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Today's Salsa CD reviews


Fuentes Salsa Stars - Homenaje a Hector Lavoe
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For the lovers of Colombian music, and in particular that blend of salsa and cumbia which so suitable to beginner salsa students because of its easy to follow and clear beat, here is a peculiar compilation: some of the most famous songs from Hector Lavoe played by some of the stars of Colombian salsa. The cumbia influence in this compilation varies from 'almost pure' in "Cheche Cole" and "El Dia De Suerte", to an almost 50-50 cumbia and salsa in "De Que Tamano" to and underlying feel in "Dejala Que Siga" and "El Todo Poderoso" which also shows clear bugaloo influences. You will also find a bolero "De Ti Depende" and a commercial salsa with a reggaeton intro in "Mosaico". Suitable for new comers to salsa and their instructors.

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Today's Salsa DVD reviews


Irene Miguel - Ladies Styling

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Style: On1

Content: Styling exercises and tips.

This DVD is worth every cent it costs. While many salsa DVDs contain barely one hour of rashly organised material, this one lasts 2 hours and 20 minutes (I have never seen anything like that!) and, despite some repetitions, is packed with material. Most importantly, it shows the result of some serious planning, a well thought out teaching method and for sure, several years of professional dancing from Irene to make all this possible.

As Irene and some of her instructors explain in the opening interview, her method does not offer merely salsa training, but a complete program, from yoga and Pilates exercises, basic solo dance training and elements of body expressivity to the couple dancing. It all sounds quite appealing and if you can not check this out personally in London this DVD tries to deliver what technology allows. It is organised into a set of short clips each containing one exercise first explained and then demonstrated in different levels of development. The explanations do not cover merely the technical content of the exercises but also the expressivity they aim to achieve. The short elements are then combined piece by piece, with music and at different speeds: first the arms, then the shoulder, then the head etc..

The theme of the DVD is music interpretation. In other programs this concept is often intended to busy the left side of the brain: how to listen to the instruments, how to recognise the beat, how to learn to count. In this DVD Irene fires the right side of your brain, trying to catch the expressivity an instrument communicates. Her choice is by far the most daring in salsa - the bass, and she designs the decoration and styling from its round and smooth sound.

This is unlike other ladies’ styling DVDs and I am quite impressed: Irene is surely a proficient dancer with extensive knowledge, she explains well and I will confess, even sparked my curiosity (I am a guy) to try the exercises myself. I look forward to more items from this series.

Reviewed by Fabio - Reccomended

 
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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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