Saturday, October 07, 2006


I bought this 2CD/DVD set for my husband for Valentine's Day 2005 thinking it would be so great (such a deal). It was $10 at Target and so I thought I got off cheap...

Bear in mind that we're both accomplished dancers and musicians and I have a background in video production and choreography. What does that mean to you, gentle reader? Well, it means that we know what's what. That's what. In other words, we know the difference between good and bad with relationship to ballroom dancing, ballroom music, choreoraphy and video production. So why am I telling you this?

Here's why. Hands down this is the most horrific train wreck of a video I've EVER seen. and I've seen some doozies.The art direction, costuming, set direction, choreography that doesn't match the music, direction, writing and editing are WORSE than Ed Wood. And if you don't know who that is, I suggest you google it! There you go! I've already given you a link to it.

Further more, there were serious errors in the subtitles... For instance:

  • Eddie Simon was labeled Eddie SimonS
  • Frenesi was listed as Frensi
  • Mas Que Nada was listed as Mais Que Nada
  • Just A Gigolo was labeled Zoot Suit Riot
Just to name a few. Combine that with the dancers heads and arms and feet being cut off, pillars and plants obscuring the view and it's a recipe for disaster. Never mind the eye blistering lighting and set design that looked like a bad 1980s nightmare (think Flashdance and the exotic dance scene with the water bucket)...

I'm sure that the producer/writer/director didn't MEAN for this to be viewed as a comedy, but is was THAT bad. Jump cuts that came out of nowhere, effects that came out of nowhere, sets that left you going "Huh? What's that supposed to be?"... The whole thing was a MESS. Which leads me to believe that the "producer/writer/director" must have gotten his degree in video out of a Cracker Jack box.

The video is SO bad that I feel that we should have been PAID $10 to watch this thing rather than pay $10 to buy it. When I was a kid, I made better home movies using ye olde VHS camera (the kind that was huge and had to be plugged into a VCR to work).

Moving on the the CDs... There's two of 'em. They aren't exactly suck-worthy, but they are close. Now I can't fault the 101 Strings Orchestra too much... They are actually quite good. Sure the music is kind of old school compared to most modern ballroom music but even so I can enjoy it. What drives me abso-frakking-lutely nuts is the Tango CD (Disc 2). There's more than one track (but Jalousie/Jealousy is the worst for this) where the rhythm track/percussion is SEVERLY off time with the REST of the orchestra.

It was so noticeable that it made me start to twitch. And that doesn't happen easily. Now if this weren't being marketed as DANCING music, it might not be such a problem, but how on EARTH is one to dance to music that is intrinsically off time/beat? Answer... Are you ready?


So we don't listen to the CDs anymore. Fine, so a DVD of Ballroom Dancing with World Champs is a GOOD thing to find for $10. But even that is a major let down because of the ROTTEN, despicable, abhorrent, ridiculously bad production value.

And before you ask me if I'm so opinionated could I do better... I can and I HAVE.

So do yourselves all a favor and run FAR away from this thing. I'd hate for anyone to see it and think that is what ballroom dancing/culture is like.

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