La Epoca Film

Discussion in 'Websites of Interest' started by ColdSalsero, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. ColdSalsero

    ColdSalsero Shine Officer

    A 2 part documentary on salsa dancing (not necessarily of all styles though). There are video excerpts available on the website.
  2. DJ Ara

    DJ Ara Clave Commander

    VERY, VERY interesting link. And the video clip from this site that you posted in the other - "rambling" - thread is fascinating and very relevant in terms of the problems discussed in that particular debate.

    This clip really is an IMPORTANT salsa document, to be used as reference by those in the scene who have doubts and/or are looking for the correct direction. Again, kudos for finding it and also for your sensible comments as regards the subject matter.:)

    However, I must say that I find the SILENCE as regards that video clip, defeaning, specially when one considers how vocally some of the people reacted initially, in that particular thread.
  3. SalsaGipsy

    SalsaGipsy Capitán Del Estilo

    Trolling again?
  4. DJ Ara

    DJ Ara Clave Commander

    Actually, I was genuinely surprised.

    By the way, trolls are the people who enter threads, but fail to discuss a given subject matter. I am discussing the subject matter in this thread, which is related to the "Ramblings" thread, where the relevant clip was posted. However, as far as this thread goes you haven't, contributed to the subject matter, which in my humble opinion is important and very interesting from a Salsero point of view......
  5. SalsaGipsy

    SalsaGipsy Capitán Del Estilo

    Well, there you go. I found interesting the comments of the Palladium dancers about how they had a personal relationship with the musicians. I wonder if this is at all possible these days with a room full of dancers, lights and so on. Personally I have never felt as if the musicians are watching what the dancers are doing. I found very funny the comment of M. Anthony on stage in Athens: I have never seen so many great dancers as here tonight (or something like that). It was impossible for him to see any dancer at all from the stage.
  6. lurker

    lurker Tumbao

    Trolling is the incorrect term for the above. Baiting is more appropriate, and this time it is accentuated by caps and in bold. I believe that's what SalsaGypsy referred to if I'm not mistaken. You could have let the first 2 paragraphs stand alone, but you didn't. The mods went through the trouble of making and organizing a thread for you, but you still aren't happy. You are making the decision to come to SF hard for some. A user can't click on a thread, which topic is anywhere close to the subject without thinking you'll be there trying to sneak in some shots instead of just sticking to the issue. I really hope you do not respond to this. I am not interested in derailing this thread anymore than it is.

    In my opinion, the current on1/on2 (crossbody) dance is now a very classical dance, much like jazz, ballet, etc. It no longer has as much of that folklore feel as it once did in the past. It has been evolving for a long time with its absorption of elements from swing, hustle, jazz, flamenco, ballroom, etc. It is a hybrid, between classical and folk. Therefore you can both perform and/or social dance. It is highly technical; requires a lot of training to get to a high level, and the dancers are very educated in the dance and music compared to the dancers of palladium days. At least that's the perception today.

    Due to it's hybrid nature, you can choose to dance a song in a ballet-like manner with a lot of spinning and poses; in a swing manner with a lot of patterns; in a jazzy manner by having a lot of shines oriented sessions in the particular dance; and in other ways. Moreover, you can get down and dirty with flavor and improvisations if you choose to. OR you can simply combine it all. This is on2/on1 today. There are cons and pros to this evolution and I think Eddie Torres explains it better than me in this interview:


    I find that other styles such as cuban/cumbia-like/etc to be less classical and more folk. So it is easier to make the case that regions where these styles dominate dance closer to the way it was done in the past. A lot of movement there. It is, I suppose simpler. As such, it is easier to be musical and interpret the music.

    In the crossbody styles, it is harder to be musical due to the nature of the dance. These dancers minds are multitasking at the pace allowed by the tempo. Between keeping his partner safe due to the fact that the dance requires space, a lead has/chooses to style, execute patterns that fit the current passage of the song, keep his balance, smile, listen to the music, keep track of the structure of the song to catch a hit and arrange his combination to hit it creatively, and so on and on. Dancers have to be very creative when managing their dance. If not, they have to drop patterns and simplify the dance in order to be musical and interpret the song. This is what many fail to do. One type of high level dancer in on1/on2, is one who does not drop the complexity of his dancing and is yet able to be very musical, ride the mood of the song, and interpret the song in as creative way as he pleases. This is a challange and it is to be admired when achieved. I would say that those dances are improvised performances and I have absolutely no ill feelings towards them. Another type of high level dancer is the Frankie Martinez-like dancer. One who interprets the music through footwork, body movement, and solo dancing with occasional partnerwork. These, I would say are the two extremes. Most other high level dancer types are somewhere in between these two but lean towards one or the other.

