Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Salsa part 2

Kaytee is the Founder and President of Salsa India.. He has trained as a Jazz and Hip Hop dancer.During a stay in Japan, he met a leading Salsa teacher from Los Angeles.After his return to India,he set up a small dancing school which has grown into Salsa India Dance Company (SIDC), the biggest SALSA – only school in India.

Kaytee has studied with some of the best teachers of the world and is now a certified teacher by Salsa Brava, arguably the best dancing school in the world . He has had the opportunity to learn the Cuban,New York and L.A styles of Salsa and see different other styles of Salsa and likes to merge all of it in his way of Dancing. He says “Different Music, Different Styles “. Kaytee works hard on his dancing and teaching skills. Besides his interest in Salsa, he also harbours an active interest in photography and is an excellent photographer.He is also father of two wonderful dogs (Mambo and Junior)

Q) Please, tell us something about Salsa ?
A) Salsa is similar to Mambo in that both have a pattern of six steps danced over eight counts of music. The dances share many of the same moves. In Salsa, turns have become an important feature , So the overall look and feel are quite different form those of Mambo. Mambo moves generally forward and backward, whereas, Salsa has of a side to side feel.

Then, as a tree, Salsa has many roots and many branches,but one trunk that unites us all. The important thing is that Salsa is played throughout the Hispanic world and has received influences of many places within. Each dancer is accustomed to dance his or her style.

Q) What is Mambo dance?
A) The Mambo dance is originated in Cuba where there were substantial settlements of Haitians. In the back country of Haiti, the “Mambo” is a voodoo priestess, who serves the villagers as a counselor,healer,exorcist,soothsayer,spirirtual advisor, and organizer of public entertainment. However, there is not a folk dance in Haiti called the “Mambo.”

A modified version of the “Mambo” (the orginal dance had to be toned down due to the violent acrobatics) was presented to the public at dance studios, resort hotels, and at night-clubs in New York and Miami. Success was on the agenda, Mambo happy dancers soon became known affectionately as “Mambonicks”.

The Mambo is enjoying a renewed popularity due to a number of films featuring the dance as well as a man named Eddie Torres. Eddie is a New York dance pro and Mambo fanatic who has launched a crusade to make sure the dance reigns in the ballroom once again. Torres has become the leading exportant of the style,steadily building a reputation as a dancer, instructor, and choreographer. He has become known as the ‘Mambo King of Latin Dance”. Torres is determined to reintroduced dancers to what he believes is the authentic night- club style of mambo dancing, which in the 1990”s is increasing Known as Salsa.

Most people treat Mambo as a very fast dance.The Mambo craze did not last long and today the Mambo is much limited to advanced dancers. Teachers agreed that this is one of the most difficult of dances. One of the greastest contributions of the Mambo is that it led to the development of the Cha-Cha.

Q) What is Samba dance?
A) Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world and is the birth place of the Samba. Much of the music in the heavily populated coastal areas shows a remarkable combination of African,Native Indian and Iberian influences.

Modern Samba was developed from an earlier Brazilan muscical style called choro. Both samba the dance and music can take many forms, from the vivacious call response of samba de enredo-cancon or song samba, a move relaxed guitar and rhythm variant Bossa Nova, which transalates to New Wave,hit American big time in the sixties with “ The Girl from Ipanema”. This song by the legendary Jobin became a classical in Jazz and elevator music.

The Ballroom samba, while maintaining elements of what the Brazilians consider the true samba, was formulised in 1956 by Pierre Lavalle. Since then, various forms of samba have been developed to fit the mood of modern music.

Q) Tell us something about Angie who is promoter of Salsa in the international salsa community?
A) More often referred to as Angie than her given name Anjali,she was born to an Indian father and an Italian Mother, with the heart of a Salsera. Although Angie has been dancing various forms of Indian dances since childhood and later moving to Latin ballroom, Jazz , Hip hop,her true calling is “Salsa”.

Because of her job, Angie is constantly travelling to different parts of the world every week giving her the opportunity to dance and learn from the best teachers in the world like Salsa Brava. Angie is now a certified teacher by Edie- the salsa freak and Al Liquid Espinoza. Representing India,she won the Salsa Shines competition in 2003 in Hong Kong.

Angie joined hands with Salsa India to promote it’s voice amongst the international salsa community. With her regular dancing partner Kaytee, she has inspired a large number of Indians and expats alike to not just learn but feel this beautiful dance form.

By Rajendra Ganotra and Vijay Shanker.

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