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Today's Salsa CD reviews

Tirso Duarte – Si la vida te dice baila :

If you are into Timba you are probably familiar with the crisp voice of Tirso Duarte, one of the best in the latest generation of Timba singers; he has provided his talent to La Charanga Habanera, Pupi y los Que Son Son and also features in Los Ases de la Timba and other compilations. What makes Tirso Duarte special is that not only he is a great singer, but he is an even better pianist (an amazing one actually) and a good composer: a bag of talent in a single, still young, artist.

This CD is his first solo effort. It is pleasant, but in some way below what I was expecting from such gifted musician; all tracks are nice, no exception, but somehow the sparkle is missing. What makes this CD worthwhile for a dancer though, is that it offers a good introduction to Timba for beginner dancers and for dancers used to more commercial styles. As we know beginner dancers find it hard to tune into the complex rhythm of salsa, and Timba is even more complex, so CD with a clear sound like this one and with mostly slow tracks can be very useful. You can put the CD on, press the play button and, maybe with the exception of ‘Eso que me pides’, you will find all tracks easy to dance to. Very suitable for intermediate dancers to try hot new moves as well. I also find that Tirso’s singing, so precise and crisp, makes following the beat even easier. The song “Si la vida te dice baila”, which gives the name to the CD, is my favourite, which a happy but melancholic taste, but all tracks are enjoyable. The CD also includes a number of songs from the CD ‘El Charanguero Major’ from la Charanga Habanera, which were originally from Tirso, and are here played with simpler, less Timba and more Salsa, arrangements. 25-6-07

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Today's Salsa DVD reviews

SalsaCrazy - Learn to dance Bachata, Advanced Volume 3

Level: Advanced

Style: Bachata

Content: Turn Patterns

General Comment: If you have travelled to the Caribbean and seen Bachata danced in the local clubs, you will come back to the ‘western’ Latin clubs and ask yourself the obvious question: “is this really Bachata?”. The answer is blowing in the wind and I will leave it to you to catch it, after all we have all seen this already with Merengue, Lambada, Tango and, why not?, even with Salsa.

Coming to the technical aside of things, the DVD contains 7 turn patterns, which mix elements taken from Salsa, Zouk or Lambada and merge them with Bachata basic steps. This is very much what you may expect Bachata to look like and probably the way it is danced in your salsa club; so, if you like the style, it will widen your repertoire. The instructors are technically proficient (the guy also has a natural swing which is surely pleasing to see) and the teaching is good. I also liked the hints on how to relate to your partner (though the connection between the partners in the DVD is not obvious) and how to behave on the social dance floor which are interspersed in the DVD; they communicate a wisdom and relaxed approach to dancing which is very welcome, although somehow at odds with a slightly over-the-top attitude in the dancing itself, given that a few moves may require some flexibility and others seem unnaturally (and gratuitously) sensual.

The DVD is suitable for advanced dancers and well produced as are all DVDs from SalsaCrazy (and the menu graphics impressive!).

Reviewed by Fabio - Ok

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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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