Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Review-- The New York City Ballet Workout I

Here is yet another ballet inspired exercise series, this time from the New York City Ballet. I had some trouble with my usual program so I had to get screencaps a roundabout way. Anyway, here it goes!

So the video starts off with an introduction by Sarah Jessica Parker. I have no idea why she's telling me about dancers. Apparently she used to dance or something... maybe she's sponsoring this video? I don't know. The video intro after her speech is, well, trippy. My first thought was that maybe it would make a lot more sense if I had some marijuana. My second thought was "I wonder if this links up with a Pink Floyd song...." Yeah, the editing made me raise an eyebrow.
The exercise itself is sparse, but it helps because it makes it easy to see the dancer's bodies. The only problem with the sparse setting is that floor work tends to be in a spot light. The dancers wear black shoes and it's hard to see if they are pointing or flexing their foot. What I do like about the exercises is that they have both female and male dancers. This way, guys can also have an instructor to mimic.
Sometimes the shoes disappear into the shadows.

The narration drives me crazy, though. It's like a Discovery channel episode on wildlife animals. "Now, let us observe the New Yorker dancer as she warms up for exercises. With these exercises, she can develop her muscles so she can catch her prey." Yeah, I don't care for it too much. It's nice in that it reminds you to breathe every once in awhile, but other times it doesn't alert you to changes in the workout. Also, it's confusing since the narration changes on you so sometimes you are mirroring the instructors (their right, your left) and other times using the same side (their right, your right). The nice thing is that this DVD comes with options. You can turn off the narration. Heck, you can even change to contemporary music if you don't like to exercise to the classical music.I don't know how to describe the contemporary music. Sometimes it sounds like a Chinese string instrument and then other times it's jazz. It's a large medley of different sounds.

They are pretty good about showing alternative ways to perform stretches in case certain moves are too difficult for you, but they don't always show them or keep them on the screen. The demonstrators tend to show the ideal way to perform it instead, which is fine by me. The exercises are really nice, using real ballet to work the body. The abdominal section is nice because not only does it work your abs, but it works your legs, too. By concentrating on the legs, I didn't think about the burn in my abs, which makes me last longer and build more heat in my core.

The DVD case comes with a pamphlet. Inside are instructions, ways to use the DVD, best ways to exercise (don't eat, remember to breath, wear lose clothing, etc.), which is rather nice. The pamphlet also includes some nice pictures of the dancers performing. There are interviews and photo albums included on the DVD, but for some reason I wasn't able to access it. I'll have to try it on a different DVD player. I also have problems running this DVD on a computer with both Windows Media Player and Windows Media Player Classic. This must be run on a DVD player. Otherwise, certain items in the menu can't be selected and you won't be able to fast forward and click next. Other problems with the menu include that certain exercises are out of order. "Reverence" is listed before other exercises on the menu list even though the title placard says it should be the final exercise.
The DVD also offers a variety of exercise chapters that you can jump to from the title menu. In total, there are four major sections. In these sections are individual exercises that are about three minutes in length each. In total, there are seventeen exercises you can do. So if you do all exercises, it will be about a fifty-minute workout.

Workout: 8/10
Instructor: 5/10
Setting: 8/10
Camera: 8/10
Level: Beginner-Advanced
Is it actually ballet? Yes
Overall: 7.5/10

Not a bad DVD overall, could use some improvements, especially the narration instructor. It made the exercise confusing at times. The people actually performing the exercise routine are professional dancers and can definitely perform the moves, saving the score from dropping significantly low.

If you are looking to buy the DVDs, it is best to buy them together with workouts one and two. This review was only on the first one, the other will come later, but if you think you'll like it, buying the two together will save you money in the long run. Amazon - New York City Ballet Workouts 1 & 2

Click here to read my review for the New York City Ballet Workout II


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This work out is very important for every one its always make me
    fit that's why i always take interest in this types of activities
    perfect work out ...

    Ballet equipment |
    Ballet Fitness


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