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Today's Salsa CD reviews


Adolescent's Orchestra - Ahora mas que nunca
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Sometimes latin music slips out of its own enclave and reaches pop-ularity outside latin aficionados. It happened with Gloria Estefan, with Ricky Martin and many others. Latin music aficiondos normally are not impressed, but among the fans of the latest latin pop star some may discover that latin music has better to offer and get hooked. Similarly, within the latin pop world some trendy bands may find inspiration in salsa and help pop-ularising it to groups of new potential listeners. Adolescent's Orchestra is one such band. I suppose not even the hard core salsero would deny that this band actually plays salsa, despite such salsa wears an heavy make up, made of fashionable electronic sound, cheeky lyrics, catchy melodies and pop-ish arrangements. It’s a commercial enterprise, from the choice of the band’s name and its components, to the overall sound, to the production and marketing and it is probably unreasonable to expect artistic peaks to be reached this way. Still if success this band was designed to achieve, success it achieved and it is likely you have heard and possibly danced to some on their tunes in the less hard-core salsa clubs.

It is not my style and I would not choose this music for my next salsa party, but it has attracted a few novices to dance salsa. It is catchy; it reminds of romantic salsa in the melodies and lyrics, but the music is quite powerful and very fast, fast enough to forgive inaccuracies if your timing is not exact, which is also a reason why it is normally appreciated by beginner dancers, new to salsa.

The pace in this CD is slower than what this band has accustomed us to: "Virgen", "Dos inocentes" and "Con migo o col el" are medium tempo salsa. I like best "Envidioso" a pop cha cha cha with a bite. In the CD you will also find a commercial Bachata "Ancianos" and "Mi gusta" a merengue strongly influenced by Elvis Crespo.

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Today's Salsa DVD reviews


Carlos el Unico Bachatero - Bachata Building Blocks vol 1

Level: Beginners

General Comment: As the name suggests this DVD is meant to take you from zero knowledge of the dance to dancing a reasonable social Bachata. It does so by introducing the basic steps, the basic turns for man and lady, the basic concepts of leading and following and some simple elements of styling. Once this is done, these elements are mixed and combined into 7 turn patterns which will help you to practise and get going in your social dance. Once you think the DVD is close to the end, you will find a few more sections with further instruction on how to time your lead and following, and a few more hints on styling. Here Carlos’ very sensible approach to the dance comes out quite clearly: don’t overdo it, don’t exaggerate the hip movement, simply be natural and in tune with your partner. I like Carlos’ style, the DVD and the teaching; although the editing and organisation of the DVD could have received a bit more attention. I think it is a nice introduction to the dance.

Reviewed by Fabio of 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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