Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Salsa Craze - will it take Hollywood ?

With the dance smash " Salsa " the movie, though just broke even at the box office, still there as not been a popular series of dance genre films attached to this dance style.

What is " Salsa "

From the Wikki Free Encyclopedia website states ( whihc is where the photo above comes from ).

Salsa danced according to the above description is called Salsa on One, or briefly, "On One", because the break step is one beat 1 of the 8-beat pattern. This is by far the most common count used in Europe and North America.

If the break step occurs on count 2 or 6, it is called "On Two". There are two main variants of this:

The "Power 2", "Palladium 2" or "Ballroom Mambo" style. The Power 2 basic is simply the On One basic danced one beat later.

"New York Style 2" or "Eddie Torres Style". The ET2 basic step starts on beat 6 with the leader breaking forward on the left foot, replacing on 7, and pausing on 8. Then on 1 the left foot steps slightly back, ready for the break step back on the right on 2, and the left replacing on 3. 4 is a pause and 5 is the right foot stepping slightly forwards ready to begin again at 6.

"Puerto-Rican 2". This is exactly as the Eddie Torres 2 except the leader breaks forward on 2 not 6.

Power 2 can fit better with commercial "Mambo" music of the 1950s, e.g. Perez Prado.
Eddie Torres Style is so called because it was widely formalized and popularized by Eddie Torres whose clear teaching style and production of instructional videos opened up access to Salsa for many New Yorkers. It is not claimed that he invented the style.

One of the cited advantages of ET2 is that the follower begins her turns on beat one, having been 'prepped' on 6,7,8. This means that a good leader can have the follower hit the crescendos in the music with the more climactic dance moves.

Some consider dancing "On Two" to work more closely to the clave rhythm, the fundamental rhythm of salsa music, as the steps start on the first tick of a 2-3 son clave. However, dancing "On One" hits just as many beats in the clave and hits the first tick if the music is using a 3-2 style son clave.

Dancing on 2 means that the break step synchronises with the accented slap of the Tumbao pattern played on the Conga drum. For this reason it is said to be more punchy and rhythmically oriented, whereas on 1 is more melodically oriented.

End of Article...

However, though touches upon some interesting items this explanation lacks a sense of the greater diversity, and the ethnological roots and personal character of thios dance form.

Simply everything went amiss since Salsa replace the words Latin Dance, the english translation of Latina Danza.

In Cuba, especially in Havana, there was diversity in how one expresses to clave rhythms ( which within its dynamics also had variations ).

Mambo the break is on the " 2 ".

Son Montuno the break is on the " 1 "

It is that simple and reflects the ethnic - racial diversity, as Afro Cubans would emphasize the " 1 " and the Hispanic would focus of the " 2 ".

None the less, as one probe even deeper, one come away with the real understanding that it is how personal interpretation enters into the picture. the simple reason behind this attitude is that the break step is only for a change of direction of the movement of dance.

It is here where simple explanations become even more clearer, and the more concise one trys the more one losses the point.

To enjoy oneself.

Now all we need is a dancer with film presence who has load of Chaisma, and then see what happens at the box office when a Latina Danza Musical hits the screens. Then Hollywood could one day regain a portion of its faded glitter.


Mr. Roger M. Christian
Ithaca, New York

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