The ultimate objective for the day was to reach the state where the bolero and salsa become mutually supporting. This would require the bolero to evolve from its simple basic into a flexible, living and breathing form. (Quite the ambitious challenge for one session, but I was very confident!)
Warm-up: dancing the bolero
Performing the bolero basic, partnered. With emphasis clearer form. There were two main learning points:
- The value of using the third (foot) position: to liberate the hip action, and provide unsighted tactile feedback.
- A full, correct, settling of the hip in the preceding step facilitates the accurate deployment of the third position.
"A visible fault is a delayed symptom, the error resides in the preceding step."
Practice: breaking the bolero basic
Partnered, in both lead and follower roles. Understanding the concept of flexibility in a basic. Two points were investigated:
- Substitution - backward steps replaced with forward steps; and
- Re-angling - 90 degree angles increased to more obtuse angles up to 180 degrees.
(Re-orientation was not addressed)
Facets discussed were:
- The multi-layered nature of Latin music allows for interpretations/arrangements to be biased on a gradual spectrum between the extremes of the lyrical-melodic to the rhythmic-percussive.
- Melodic expression may or may not be congruent with that of the lyrics.
- A dancer's expression of emotion does not necessarily require comprehension of a song's lyrics, nor privilege their meaning over that of the melody.
- The right of interpretation is that of the dancer.
Within the context of Latin dance of which there are groups of proximal (i.e. related) genres, where there:
- is a core relationship between the dancer's rhythm and the music's which is unique; and
- are elements/properties which are portable across related genres.
Solo and partnered. Walking elements:
- Linear walking elements: forwards; backwards; sideways, chases and step-throughs.
- Circularised walking elements (rueda) (Salsa equivalent of Merengue Orbits detailed in http://www.salsa-merengue.co.uk/VidTutor/merengue/orbits/core_orbit.html)
- HALO turns for Followers (salsa context of http://www.salsa-merengue.co.uk/VidTutor/merengue/halo_fol/int_halo_fol.html).
- HALO turns for Leads (salsa context of http://www.salsa-merengue.co.uk/VidTutor/merengue/halolead/int_halo_lead.html)
- Neutral turns for Leads (salsa context of http://www.salsa-merengue.co.uk/VidTutor/merengue/neu_turn/int_neutral_turn.html)
- eliminate the bias of followers assuming the turn would span just one bar, and lead themselves around accordingly; and
- develop sensitivity to pressure as an indicator of turn direction and speed.
Partnered, salsa context. Two variations of a simple combination comprising: Follower's HALO, Lead's HALO, Follower's HALO, and Neutral Turn.
Exercise: developing drive in the forward steps (salsa)
- reduce number of steps per distance;
- maintain full hip action.
Performing the Latin basic (six steps per cycle) and the extended Latin basic (twelve steps per cycle) over the greatest distance, whilst retaining correct hip action.
Practice: deploying core transferable elements into bolero
Partnered. The process of deployment occurred in the following order:
- modifying the basic (reprise);
- addition of linear walking elements;
- circularisation of walking elements; and
- addition of turning elements.
Practice: deploying the bolero mode of movement in salsa
- filling out the space in-between beats
- slower, slower, slower
- strong, long, hip action
"Transnational Salsa" draft reference by Loo Yeo
The Voice of Cuba by Hanny
Tata Masamba by Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca
On Fire by Orquesta La Palabra
Loo Yen Yeo