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Today's Salsa CD reviews

Lalo Rodriguez - Oro Salsero, 20 Exitos :

This is romantic salsa, the one which filled salsa clubs for most of the 90s, the one which tells of unhappy love affairs and painful memories, the one which you are supposed to dance with one hand on your heart . If you have read any of my previous reviews you already know that this music is not my cup of tea, but, trying to be objective, I have to say it is well produced, well played and well sung.

Salsa romantica has the deceptive quality of appearing fairly slow, mostly because of the gentle melodies and smooth arrangements, while it actually fact the tempo is often faster than you would think. Nevertheless, it may be a good introduction for dancers still discovering the world of salsa, since the percussions are usually crisp and rarely overwhelming and since the focus of the music is often on the melody, which is something ‘westerners’ are used to.

This is a double CD, so there is plenty of songs to choose from. My favourite is “Tu no sabes querer”, not surprisig the least ‘romantica’ of the tracks, followed by “Francisco Andante” and “Tu Iluminas”. Most slower tracks are in the first CD, like “Dame Tu Corazon”, “No Te Voy A Defraudar”, “Lo Que Me Lastima”, “Ven Devorame Otra Vez” and “Despues De Hacer El Amor”, while the second CD offers faster tempos is “Pero Llegaste Tu”, “Amame”, “No Tuve Nadie”, “Voy A Escarvar Tu Cuerpo”, “Francisco Andante”, “Una Sucursal” and “Solo Soy De Ti”, while “No te importa” is a classic bolero.16/2/08

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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 ane-mailexchange 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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