    The issue, as I see it, is that most people want to be the pattern oriented high-level dancer. Perhaps because it offers more variety per dance and it is very appealing to the eye. It is not that the dance is flawed. It is that it is extremely hard to get to that level and so people rush the process. They want more in a shorter time. They do not realize that one can get that feeling/rush by simply decreasing the moves/pace, freeing the mind to listen to the song instead. Won't happen immediately, but it works. The music is the best teacher, it will move the body, just as it did to the palladium dancers, who did not have to multitask as much due to the simplicity of the dance back then. The solution offered by critics is to study the music/musicality/interpretation/etc right from the start. The problem with that solution is that students leave the classroom. Instead, it is important to recognize that, for the most part, the following is the reality:

    What I share above is mostly my opinion and someone may or may not agree with it. I respect that. But if something is to be taken away from from it all, let it be the following. I share Frankie's sentiments on the issue. We must not judge. We must understand. We can't help if we do not understand. And if we must help, we must do it in a positive way. Otherwise, not only are part of the problem, but we make it bigger than what it really is. After all, this is a dance, meant to let us have a good time, not meant to create stress.
    MAMBO_CEC likes this.
  7. DJ Ara

    DJ Ara Clave Commander

    Just to clarify AGAIN, I posted long statement in the "Ramblings" thread, explaining why I "baited". The topic at hand is very important to all salsa lovers in the International Salsa Scene. Also, as it happens, the thread turned out to be an interesting one, containing a lot of relevant info from many parties, and I would even say that there were a lot of revelations made in it.

    So, the people there were asking for all sorts of info and debating my tone; posting videos of dancers; asking for videos, and so on. This is all part and parcel of a debate.

    However, when ColdSalsero posted a video that was very relevant to the discussion and which supported my, and the position of others, who share the same opinion as me, as far as how widespread the phenomenom of not interpreting/feeling the music is concerned......Suddenly many people who were vocal before fell silent. Hence my surprise and statements in that regard. So, far the only feeback about this clip here has been that it is just "opinions"....However, the opinions are coming from sources of valid REFERENCE, and that makes them INFORMED opinions, worth noting and learning from, specially nowadays!

    So again - NO bating, no trolling (I don't know where people got that from, either)!

    Now, as far as I am concerned the baiting is over, and it was over when I admitted to it being "calculated" bating. That is when the baiting STOPPED!

    Of course, if you are going to assume that any statement made by me that is not to your liking is "baiting", then I cannot do much about it. However, if you are so concerned about this, you could also have accused SalsaGypsie of "baiting", when he called me a troll, in a thread that I was genuinely contributiong to, yet you didn't.
  8. lurker

    lurker Tumbao

    you are so misunderstood nowadays.
  9. DJ Ara

    DJ Ara Clave Commander

    Many people "misunderstand" on purpose, because they refuse to be taken out of their psychological comfort zones, others may "misunderstand" for other reasons, including the fact that they may be part of the problems discussed, but none of them concern me, at this point, as I have explained my position regarding the subject matter clearly, repeating various time the key points I was making. Furthermore, as it turns out, others are of the same opinion, both here in the forum, as well as in the International Salsa Scene.

    So, the thread in question should have been a learning experience for all of us, no matter how it was started. Incidentally, this thread is in some ways linked to the "ramblings" thread, through the link, kindly published by ColdSalsero.

    So, lets continue with this one.
  10. lurker

    lurker Tumbao

    And here I was thinking we must all be idiots. But as it turns out, we are doing it on purpose. Oops, sorry on purpose. There, you are understood.

    so we Are stupid then. Which is it?

    Actually, replace the word "others" with the word "most". Do not, for one second, think you have brought anything new or interesting into this topic. This is old and has been discussed before. The only difference is that you are, quite honestly, bad at making the argument, negative, and you have an imaginary opponent.

    you were wrong.

    Would be nice if the mods can clean up this thread or merge it with the other one.
    As it turns out, DJ Ara has declared all subjects that have any link with his topic must be invaded.
    Poor Epoca film.
  11. DJ Ara

    DJ Ara Clave Commander

    About time too.....
  12. DJ Ara

    DJ Ara Clave Commander

    To clear up any remenants of misunderstanding and in staying with the subject matter of this thread, this short clip, from the website link provided by ColdSalsero, just about says it all:

  13. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Para 1.. IF you change the " dance " is it still salsa ? not the music , the dance ?

    Para2. So do ALL dances..this is not unique to salsa

    Para3 .. Ah.. the old "perception" adage, and unless you or anyone else was there in that time, then you are predicating your beliefs many times on myths and hearsay.

    "We", the mamberos of the day, were as much, and probably more into the music,and discernably so because even then ,there were poor imitations in dance and music .

