Salsa > Dancing? Or Puppetmaster Pulling Strings?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by SalsaTO, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    lol omg... the sabor discussion is about to get even more fractionated. lol
     
  2. englezul

    englezul New Member

    You say that musicality is not sabor, skill is not sabor, attitude is not sabor. I wasn't trying to convey that. To me sabor is the combination of all those in a moment in time where you just watch them and experience a surreal feeling. Listing all those qualities is an attempt to create a picture of what does it for me. And for me simple high energy dancing never did it, because I look to see more in a dance than enjoyment (I'll explain right away) and high energy. I want to see creation, I want to see different attitudes, and different sides of ones personality showing. To be able to express all these things you have to have enough control of your body to be able to convey it, whether that control is achieved by practice or not. Think acting classes when they ask you to practice displaying emotions by using only the face, or just the body, or just the voice, or combinations of those, etc. And when the right moment comes and you witness it you get the chills.

    I wanted to explain enjoyment because I saw a lot of cubans and columbian dancers who really tear the floor up, and they move, and they shake and visibly enjoy themselves, but I was never moved by that and was never compelled to watch it. It's just too simple. There's nothing more to it, it doesn't paint any picture.

    So what would be your closest attempt to describe what sabor is? Your position is that sabor is indicative of itself yet all language could be described with other language. I'm interested in hearing it.

    Just a great video that I have to mention, is on youtube, and I can't post the link because I'm at work and youTube.com is blocked, but it's a video of Frankie Martinez leading a black guy (I don't remember the name...maybe Saeon or something like that) on a stage, probably at the NY congress. He displays such expressivity, such masculinity and aggressiveness while actively involving the follower and his own potrayal of character. That gave me the chills. It's about painting a picture, a story in dancing. All done with the right combination of posture, skill, timing, costumes, facial expressions, etc.
     
  3. sweavo

    sweavo New Member

  4. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    If a painting must be a masterpiece to be considered Sabrosa then we're only looking at result.

    Think of sabor along the lines of Love. It is an unquantifiable essence that regardless of physical action, those actions do not quantify or explain love, only the very actions. Anyone's love for someone else can not be denied because we do not deem/like/enjoy their actions in accordance to what we consider the true actions of love. We have to see the person in action, and see not what he does, but how it's done. See if love protrudes, then see that although love is displayed differently, love is still displayed... when we begin to sketch variables that must exist for love to be present, the focus has shifted to the actions and what we think of them.

    If our personal biases where a true measure of other people's love then it would be a valid measure to consider all of those who never married (masterpiece of love) not to have really loved, therefore, possessed no love at all, possibly inferior love. A statement far from the truth! That the "epitome" of love wasn't reached says nothing about the shared love, rather the couple’s actions. Love isn't found in the details of actions during a lifespan, nor how deeply we enjoy those details, love is just there... sabor, well, it's the same... see it bare, and see its true beauty
     
  5. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

  6. englezul

    englezul New Member


    Yes but you see, that is only true for the person who's experiencing it first hand, the dancer. I, as a watcher have to be inspired by many other things as I cannot externally receive the complex feelings the dancer is experiencing. So I say, sabor experienced in the first person is different than sabor experienced in third person. Just as you made a parallel with love, I think it would be great if that were the case, but we're only people and we people don't love everybody. We don't even like everybody. We like a select few. Out of those select few, even fewer can sometimes move us. Which is why seeing sabor in someone else is equivalent to recognizing your personal sabor.

    About the video that sweavo posted. Yeah, I definitely feel it there too, but it's because it's a different experience, the focus is not on the dancing but on making the music and storytelling. The moving is merely the spice on the recipe. However if I had seen guys doing that on the dance floor, with no instruments around, without singing words, just dancing alone, I wouldn't spend more than a second looking.
     
  7. baile

    baile New Member

    Wow, I'm new to this forum but this issue has been broiling in me for a while now and I'm glad to know that others are feeling it also. Having said that, yes I am focused on the negative, but give me a chance to vent first and then I'll try to come up with something more positive.

    I went dancing here in San Fran. last night and came home really unusually sad. The male dancers looked like mimes and the females like spinning robots.

    What Englezul is describing is NOT savor, it is performance and this is what people are passing down to new dancers. Ballroom dancing is not connected to most salsa music. That makes the question of musicality even more interesting. If one brings up the issue of musicality then why not bring up the issues of lyrical content? I think to some extent sabor comes from an understanding of the lives these musicians are singing about. I don't think you have to be Latino to have this, but it definitely helps.

