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New York City Ballet Workout | DVD | (03/01/2005)
from £13.92 | Saving you £4.07 (22.60%) | RRP
The New York City Ballet Workout routine was developed by Peter Martins and the New York City Ballet along with the New York Sports Club. If you envy the ballet dancer's long, lean body and graceful, elegant movements, then this beautifully produced video is for you. First watch the rippling muscles of four gorgeous ballet dancers (two bare-midriffed women and two bare-chested men) performing the warm-up moves to classical ballet music, while Martins narrates: no ballet technique is taught, so it's look-and-follow if you have no previous ballet training. Then get down on a mat for slow lower-body stretches. A difficult abdominal series is next, followed by "floor barre" exercises to tone the thighs and buttocks while still using the abdominals, then moves to strengthen the back and upper body. Next is a series of standing exercise segments using various ballet movements to strengthen the legs and postural/balance muscles. The workout is divided into 17 short sections, which may give it a disjointed feeling if you're used to more continuity. At the end is a bonus sequence with profiles of the four performers, all dancers with the New York City Ballet. We get to watch them performing, practicing, and eating. One dancer makes the point that ballet is very athletic, but because it's supposed to look ethereal, the hard work stays hidden from the audience. If you love ballet (even just watching it), you'll enjoy this workout. (By the way, Sarah Jessica Parker introduces the video, but does not have any other role in it.) --Joan Price, Amazon.com
New York City Ballet Workout 2 | DVD | (03/01/2005)
from £11.48 | Saving you £6.51 (36.20%) | RRP
New York City Ballet 2, like its bestselling predecessor, is still designed to sculpt and tone your body; but this second edition has also learned the lessons of the original routine, which was difficult to use for those without formal ballet training. This second workout attempts to be accessible to all, providing a glossary explaining ballet terminology and introducing such steps as Plies and Tendus. Be warned though, this will still take practise if you are new to ballet. The routine itself is also less demanding than the first, but includes one of the best abs workouts to be found on an exercise programme. While the steps do not offer a cardio workout, they are enjoyable once mastered and will make you feel more graceful. Combining ballet and yoga is all the rage at gyms, so a good tip is to tie this in with your favourite yoga programme for that ideal posture and definition. All in all this is a great improvement on the first edition and certainly more enjoyable than watching a Big Brother celebrity's dance routine. On the DVD: New York City Ballet 2 offers pristine images and a 5.1 Dolby sound. This works wonderfully on the choice of classical and contemporary tracks. There is also the option to develop your own routine, which is useful if you are never sure how much time you have spare to exercise. The DVD also offers a movement combination which slowly takes you through the steps to learn a dance sequence. --Nikki Disney