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Picks and Pans Review: Jean Mayer—the Spirit of Skiing

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There’s nothing quite like the feeling of schussing down a mountain on a bright sunny morning after a fresh snowfall. This tape tries to capture that sensation. It’s sometimes like those relaxation videos, with a good portion of its 50 minutes devoted to slow-motion shots of experts skiing while peaceful music plays on the sound track. And host Jean Mayer, a Frenchman who has taught skiing at Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico since 1957, offers a philosophical approach to skiing: “It’s not a conquest…. It’s more being able to blend all your strengths, all your energies to do more or better with [the mountain] to create your own dance, your own song.” Mayer does talk technique, but mostly in generalities that apply to all levels, so his tape doesn’t fit any particular category of skier. Mayer does, however, nicely capture I’esprit du ski. (Mixtech, $39.95; 800-541-8293)