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Today's Salsa CD reviews


Tiempo Libre - Lo Que Esperabas
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Text book Timba from Cuban emigrants in Miami; if you are after a powerful and vibrant CD, with a contemporary sound and the bursting energy typical of Timba, you won’t get disappointed. As a bonus, you will find a sound production of top quality, something which usually, in Timba, you find only with the very top bands: great musicians, and (not to be taken for granted in Cuban music) great brass section. So far so good.

If you want to be critical, you may notice that there is not much originality in this CD. Despite all track, except for one, are original, the music ideas, the arrangements and even the lyrics (not to mention the idea of the short instrumental Opening) are very much already part of the common Cuban repertoire.. the bottom line is that I believe this is an enjoyable CD, but not something you will remember in a few years time.. the band is surely able to deliver more and hopefully the next products will be a little less commercial.. the potential is surely there.

“Lo Que Esperabas”, “La Llave”, “Esto Esta Listo” and “Ella Tiene” are the most danceable tracks in the CD and by far my favourite. Also danceable are “A Bayamo En Coche” a cover from classic from Adalberto Alvarez and “Arrebatao”, a sort of poppish cha cha cha. “Manos Pa'rriba” and “Ven A Bailar” are a bit too pop/funk for my tastes but can be enjoyed if you are not too fussy about salsa rhythms while “Tengo Que Olvidarte” is a slow ballad, possibly the least fortunate of the tracks.25/1/08

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Today's Salsa DVD reviews


SalsaCrazy - Learn to dance Bachata, Advanced Volume 3

Level: Advanced

Style: Bachata

Content: Turn Patterns

General Comment: If you have travelled to the Caribbean and seen Bachata danced in the local clubs, you will come back to the ‘western’ Latin clubs and ask yourself the obvious question: “is this really Bachata?”. The answer is blowing in the wind and I will leave it to you to catch it, after all we have all seen this already with Merengue, Lambada, Tango and, why not?, even with Salsa.

Coming to the technical aside of things, the DVD contains 7 turn patterns, which mix elements taken from Salsa, Zouk or Lambada and merge them with Bachata basic steps. This is very much what you may expect Bachata to look like and probably the way it is danced in your salsa club; so, if you like the style, it will widen your repertoire. The instructors are technically proficient (the guy also has a natural swing which is surely pleasing to see) and the teaching is good. I also liked the hints on how to relate to your partner (though the connection between the partners in the DVD is not obvious) and how to behave on the social dance floor which are interspersed in the DVD; they communicate a wisdom and relaxed approach to dancing which is very welcome, although somehow at odds with a slightly over-the-top attitude in the dancing itself, given that a few moves may require some flexibility and others seem unnaturally (and gratuitously) sensual.

The DVD is suitable for advanced dancers and well produced as are all DVDs from SalsaCrazy (and the menu graphics impressive!).

Reviewed by Fabio - Ok

 
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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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