    Im curious to know why the enquiring mind does not seek out some of the "old" dancers, they are still around, and get some first hand info.

    Para 4 .. essentially this is the crux of the whole discussion.. the reasons why people do NOT, are many .

    Para 5.. back to the same causal effect.. the " teacher ?".. this really solidifies in one sentence ,the essence of the debate.

    By the way, a good post with some very valid points
  14. lurker

    lurker Tumbao

    of course it is. even the basic step has it's difference from mambo. so it is simply a different style today. Cali, Cuban, on2/on1, mambo, etc are all salsa dances that stand on their own. My point is, why do the people in the video complain about an apple not being an orange? I find it ignorant on their part, no matter who they are.

    I am comparing mambo with the current dance when I say that.
    I did say this is the perception today. Whether it is true or not is another matter and frankly a different subject. I doubt I would get an objective answer from anyone from yeaterday nor today on this. it makes no difference to the discussion anyway and I have little interest on the matter.

    yes. they have a goal: to become the high level dancer on one of the ends i explained. Particularly, "one who does not drop the complexity of his dancing and is yet able to be very musical, ride the mood of the song, and interpret the song in as creative way as he pleases". This type of dancer is not allowed by the mambo style. why? because it is a different dance. It does not have the elements to support this kind of dancing. My judgements of these group of dancers, if any, are not based on mambo. To do so would be really saying that mambo dancers are better dancers than crossbody/on2/on1 dancers, which is as valid a point as arguing that cali dancers are better than cuban dancers. Instead, my sentiments on the matter are as better explained by Frankie on that video. This, I believe, is where you and I differ.

    neither the student nor the teacher. Or rather, both. Neither is perfect. It is hard to formulate a program where a student would concentrate on musicality and interpretation right from the start. Students would leave, because they want to be on the dance floor next weekend. A balance must be found.

    Also, I see nothing wrong with someone trying to be that kind of dancer. I have seen that dancer and my jaw drops at the sight. That's a good damn dancer. The problem is that it is a hard road to become that dancer. A lot of them get stuck in the middle. A teacher can only get you so far. To my knowledge, there is no formula for this path yet. So what you get, again, is what Frankie explained. People going through phases until they get to where they want to go. When one happens to catch someone endlessly turning without musicality/interpretation/flavor/etc, think about that.

    But this is, of course, a preference. Many others prefer to be the kind of dancer Frankie is, which is closer to it's mambo roots in a way. A lot of people even mix it up and/or come up with their own personal mix. This is the beauty of the style. It is flexible. At the end of the day, one should keep in mind that people are paying to learn on2/on1, not mambo, as danced in the past. So to judge them on that alone is to have a grudge on the style, not the individuals.

  15. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao


    You have the cart before the horse here.. they are all MAMBO dances, that may or may not stand on their own, musically and or construction, and rely upon their existance to a larger or smaller degree, thru other dance genres . Mambo set the precedent .

    All are hybrids from the same "root". But they are intrinsically linked.

    As a famous musician once stated " ALL Salsa is Mambo, but, not ALL Mambo is Salsa ".
  16. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Well, Im from the "yesterday " category , and I always try to be objective in comparisons that I make .

    And, by the way, Im not stuck in a time warp, and am relatively happy with many of the "changes " that have occured .
  17. lurker

    lurker Tumbao

    yes of course. I am making a distinction here though, because it is rarely made and it sheds light on all the confusion. Obviously, on2/on1 is a descendant of Mambo. But is stands alone nevertheless. The fact that people today dance so very differently than people yesterday is evidence that the dance has evolved to the point where we aren't talking about the same thing, so to speak. It isn't evidence that people are dancing it incorrectly, as people in that epoca video will have one believe. If you ask me, I would say it needs a new name.

    By the way, I was editing my post as you replied (this is how I write, lots of live
  18. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Now theres an idea.. new name.. ( glad I thought of that ! ) and yes, they do dance differently. The change had to take place, because many of the older variations in Mambo did/do not transition too well. Music always influences style.. thats the paradox.

    Consider this.. I danced and taught Mambo on "2" for over 30 yrs, and had to be dragged, kicking and screaming into the new era. And, Im very satisfied with the changes I had to make .

    Style is never an issue with me.. I really dont care; Im more about interpretation and understanding the musical differences , in the current market .

    When I see ( as I often have in the States ) people dancing salsa to Cumbia and Cumbia passages in music, then do I realise that , there is a fundamental lack of the subject at hand ( or foot ) .
  19. lurker

    lurker Tumbao

    Well said terrence.

    Well, at this point, my involvement in this topic is concluded. My two cents are out there, for what it's worth.
  20. ColdSalsero

    ColdSalsero Shine Officer

    I would just like to say that this discussion has been a very fascinating read.

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