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Today's Salsa CD reviews


La Rumba Soy Yo. Con Sentimiento Mañana Vol.II - Various Artists
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Following the success of Volume 1, here is La Rumba Soy Yo Volume 2, for the ones who want to discover the world of rumba and may benefit from compilations to become familiar with old and current masters. For salsa dancers rumba is a synonym of tradition, the root of afro-cuban music, the ancestor from which salsa one finally arose. This is true, but sticking too closely to this view may induce us to forget the very reason why salsa one day arose from rumba: that is the unconstrained ability of Cuban musicians to absorb musical influence from abroad and mould them into their own tradition. Indeed, in this CD rumba is a point of reference as much as a platform from which to take over and discover further. You will recognise this from the marked influences of rock guitars (Hablamé De La Rumba), pure jazz (Homenaje A Mongo Santamaría), American spiritual music (Hush), classical music (Rumba Pa' Ofrendarle), a Cappella (La Rumba Del Scat), down to contemporary techno lounge (No Más).

Open mind musicians will enjoy every drop of this work, in which the only constant is the top quality of the arrangements, musicians and some astounding singers. Dancers may feel different, especially if they are after traditional rumba to perform or practise to, for which only “Yo Vine Pa' Ve'”, “Grammy Pa' La Rumba” and “Mi Coro Armonioso” are clearly suitable. Still, a CD to listen over and over in order to discover all its facets.

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Today's Salsa DVD reviews


Nuno and Vanda - Partner work

Level: Advanced

Style: LA

Content: Turn patterns.

General Comment: This DVD contains 6 turn patterns in pure LA style, that is On1 and with sharp, energetic and emphatic body language. The turn patterns are fairly long, so don’t be turned off by the fact that there are only 6 of them; if you do like the style, there is enough material to make this DVD a worthwhile addition to your collection. This is a simple production, but well done, and it contains all you need to learn the material presented. Each turn pattern is first described by the leader, then by the follower; this is followed by a version with voice counter and then repeated again twice at slow pace with music, from two different angles. There is only one camera view, but the explanations are clear, the dancers are technically good and the demonstration precise; in other words, no excuse for not learning what is presented.

The turn patterns are of advanced level, containing mostly standard moves organised in an original way, but, here and there, you will also find some novel ideas, the most interesting of which are based on clever copas. The demonstrations are what I would call ‘performance style’, seasoned by body waves and sharp poses; it thus comes as some surprise that in the final clip all the turn patterns are executed in a free style routine, danced to a fairly slow pace son, in which the dancers look far more natural and everything comes to life. Pity that the order of the turn patterns is not followed and several extra decorations are added here and there; the lack of visual aid will make it not obvious to distinguish which turn pattern is which.

The instructional part is not very long, some 40ish minutes, and the DVD is supplemented with a series of performances, displaying the dancers in their full versatility, from salsa to tango, swing, hip hop, contemporary Brazilian and cha cha cha; good dancers.. whether you like the style or not

Reviewed by Fabio from SalsaIsGood - Good

 
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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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