    Performance focuses on the external, sabor comes from within and sometimes yes, it is spiritual.
     
  8. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    This one maybe?
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=yF1E6U-fWuc
     
  9. sweavo

    sweavo New Member


    ?? I take it you don't share my opinion?
     
  10. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Actually, I love it. I'm right there with you. Look a maleo singing and his got it all the way...
     
  11. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    One person has flavor here, and its not frankie showing it. This is an overall display of what sabor isn't. The very beginning of the video shows a glimps of flavor, when the dancers meet it starts to lose it. This is no more than a performance to get the crowed going from a display of what they can do, not what they feel.
     
  12. englezul

    englezul New Member

    No way, they're both full of it! It's exactly what they can feel. It's communication and it's extremely expressive, completely in the moment. See difference between Frankie here and Frankie in his Cannes performance if you think it's about getting the crowd going. When Frankie shows up, it's like it's completely between him and Seaon, the crowd gets completely ignored, what follows is an artistic dialogue between the two.
     
  13. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    I understand you englezul, someone mentioned prior, your focus thus far is more indicative of the quality of the performance. That I like or don't like someone's "bad" dancing doesn't mean they don't have sabor. Whether it moves me or not doesn't mean they don't have it. All it means is that I have other variables that must be met so that I feel what is going on. In your posts it seems to be that energy which gets a crowd going, ala the video provided of frankie dancing with the other male dancer.

    If I were to show that video to a group of latino non dancers, they'll all be wowed, just as the crowd was. But, if I showed it to them and told them that this is sabor in full display, they'd laugh in my face, and say that they need more feeling, if at all missing it. Dispite that it was a good performance.

    It is of outmost importance to separte all that unbelievable energy of a great show that has you jumping off your seat and leaves you begging for more, all the energy of the crowed, all the moves, and the patterns to see Sabor. It's like watching a game, don't like it because of the excitment, but because of all the intricacies that make the sport great.
     
  14. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    I humbly disagree, frankie doesn't show a lick of sabor in this video. The most he shows here is enjoyment, and joy is not sabor. He is playing to the crowed. That there is communication does not indicate sabor at all. I can communicate with my ex girlfriend very well, and have her not feel an once of the love we once shared. I can communicate with her extremely eloquent as well, and still have not feel that love, just like I can be very expressive in what I tell and still have her feel no love, and we can be right into that conversation that it only seems like it is both of us in the world and she'll still not feel that love we once shared.

    Yet if someone sees us talking they'll think we are in love! Oh, they are so in love, they are so into the moement. We are in a moment, that of a good conversation, but by no means one indicative of love... They are looking at actions, not seeing that it isn't present... Separate the actions and see sabor. That's what's going on in the video...
     
  15. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    No!! Perhaps constant arm leading is bad. I think it is a matter of how it is done and not the fact that it is arm leading. I lead with anything..hip, knee, leg, shoulder, arm, wrist, finger - whatever I feel like. Many ways to dance and to simply say that arm lead = bad dancing is not an acceptable generalization IMO.
     
  16. englezul

    englezul New Member

    I'll bring up this topic again in about 1 year, I'm curious if and how my perception of sabor will change. Right now we're on different pages, most likely because of the difference of exposure that we had. So I need to gain more experience to genuinely understand what you're saying.
     
  17. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I sometimes see a couple dancing. Not really dancing salsa, even though it is salsa music, but they have sabor. There are feelings that one can get through doing certain moves, there are feelings one gets through good communication with one partner, and also matching the music...but that can still miss the one essential ingredient - sabor.
     
  18. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    One reason I like dancing with beginners? Easier to get that flavor. There are some good dancers...that I know...with whom I can experience it, but with others there really isn't much. I guess that is why I get bored for part of every night, and then decide to get some exercise by doing some drills while dancing.
     
  19. baile

    baile New Member

    I agree. As a follower, when I really groove w/a leader - I appreciate a variety of leads. This, of course, is different from the arm twisting described at the beginning of this thread.
     
  20. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Yes, yes, yes.. to all your posts here, Sagitta. When sabor pops out, it can be sliced with a knife! It jumps out at you and God, they can be doing the basic all night long...
     

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