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Salsa & Mambo Video Reviews

 

Son de Luz


Learn to Dance Salsa Cali Style

Level: Int/Adv

Style: Colombia

Content: Footwork, Turn Patterns, acrobatics.

General Comment: Given that, in its basic form, Colombian salsa is probably the most widely danced around the world (covering basically all Latin America except the Caribbean countries) and that Colombian music has featured prominently in most salsa clubs for several years now, it is somehow surprising that this style is poorly represented in the salsa video literature. This video tries to fill the gap and does so brilliantly. Whether you like the style or not, this video is well worth the money. First, there is no economy of material, covering several footwork patterns taken from the Pachanga and Boogaloo tradition, and several challenging acrobatics. Second, the demonstrators are top quality, technically spotless and gifted with that natural Latin touch we naturally look forward to. Third, the instruction is very good; all patterns are first demonstrated, then explained vocally (in Spanish, but you can use English subtitle) from the front and back and finally shown again. More challenging patterns are shown slowly and for the acrobatics the male and female parts are explained independently (BTW, I have rarely seen dancers show acrobatics slowly in real time, that is with no slow motion.. these dancers are quite amazing..). Finally, if you care about this, the production is also very good; the DVD looks very professional and the bonus tracks at the end, covering clips from the Cali festival and historical notes are a welcome addition.

If you have never seen Colombian style you may wonder why basic footwork and advanced acrobatics would end up in the same DVD. The reason is that Colombian salsa does not have many turn patterns and once you master the fast footwork (the distinctive feature of this style), good dancers look directly to acrobatics for a challenge. Here some warning is helpful. If you dance NY/LA style or Casino and your purpose is to extend that repertoire, be aware that it is unlikely you will be able to merge your favourite moves with this material.. the styles are too far apart (no cross body lead, no multiple spins, no dancing on the line, neither in a circle). So why should you buy this DVD? Here are some reasons. If you are a beginner, you may want to be exposed to more styles and be better informed before adventuring along the long path which takes to specialising in one of them. If you are an intermediate dancer, I believe the fast footwork in this DVD will greatly help your speed, coordination, agility and timing. If you are advanced and aim towards the stage, you will find plenty of acrobatics to impress with. I will add a further, more subtle, reason; if your DJ is one of those who canít help playing hours of Sonora Carusseles, Quinto Major, Fruko & company and you find that your NY or Cuban style does not fit naturally (and it doesnít!!) then you may finally discover what that music was designed for and a style which fits it naturally.. I think it is a worth addition to a good salsa collection .

Reviewed by Fabio from SalsaIsGood - Recommended


 

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