Today's Salsa CD reviews
Henry Fiol – Fe Esperanza Y Caridad :
This music is Son, you will hear it from the band formation, from the sound, based mostly on guitar and tres, from the relaxed melodies and the paced tempo. Still, if you are used to Cuban Son, it will sound different, partly because of the songs which have a ballad feel but mostly because of Henry Fiol’s peculiar voice and unmistakable singing style: his voice is gentle, almost frail, more melodic than rhythmic, possibly more prone to tell stories than to kick you out of a chair and make you dance.
The first few times you listen to his CDs you will most likely find a sense of homogeneous continuity in the music. It is the result of using the same arrangements, similar tempo and very similar harmonies based on simple 2 or 4 chords passages, on which Henry Fiol’s melodies tell often interesting or funny stories. This is a fancy way to say that all songs sound very much alike if you miss the lyrics.
All this does not suggest much appeal for a dancer and I have to admit this music is not my cup of tea. Nevertheless, one or two of his CDs may come handy to beginners or intermediate dancers. First the rhythm is very clear, conga and clave are unmistakable and overall this music comes as close to salsa 101 as you can possibly hope. Secondly, the regular and un-intrusive pace makes it ideal for practise and I still use it occasionally myself if I need to practise some passages which require attention and I do not want to be carried away my the music. For the very same reasons this music may come handy to salsa instructors both for group and private classes.
“Ven y baila mi Son”, “La juma de ayer”, “El Guateque de Ciprian” and “Caridad” are my favourite tracks in this CD. “Oriente” is a son Montuno which you could use to practise your Cha Ch Cha, and “El Guateque de Ciprian” is probably the son most suited for beginner dancers. 18/5/08
|Read more Salsa and Mambo CD reviews...
Today's Salsa DVD reviews
SalsaCrazy - Learn to Salsa Intermediate Volume 2
and following exercises & connection instructions; warm-up patterns
that emphasize technique; the Pretzel; flourishes and additions to your
basic and cross body lead; wrap check, hammerlock roll-in, the copa, touch
and go copa with shoulder check, hand over variations, hip catch, walk
around circle; basic dips; back spot turns and multiple rotations; more
follower's technique, proper spotting techniques for turns, Neck wraps
Another excellent DVD from SalsaCrazy. You can tell from Evan's instruction
that he is a very experienced salsa instructor who knows exactly how to
get the message across to his students and exactly which parts they may
struggle with. This is an instuctor who genuinely wants to see you learn
and who provides you with all the elements that you will want/need to
learn as an intermediate dancer. There is a very detailed breakdown of
all the moves repeated from 2 angles and then shown again with music.
As with all the DVDs in the SalsaCrazy series this is very good value
at 90 minutes long and is packed with material. Evan dances in a very
smooth and elegant manner without being showy- It would be great to see
some clips of him dancing a full song!
Reviewed by Ally of SalsaIsGood - Recommended
General Comment: Like the
Intermediate Volume 1, this DVD is worth every dollar and everything I
wrote about Vol 1 applies to Vol 2 too. Good explanations, very easy to
follow, attention to detail, and lots and lots of material; the instructors
clearly know a lot, have plenty to give and dont spare themselves.
The attitude the instructors communicate is also healthy and refreshing,
no showing off, no fancy stuff, just solid, basic moves which you will
be able to combine at your will. I cant imagine anything but good
social dancers coming out of the method proposed in this DVD, provided
you are willing to give your own dedication and practice. I really need
to think hard to find a drawback; at times it is may be hard to follow
where you are in the DVD plan, but this is probably simply the result
of so much material. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Fabio of SalsaIsGood - Recommended
|Read more Salsa and Mambo DVD reviews...
|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.
|Read more articles...