BODYCOMBAT 51 filming
Posted November 3, 2011on:
Well to be honest it only just feels like BODYCOMBAT 50 was filmed – but here we are and BODYCOMBAT 51 is officially in the bag! I *almost* didn’t make this one for a few reasons, but mostly as it was scheduled for 10 o’clock at night on a Monday! (I mean seriously what sort of hour for a group fitness class is that?!) Given I live about 2.5 hours out of Auckland and had to teach a class of my own at 5:30pm it was touch and go as to whether I’d make this one at all. But, sure enough straight after my combat class was over we jumped in the car and made the trip, arrived just in time to see almost all of BODYPUMP 81 (wicked stuff) and do BC51, before making the trip home arriving back about 2am; over 5 hours of driving just to do a single BODYCOMBAT class… things we do for the love of fitness huh?!
Because it’s really hard to get a feel for a release just doing it once I did head up to Auckland on the Saturday beforehand to make the 4:10pm BC51 rehearsal Team Teach that was timetabled. However, disappointingly at the last minute this was cancelled and a normal class was held instead. The cover instructor offered no explanation other than “Dan and Rach couldn’t make it” but I know many were disappointed. I spoke to some instructors that had flown into NZ that very day and rushed to the gym to make that class, some from Singapore and some from the other side of the world! So there were a few long faces that afternoon! So even though I did try my best to view it, Monday night was literally the first and only time I’ve seen BC51.
The actually filming class itself didn’t start till close to 10:30pm, and as a result there was definitely a lot more room to move and kick than a usual filming; I mean let’s face it, only nutters like me (and probably you if you’re reading this!) would be loopy enough to do a fitness class that finishes near midnight on a Monday! Presenters were D&R and Tauvaga Siolo (or “T”).
Before I get onto speaking about the release itself I wanna take a moment to make special mention of Tauvaga. I was SOOO happy to see T on stage – he is an absolute living legend here in NZ and he lit up the stage like a freaken rockstar the moment he took the mic. If you’re reading this from out of NZ and don’t know who T is you’ll DEFINITELY recognise him. He’s already been the face of a tonne of program posters and DVD covers, from Combat to Jam to RPM – so he has been “on” a BODYCOMBAT DVD before (literally on, as in “on the cover” of BC36, BC41 and BC42) – it’s just now he’s finally “in” it! I actually must admit I felt quite emotional when he took the stage, not only because T conducted my BODYCOMBAT AIM (along with Matty Thraxton), and not only because he’s an amazing guy and an amazing instructor, but also because it’s been a LONG time since we’ve had a Kiwi guest present on a BC DVD. Hernan lives in NZ and he’s been a regular BC presenter, but of course Hernan is from Argentina originally. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the last time we had a Kiwi presenter on a BODYCOMBAT DVD was sometime in the 20’s? Close to 30 releases ago! So it was a very proud moment that’s been a long time coming.
I always get asked a lot of questions about what the team were wearing so I’ve pinched this image from Tauvaga’s public facebook profile pic (hope that’s okay T *let me know if it isn’t!*). The team were dressed in black and white shorts with bright orange stripes and a black sleeveless top with ‘Les Mills Body Combat’ written on it; interestingly ‘Body Combat’ was written as two words and lower case which surprised me as LMI normally always ensure it’s written ‘BODYCOMBAT’ for brand continuity – but I digress. Rach’s top was a slightly different style – but no doubt you’ll see all this gear on lesmillsclothing.com soon enough. It looked great I have to say.
Right so enough preamble on to the release itself! As per usual my disclaimer stands; I can’t mention anything specific about the music or choreography. That’s all got to be saved as a surprise for the release quarter. However I can give you my interpretation of the release, its musical feel and of course what I thought. Needless to say anything I write is my personal opinion and yours may completely differ!
Having not seen BC51 before filming day I did put my feelers out to many of the other instructors who were in Auckland to gauge their opinion beforehand. Let’s just say opinions varied – CONSIDERABLY. I spoke to maybe 5 or 6 people who had seen it and there was a massive contrast in their feedback. Some LOVED it, and said it was amazing. Others, really disliked it and thought it fell flat. Not often a release gets such contrasting reactions and definitely didn’t give me much to go on in terms of what to expect!
Musically BODYCOMBAT 51 can probably be described as 3 styles; top 40, rock and dance/trance. There’s a lot of rock in there. In fact, tracks 2, 4 and 7 are really rocky! Track by track what can I tell you: Both the upper and lower body warmup were top 40, uplifting music and a great start to the workout. Track 2 musically you can probably draw comparisons to track 2 from BC47. I’ll be honest musically this track was not my cup of tea at all – but T presented it so well the crowd was cheering and kiaiing the whole time it absolutely went off! I smiled the whole time, as did everyone else! T also presented Track 3 and did an amazing job, musically what you’d expect, uplifting and fun – if anything it felt too short!
Track 4 is where the actual workout intensity started to pick up. This track is also VERY rocky, again not my cup of tea, but man did it hurt! We had the esquiva in BC37 and 38 when it was first introduced to combat – but since then I believe it’s not been in 2 consecutive releases in a row. Let’s just say that’s no longer the case and expect a lot of pain in both 50 and 51! This track is a killer, lots of leg loads and kicks, just think “youch”.
Track 5 is interesting to say the least! As you may know I have been really impressed with the track 5s of late, they are all brilliant in 48, 49 and 50. Track 5 in 51 is definitely the “fun” track. You all will know the song and you all will know the words! It’s a silly track that will definitely bring a smile to your faces (even crazier than Barbra Streisand can you believe!) Workout wise it’s not quite as much of a peak as the 3 previous track 5s but it’s still a fun track.
Track 6 is probably the favourite track of the release for me along with 8. Again, very poppy top 40 and a great workout. You will be able to have a lot of fun with it!
To my mind muay thai is normally the ‘peak’ of the class but I wasn’t a fan of this one. I’ll be honest, I really miss the hard-trance muay thai tracks like Hardcore Angel, Raver’s Paradise, Party Non-Stop, Excalibur 2000 etc. With the exception of Braveheart the last 6 or so muay thai tracks have been rock and they don’t ‘go off’ in my opinion. Chorey wise this muay thai is an absolute A++ but musically it is the worst track of the release for me.
And track 8 – well, it’s another freaken marathon (yay!). Track 8 in BC50 and 51 are massively long tracks (think I Surrender or You’re Shining) which I just LOVE. Massive end to the class – awesome work D&R.
So overall you can see BC51 for me has big highlights, and some not so highlights. A big mix of musical genres which I guess is why I’ve been getting such mixed feedback from everyone with some loving it and some feeling it didn’t peak. If you love hard rock, you’ll probably love this release. If you don’t so much, you’ll probably be a bit like me and on the fence on this one.
So in summary, both 50 and 51 weren’t instant ‘OMFG this is amazing!’ releases for me – whereas 48 and 49 definitely both were. But I know many did love it so you might too (and of course some releases take time to grow on you!). In the meantime, BC50 is about to hit the globe any week now so look forward to hearing your thoughts on that. And if you were at BC51 please let me know what you thought!