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Today's Salsa CD reviews

AfroCuba - Rey Arco Iris

If you are into latin dancing, it is reasonable that you would expect a band called AfroCuba to play some hard core Cuban music: rumba or even something more afro than that. This CD is nothing of the sort, rather it is a sort of jazz fusion work, in the style which was popularised in the 80s by bands like Yellow Jacket and Step Ahead, with just a little more percussions. You may enjoy listening to it, but if latin dancing if what you are after you will have to make do with “El Papa”, “Mezquindad” and “Despertares” which are a quite free interpretation of a merengue, a salsa and a timba, respectively.

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Today's Salsa DVD reviews

Pupy Insua - Rumba 4 Mambo Dancers Level 2

Level: Beg-Intermediate

Style: Rumba - Mambo

Content: Style - basic elements.

General Comment: To my total amazement, this DVD has a number of rumba steps actually broken down, slowly to their basic elements. I have taken a number of rumba classes in Cuba and at home, attended rumba workshops and watched rumba DVDs, but I have never actually seen an instructor breaking down some steps with the precision and detail that a western mind may require. Pupy does so in this DVD and I am extremely grateful for this.

Pupy shows 5 “steps”, or brief sequences, which incorporate footwork, and overall body work. He breaks them down slowly, shows them from different angles, explains carefully what the hips and the body need to do, describe the arm decorations and pays due attention to the placement of the body weight in each transition. He then explains what each move is meant to mean within a couple dance and consequently what expressivity you may need to employ in its execution. All this is done in a colourful Spanish, but the subtitles are clear and you will be able to follow properly even without understanding Pupy’s words.

Once the steps are explained, Pupy shows them danced to rumba music and then to Mambo music, basically using them as sort of ‘shines’. Cathy and Paul, then, show how to incorporate them within the standard on-line mambo we dance today. Their purpose is to show how these steps fit within the music and how they help to give flavour to an otherwise plain dance.

In other words, this DVD actually delivers what was introduced and promised in Volume 1. Well worth it!!

Reviewed by : Fabio from SalsaIsGood - Recommended

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Salsa articles

On2? Which On2? I am writing this post to all experienced salsa dancers out there, and in particular to all salsa instructors. I have a question which hopefully will spark an e-mail exchange from which I may understand a few things which are unclear to me. In order to put this into context, first a few 'facts'.

Fact 1 . Roughly speaking, most people dance salsa either On1, or On2 Modern Mambo (NY style) or On2 Classic Mambo (Puerto Rican style also similar to Cuban contratiempo). Today Modern Mambo is used more frequently than Classic Mambo at congresses and salsa classes around the world.. more...

The Salsa 10 Commandments: 1)You shall not dance out of time, 2) You shall not refuse a dance to a less advanced dancer , 3) You shall respect other dancers on the dance floor more...

Creativity, Style and Salsa: How can I be creative in my dancing? How does SuperMario come up with his incredible moves? Did Eddie Torres invent NY style? What is style? Who creates a style? What does it mean to be creative anyway?

There are no objective answers to the above questions. They all, one way or the other, depend on subjective views on the artistic expression we call salsa, on what we like, and on what we intend by salsa in the first place. But we can still say reasonable things about the matter and make the creative process clearer and possibly easier. What follows are some thoughts of mine, mostly borrowed from my maths background. I am sure all this must have been said already within the art or humanistic literature, and if you are aware of work in this area please let me know, so that I can learn more.

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