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Today's Salsa CD reviews

The Lebron Brothers – SuperHits

Why do salseros in NY, who continuously re-invent the limits of our favourite dance, stubbornly stick to out-of-date, badly-recorded, old salsa music from the 70s? Why do they ignore everything else? The reason is that within that ancient-sounding collection there are some real gems. I sceptically searched for years, suspecting another Eldorado, before discovering that, unlike everything else which is NY, those gems are very well kept secrets and you need to hang around the locals to be offered the privilege to ‘know’. A secret among the secrets, here are the Lebron Brothers, of whom I have never seen any CD in any CD store outside NY.

First a warning; their CDs sound pretty terrible (at least their classics, since the band survived for more than 30 years in various forms); metallic percussion overpowering, timbales which sounds as if they come for the cheapest charity raffle, squeaking trumpets and rough saxes, a garage-band electric bass, unremarkable lead singing and less than unremarkable choruses, an elementary stereo splitting which distributes instruments either to one speaker or the other in an almost all or nothing fashion, and very basic arrangements (with the only exception of the gorgeous piano parts). So why bother? Two reasons, which lie at the core of the meaning of music and dancing; first because the songs are fantastic, with melodic ideas rarely matched in the salsa literature and secondly because dancing On2 to this music is divine, simply divine; how from such unpleasant-to-the-ear ensemble such a natural, smooth impulse to dance may arise is one of those mysteries which confines music beyond rationality; and, really, I do not care understanding because dancing to it feels so good that I do not bother thinking..

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Today's Salsa DVD reviews

Karla Espinoza - Ladies Styling

Level: Intermediate

Style: LA/Millennium

Content: Styling for solo and partnerwork

General Comment: As you may expect from an AL Liquid Silver production, this is salsa Millennium Style, powerful salsa, salsa to impress. If you like the style, you will find this DVD will teach you a few of the moves, flashy female salsa dancers often perform on the floor. The DVD is mostly aimed at intermediate dancers, since the moves are not too challenging, but in styling the issue is not whether you can do something but how you do it. Kara teaches well, shows the moves from different angles with and without music and has a pleasant down-to-earth approach. Some of the moves are designed for shines or ‘solo’ moments, while others are meant to decorate standard partnerwork, like cross body leads and other turns and are shown with the help of Al. The material presented is not particularly original, rather offers variations on moves currently belonging to the LA/Millennium repertoire; if this is the style you want to learn, Karla is surely one of the dancers to learn it from.

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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