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Today's Salsa CD reviews


Gorbea Wayne & Salsa Picante - Saboreando Salsa Dura En El Bronx
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For a while Gorbea Wayne has been one of the leading figures of contemporary salsa music in NY, producing and spreading around the world what is called 'Salsa Dura'. As the word may suggest, this salsa sounds raw, unpolished and the recording itself gives the feeling that you are listening to a small band playing live in your room or in your club; quite a lot of people like this sound, quite naturally the dancers who like to dance to live music. For what regards myself, I am not particularly moved by it so I rarely use it for my practises, but if you have been dancing for a while it is likely you have heard some of these tracks already, so my judgement should not be taken as mainstream. My favourite one is "Nelida" with a slight son feeling, followed by "El Yo-Yo" and the Son Montuno "Son Picante" which you can dance as Cha Cha Cha. All other tracks are salsas, which the exception of "Guajira Inspiracion", another Son Montuno, and "No Me Lieves", a bomba.

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Today's Salsa DVD reviews


Hacha y Machete - Turn Patterns Int-Adv, Vol 1

Level: Int-Adv

Length: 90 minutes

Style: NY

Content: Turn Patterns

General Comment: We can safely expect quality from HyM and this is what you get from this DVD: eight turn patterns from one of the best performing couples currently around. If you think that eight turn patterns are not that many fear not, since each pattern is 14-16 bars of music long, basically a mini-sequence in itself; the result is that the amount of material easily outperforms most salsa DVDs.

I like the turn patterns a lot: all the ingredients of NY salsa are there, as well as interesting novel ideas; and everything is well seasoned with the well-known HyM elegance.

According to the instructors, this DVD is for intermediate-advanced dancers, but, depending on where you learnt your salsa, the material contained can easily challenge expert dancers. As far as I can see the turn patterns look fairly leadable, with no need of much memory.

Coming to the technicalities, this is NY style, on 2, with some Cuban influence in the arm work and some occasional passages. The DVD is filmed with a single fixed camera, but the dancers show all figures from two sides so you will be able to follow all details as needed. The turn patterns are first introduced, then explained with comments by both the leader and the follower and finally executed with fast (quite fast actually) music.

All the specific technical details (turns and footwork) needed to execute the turn patterns are explained at the very beginning of the DVD, so, in principle, you can start learning them geared with all the necessary tools. This is in principle, because the explanations are compressed to the bare minimum and you will have to do some work and thinking to put the pieces together and understand exactly which footwork goes where. This may be the only criticism to HyM production, but, as usual, less explanation means more time for content, and what is in this DVD surely compensates for the small drawback. A recommended buy.

Reviewed by: Fabio from SalsaIsGood Recommended

 
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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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