Sunday, January 1, 2012
DVD Review: **** Beran, Anja ~ Elegant Dressage Training vol 1
Elegant Dressage vol 1****
What a wonderfully beautiful dvd. Elegant doesn't begin to describe the beauty in this film. Several horses of varying breeds and stages of training are used to demonstrate correct classical dressage. Anja is a long time student of Manuel Jorge de Oliveira, a pupil of the well-known Nuno Oliveira. So this is along the lines of French Classical dressage of course. It covers important topics such as how to develop the body in all stages, and I find it refreshing to hear them talk about the 'movements' as body building, conditioning, strengthening and correcting as opposed to them being the outcome that we struggle a lifetime to perfect for technicalities sake. For instance, they use the Piaffe as an exercise to build strength and coordination in younger, greener, or spoiled horses....not the highest form of exhibition at a show. The ideas, concepts and philosophy are clearly seen as art early on. In that the horse is a blank canvas, and from the moment you take brush to oil and apply your first stroke of genius, your masterpiece has begun. Granted it will be a very long time before you have a completed picture, but they see the brilliance in each stroke, the brightness of each color applied has meaning from the beginning. It is not like in modern competitive dressage where the strokes you apply need to make small perfect pictures and then the many small pictures are pieced together to make up the big picture, and once you have completed that, only then are you considered an artist worthy of painting. Such as this picture of the palomino.
First each tiny picture must be painted separately, and you cannot make the big picture until you are done with them.
But in the French Fashion you are creating and working on your big picture from stroke one, and it is clear what your intent is within a few strokes, and everyone can see that BIG picture you are creating.
I have to say, if you would like to see what dressage should look like, and how you might go about looking like that too.....this is a great dvd. It covers so many topics it is quite thorough both for ground work, in hand work and under saddle work. I will say that again, it is lacking in the "HOW" so much as in weight, seat, leg and rein aids. I would again refer you to Phillip Karl, Craig Stevens dvds for more info on the 'how'.
Click here for more info on Anja Beran.