BODYCOMBAT 58 review #2
Posted July 18, 2013on:
Here you go guys, how great is this: BODYCOMBAT 58 review number two!
Another glowing report! Here’s the amazing thing about this. Both Raina and Zhengjie keep it real. Sometimes when people attend filmings they get so swept up in the experience that they walk away from every single class going “OMFG THAT WAS AMAZINGLY-CRAY-CRAY-TOTES-UBER-EPIC!!!” – even if the release perhaps wasn’t actually that great, just because the whole thing can be so surreal. Both Zhengjie and Raina have been to sooo many filmings that they know what to expect and they’re used to the process. As such to get two stand out reviews from two hardened veterans can mean only one thing – BODYCOMBAT 58 is obviously something pretty special. (another 53 perhaps?!)
There’s one other consistent fact in both these reviews: Dave Cross. The guy clearly stole the show! I tell ya what they breed a pretty amazing calibre of instructor in the UK! Every time a member of the UK trainer team is sent over they shine like a freaken rockstar! (Dave Cross, Dave Kyle, Shaun Egan, KC Van-Roose, Tanya Walker… I could go on and on!)
Anyway – thanks so much to both my guest bloggers you guys went above and beyond the call of duty. And I’m happy to announce I even get to write the review on BODYCOMBAT 59 myself as I’ll be in Sweden for Super Saturday in September! Woo hoo! But first thing’s first: Take it away Rai-Rai!
BODYCOMBAT 58 FILMING
I’ll be honest, I tend to avoid filmings these days – the only reason why I attend is to support friends who are presenting, and in this instance, I attended BODYCOMBAT 58 due to my AIM2 trainer/friend Carrie Kepple being onstage as one of the EPIC team. I just wish she had a mic! Before I get going into the review of the release, Carrie, I just want to say that you are AMAZING and I loved seeing you up there – I know it meant a lot to you, and I am sure it will not be the last time we get to see you.
The presenting team, which you will see, is the largest presenting team in the history of BODYCOMBAT, and I’d hazard to say, across any program, ever. I believe the last one that would have gotten close would have been BODYJAM 45 with a 10 person team (if I am wrong here, please let me know!). I was concerned that it would be to clutteriffic on the stage, but I will say right here and now that very rarely are all 14 members of the team onstage at any one time. If any of you have seen BODYATTACK 80, you will see that the presenters rotate on and off the stage. In some of the rehearsals there *were* tracks where they had the whole team on the stage – it looked super cool in the room, but I was a bit like o_0 over trying to picture what it would be like trying to watch it on a DVD (or, as I learn my choreography… on an iPhone. That is a small screen!)
Before I get into talking about the release itself, firstly, let me go over the filming experience. I’ve been to a few, being an Auckland resident, but recently there seems to have been changes. Firstly, when I stumbled up to the gym at 6:45am, I was staggered by the line of people that was trailing out of Studio 1. It looped down past Studio 1, Studio 2, past the changing rooms, over the bridge that connects the two buildings at LM Auckland, and down into the main gym area.
Regular members of the gym were walking past the queue, completely bewildered as to what these idiots were lining up for, haha! I was right at the back, with a few concerned people who were very worried that there wouldn’t be any space, but there was *more* than enough space for everyone, so there was no reason to worry.
One thing I will say, and this was covered in Zhengjie’s review as well, there was a bit of confusion about positions in the front. Pete Manuel said over the mic several times that members of the LMI production crew *would* be moving people around and to expect to be moved if you were in the front few rows, but at that time of the morning it might have come out sounding a bit like wahp wahp wahp wahp, never mind language barriers and all of that.
That being said… once everyone had been arranged… it was one of the least stressful BODYCOMBAT filmings I’ve ever been to! Normally I will get irritated at a filming due to all of the pushing and shoving (BODYCOMBAT and BODYATTACK are chronic for this sort of thing as your position is not fixed on the floor), though this time, everyone had their space, everyone respected their space, and for the most part of it, everyone had room to execute the moves safely. I say ‘for the most part’ as I was lucky enough to have a guy in front of me that would jump backwards every time we were supposed to move forwards. Bless his heart.
TRACK 1A – Oh how I love thee! This track embodies in my opinion, the perfect upper body warmup. Modern, upbeat, fun, and with ample space in the music to cue and introduce each of the moves correctly. I don’t believe in complex combinations in the warm up, I believe the warm up should 1) warm you up, obviously, 2) teach you the moves and 3) elevate the mood. This track ticks all three of those. Also! There is a little dubstep interlude. *squee* I hear you now, “ What???? Dubstep you say?! I hate it immediately.” Seriously, the little bit they have in there is a WICKED contrast, and I feel that using dubstep *this* way is a great way to get people used to the sound.
