Greetings. From the title of this review, you probably think I didn't really care for this workout, which isn't entirely true. Despite its relatively quick pace, it's a great introduction to ballet. The exercises will make you stronger and more graceful. However, I have two major issues with this DVD that force me to give it a three-star rating.
1) There are 17 sections of this DVD, each separated by a 15- to 30-second pause. I don't know why there isn't an option for the workout to run continuously because this pause is a real downer. Imagine this scene: you're doing grand battements. . .un, deux, trois, quatre. . .you're really starting to feel the burn. . .un, deux, trois, quatre. . .all of a sudden, the section is over and you're left staring at the practically blank screen while the next section is introduced. Fifteen seconds later, the workout begins again, but not after you've lost a lot of the energy you just acquired. Too bad.
2) This one is really unforgivable. Anyone who's ever taught a exercise class knows he or she must mirror the students not only in action but also in words. For instance, if you're facing the class and you ask them to do a tendu on the right, you must do it on the left BUT still say you're doing it on the right. The instructor on this DVD, Peter Martins, does not do this, which leads to a lot of confusion. You always have to remember to ignore what he's saying in order to perform the techniques correctly. This is a real disappointment because it's really a beginning instructor's mistake. I learned to stop doing this when I was 15 - a 40-something ballet master-in-chief should be skilled enough to have done this correctly.
Luckily, both of these problems are corrected in the second DVD, which also offers a challenging sequence from Balanchine's Tarantella. Skip this one and move on to that one. Trust me.