLY where pointework is concerned. A beginner en pointe should work under a teacher's supervision only. I would be wary of purchasing a video to learn more advanced technique, especially as a beginner. You do not want to risk injury as a consequence of impatience. Simple barre exercises are just right for a beginner. :)

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May I ask where you purchased the "To The Pointe" video? I'd like something to help me break in my shoes at home and what better than simple barre work. Thanks.

 

I checked my Amazon-orders and it wasn't there, so I'm sure I ordered it from dancebooks.co.uk.

 

btw,

 

I also noticed that I have purchased another dvd as well (Ballet Class for Beginners [DVD] (2004) Lee Kraft; David Howard) but haven't received it yet! I had totally forgotten that I still have one to go... :) Well, I sent the seller an e-mail and asked about my order because it should have come by now.

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Thanks Jans. I found the video Pointe by Pointe on sale for 13$ and might buy that one. Have you had any experience with that? The To The Pointe video I found as well but don't have the 40$!!! Especially since I just spent about 400$ on dance stuff for fall minus the 920$ tuition and 250$ ballet barre. lol. I'm broke!

 

I have the David Howard Ballet Class for Beginners (purchased at Border's for 15$) and have to say it is VERY basic. Some basic plies, tendus, degages, frappes, some basic port de bras, a pirouette exercise in the center. Needless to say mine is collecting dust!

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A word of caution:

 

Learning at home via Video is no substitute for qualified instruction, ESPECIALLY where pointework is concerned. A beginner en pointe should work under a teacher's supervision only. I would be wary of purchasing a video to learn more advanced technique, especially as a beginner. You do not want to risk injury as a consequence of impatience. Simple barre exercises are just right for a beginner.  :blink:

 

You are absolutely right!

This pointe-dvd we were talking about consists of exactly same exercises that are done in class (at least at beginners' level which I'm familiar with) at barre, so I guess it's "safe" if you also take proper classes, get supervision and know what you are supposed to do. :)

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Thanks Jans. I found the video Pointe by Pointe on sale for 13$ and might buy that one. Have you had any experience with that? The To The Pointe video I found as well but don't have the 40$!!!  ---CLIP---

 

I'm afraid I'm not familiar with that Pointe by Pointe. :) I don't actually remember how much I paid for my To the Pointe-dvd, and I bought it anyway in Euros (or actually in pounds converted to Euros), but it wasn't cheap. Unfortunately. :blink:

I guess most of the dvds I searched and thought about getting were around 20-30€ (or more). This Howard's Beginner's Class -dvd was cheaper (around 8£), but I bought it via Amazon from an independent seller. And I really hope I'm going to get it, because I've already paid for it+postage.

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