Review of ‘Breathtaking Veil’ DVD

By Ruby Wallace

Greetings Myra,

I have viewed your “Breathtaking Veil” video. As a video student, I have had the opportunity to view probably more than three hundred instructional videos, and I would like to share what I saw in yours with you.

Yours is the first that I have seen to discuss what fabric and yardage the veil is, and how the choice of fabric affects how the dancer will partner with the veil, choices of what will work and what will not, and what presentation is best suited to this particular three and a half yard silk veil, which places “veilwork” in a context of dancing with a veil, of movement, music, and transitions. Or should I have just said, “you had me at ‘hello’?”

Gregory’s continued presence, he is never off camera nor completely out of sight, allows hearing and seeing the structure of the music as well as seeing and hearing the structure of the dancer’s movements and interaction with the veil. Your counting with the drumming and the movement gave me such a blessed set of bearings. I have learned that I can count to eight, but that alone does not open me to dancing.

You teach back to camera, facing a mirror, which puts me at ease to follow along, rather than trying to reverse everything in my head before even connecting with my body. This is especially appreciated when learning to dance with a veil. You teach a sequence of veil art, not quite a choreography, as you put it, but not the “laundry list” approach either. You give options/variations of how to accomplish a movement, which is always encouraging, and you state when you have chosen to modify a movement for the purpose of this instruction session. The latter really has a grounding effect of “this is what I have chosen to teach you, and I respect that by focusing and modifying where needed to do so.”

Your demonstrating the movements without the veil opened my eyes. I wondered why it was that you out of all instructors of veil that I have seen did not seem rushed at all with your veil. I realized that unless I am shown otherwise, I focus on the outer edge of the veil, which whooshes along. Your demonstration allowed me to see the dancer at the center of the veil, where the dance partners meet. How else to express the poignance of this but “Veil Valhalla!”

You have put forth the first veil instructional video of this caliber that I am aware of.

Thank you so much,

Ruby Wallace-Ruby Morales