Veiled Visions by Mezdulene:
A Video Review
Rating: (out of 5)
This video teaches three variations of veil technique: 1) single veil, 2) double veil, and 3) cape work. The single veil section is suitable for beginning dancers who have mastered basic dance moves and would like to start working with a veil. The double veil and cape work sections are better suited to intermediate dancers. All three sections assume that you are brand-new to these topics, and start with the basic fundamentals.
The single veil section includes two performance segments - one by Mezdulene, and the other by her daughter Sativa. These illustrate the veil skills being taught on the video, and shows how the moves look when incorporated into an actual dance. Mezdulene begins the instruction by showing several ways to wrap and tuck the veil into your costume. She also discusses general advice on how to move with a veil, how to fit veil work in as part of a longer routine, and how to transition into dancing with the veil. Mezdulene then teaches 10 different single veil moves. To me, this is the most content-rich part of the video. Mezdulene has selected a pleasing variety of moves to teach, and explains them well. If you can master all of them, then you'll have enough material to perform a complete 3- or 4-minute single veil section in one of your shows.
Mezdulene begins the double veil section by showing another veil wrap, and demonstrating how to dance out of it. She then demonstrates how a pair of veils can be held together and used as if they were one, for doing the single veil moves taught earlier in the video, and she demonstrates how the same moves can look different when done with semicircular veils versus rectangular. Mezdulene doesn't teach very many double veil moves on this video, but the ones she shows are appropriate choices for someone who is just starting to learn double veil. If you've never done double veil before, this section will provide a good place to start, but if you've done double veil before, it's likely you'll already know these moves. Following this instruction, she does another performance, this one with double veils, to show how the material she has taught looks in the context of a dance.
The final instructional segment of this video is cape work. The primary focus on this section is how to make a cape - size and shape, length, fabric recommendations, etc. Mezdulene then shows how to adapt some of the single veil moves taught earlier for use with a cape. At the time this video was made, capes were very common in the bellydance community. They have fallen out of fashion in the years since then, but some dancers may enjoy reviving them as a means of standing out from everyone else in the same show. The video closes with Mezdulene doing a 3 1/2-minute performance with a cape. She uses the same moves that were taught in the single veil section of the video, thus demonstrating how these moves have a very different look when performed with a different sort of prop.
I feel this is a good video, but not a great one. It is well organized, covers appropriate moves for introducing beginners to each of the three veil-related topics, and provides well-explained instruction. The 80-minute length delivers a lot of information on a single video, but there are some significant omissions such as the lack of advice on how to spin and spot.
Sadly, the production quality is poor. I can live with no-frills production quality, but lighting and focus are not frills, they're necessities! If the lighting and focus had been better, I probably would have given it four stars instead of three.
To purchase this video, contact Mezdulene as follows:
Phone: (541) 459-3115
The contents of this page are copyrighted 2008 by Julie Anne Elliot. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is forbidden.