TRACK 1B – Also, how I love thee! This track flows on perfectly from 1A, my only criticism is that it brings back the shoot. Using the shoot isn’t a problem, but I personally believe if you’re going to introduce a move in the warmup, it should then be present somewhere else in the release. The shoot wasn’t present elsewhere, so in my opinion, it’s introduced for nothing. But, the tune is awesome, sooooo… whatever! 😀
TRACK 2 – David from France presented this track, and let me just say this… I observed him in team teaches during the week and he struggled with the odd timing of the first combo. Due to no doubt a lot of hard work and practice, he NAILED the timing at the filming. The timing is odd though, and it takes a while to get used to. I LOVE the tune – though I am biased, if EDM were a human being, I’d marry it. It’s aggressive, dark, full of contrast, has lots of anticipation and build up, and very modern sounding. It’s not as aggressive on the musical palate as First Of The Year, so if you are worried about members not being used to the sound, this one is easier to digest, and they’ll probably be too distracted over how much their quads are hurting anyway!
TRACK 3 – Zhengjie mentioned in his review that his pet peeve is when songs are recycled. I’m not a fan either *when* the sound is similar. For me, the tune that is used here, while recycled, is AWESOME, and is different enough sounding that you can continue to use the original track as well. Think of the difference between No Good (38) and Don’ t Need (49). Same melody, but different sound, and different training. I really like this one, it does the job, gets the heartrate up, is fun.
TRACK 4 – Time to do ALL the capoeira.
The first time I saw this track, I was like “OMG I’m in love.” The second time I saw it, I went “… the music changed?!” I talked to Carrie after a team teach and she said that they weren’t able to acquire the worldwide rights to it, so had to do a last minute switch to another song, with the same choreography. The timing was slightly different even though the chorey between both tracks was the same. Giovanni did a really good job of adjusting to the new rhythm in the short space of time, so well done. This track is going to KILL your legs!
TRACK 5 – My favourite of the release. It’s a recycled track, but the sound is so different between this and the release it was originally used in that you could continue to keep both in your library, and in your mixes. Daniel from the Netherlands presented this, and while he did a good job at filming, I actually want to draw attention to a moment in one of the team teaches that I was inspired by. The first team teach I attended, the microphone was absolutely murdered. What do I do when I don’t have a mic? Screech as loud as I can. But I don’t need to teach in Studio 1 to 100+ people. The way that he managed to precue every combo, every move using non-verbals, man! Totally inspiring. I know there was a BODYATTACK ed session a while back where Nathan Jones(?) demonstrated how to teach a track non verbally, I think having one for BODYCOMBAT would be a great idea. I have no doubt it would show most of the techniques that Daniel used that day.
TRACK 6 – The first time I saw track 5, I was like “YAY we don’t have a lame, cheesy track 5! It’s all going to be good stuff from here.” Then track 6 began and I went “… what the hell is this???” I’m not a fan of the song, but I understand why it’s in there, and I tell you what, over the course of the week, it grew on me BIG time. By filming, I liked it. This track is completely different from everything else in the release – every other track has a dark edge, a thumping beat, and a throbbing bassline. Even the upbeat upper body warmup has that dubstep interlude which adds darkness to it. This one is all rock, and all fun. Plus, you get the bonus of UK presenter Dave Cross. This guy is pure class and I hope that he comes back and presents again. WOW. He basically presents an AIM2 masterclass in a matter of minutes. Every time he taught, I was blown away.
TRACK 7 – This one does the job. It gets your heart rate up, knees and knees and knees and knees… it doesn’t do any favours for getting away from the stereotype of T7’s being “the track with the knees”. Rach coaches like an absolute machine in this track, so as I was paying attention to her the whole time, I honestly couldn’t tell you about the music if I tried! (sorry guys!)
TRACK 8 – Dan says off the bat that this track is 1 minute 30 seconds (at least) shorter than the norm. I think this is FANTASTIC. One thing that we’ve seen is a trend towards longer tracks, which makes building mixes to time all the more challenging. It’s also harder if say, there is an equipment based program before yours on the timetable and you need to gain back some minutes to ensure the remaining classes don’t run too late. The shorter track doesn’t mean that you get any less of a workout though, as it’s basically 15 seconds… and BOOM! You’re in the thick of it! Love love love it. It’s a great singalong tune, and I think Dan belts out a good verse or so partway through his presentation of it – and he’s in tune! Go on Dan, I’m sure they’re still taking auditions for NZ’s Got Talent? You could call yourself The Singing Boxer. 😀
TRACK 9 – Nothing complicated or unachievable here, good tune, and a strong focus on the core. Dan’s doing awesome work in CXWORX, and I think that shows here too. I know that when I participate, the last thing I want to do after blasting my shoulders in T8 is more shoulder/chest work via push-ups/planks/etc. I tend to just sit there and look grumpy instead. This has been recognised, and there is a moment given for your shoulders to recover while the muscle focus is shifted elsewhere for a bit. Massive thumbs up from me.
TRACK 10 – This cooldown is seriously amazing. I don’t think there was a cooldown that was as ‘meant for’ BODYCOMBAT as this one. Cooldowns don’t need to be soft rock – they don’t need to be Bruno Mars, or Bon Jovi, or whatever. The tune maintains that dark edge that is present throughout the release (sans T6), and the moves meld so perfectly with the melody that it takes your breath away.
Overall, a very good release. I actually stopped participating in BODYCOMBAT for a good period of time due to favourite instructors of mine moving to different countries, and had no real interest in doing it again. This release makes me want to start doing it again. Dan and Rach, you’ve done a really good job with this release, I’m really looking forward to when the rest of the world gets to see it.