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Today's Salsa CD reviews

Issac Delgado – La Formula (Malecon) :

Despite only a middle age man, Issac Delgado already boasts a career which spans a few decades (first as singer of NG la Banda, then as solo) and has already ensured for himself a lasting position in the hall of fame of Cuban music. Since the very beginning he has toyed with mixing Caribbean rhythms, pop melodies, a bit of experimentation in the arrangements, a touch of timba and an ever present jazz feel in his voice. All of this, especially the jazz feel, reaches the technical peak in his best seller CD ‘La Formula’ (also distributed under the name ‘Malecon’). I remember hearing the single which gives the name to the CD at the Carnival in Havana the year before the CD was released and immediately recognising the irresistible call to dance. That song remains one of the most popular from Issac and you may have danced to it in your club. But, as catchy and danceable as that song may be, this CD contains many more brilliant pearls: ‘O Estas Loca’, ‘Amore sin Etica’ ‘El solar de la California’ and, above all, ‘Malecon’ are not only danceable, but absolutely marvelous songs to listen to as well. I love to dance to them very gently and smoothly, because this is the feel this music suggests to me, and despite a permeating underlying timba flare, you can easily dance to them in NY style. Other tracks are less danceable, mostly romantic, but nevertheless very nice, like ‘Quando’, ‘A ti todo’ and ‘Te perdono’. Issac’s music attracts fans both among the non musically trained, because of the melodies and his charismatic voice, and among the musically trained; if you are one of the latter, you will recognise arrangements of a quality rarely matched even by the best latin bands, executed to perfection, whose details you will enjoy over several listening sessions.

Sadly, this CD comes with a major sin: a bad live cover of an already bad ‘La vida es un carnaval’ popularized by Celia Cruz a few years before this CD was released. It was probably included as a marketing plot and really has nothing to do with the rest of the CD. Fortunately, you can pretend the CD does not contains this track (it is the last one) and avoid ruining the tastes so divinely sharpened by the rest of the CD. A Must. 15-7-07

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Today's Salsa DVD reviews

Nuno and Vanda - Partner work

Level: Advanced

Style: LA

Content: Turn patterns.

General Comment: This DVD contains 6 turn patterns in pure LA style, that is On1 and with sharp, energetic and emphatic body language. The turn patterns are fairly long, so don’t be turned off by the fact that there are only 6 of them; if you do like the style, there is enough material to make this DVD a worthwhile addition to your collection. This is a simple production, but well done, and it contains all you need to learn the material presented. Each turn pattern is first described by the leader, then by the follower; this is followed by a version with voice counter and then repeated again twice at slow pace with music, from two different angles. There is only one camera view, but the explanations are clear, the dancers are technically good and the demonstration precise; in other words, no excuse for not learning what is presented.

The turn patterns are of advanced level, containing mostly standard moves organised in an original way, but, here and there, you will also find some novel ideas, the most interesting of which are based on clever copas. The demonstrations are what I would call ‘performance style’, seasoned by body waves and sharp poses; it thus comes as some surprise that in the final clip all the turn patterns are executed in a free style routine, danced to a fairly slow pace son, in which the dancers look far more natural and everything comes to life. Pity that the order of the turn patterns is not followed and several extra decorations are added here and there; the lack of visual aid will make it not obvious to distinguish which turn pattern is which.

The instructional part is not very long, some 40ish minutes, and the DVD is supplemented with a series of performances, displaying the dancers in their full versatility, from salsa to tango, swing, hip hop, contemporary Brazilian and cha cha cha; good dancers.. whether you like the style or not

Reviewed by Fabio from 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 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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