José Carrión | Rumba - Instructional Cuban dance DVD featuring José Carrión

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Latin: Afro-Cuban Latin: Guaguancó Moods: Featuring Drums
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Rumba - Instructional Cuban dance DVD featuring José Carrión

by José Carrión

An instructional Cuban dance DVD featuring José Carrión & members of Ballet Folklórico Cutumba de Santiago; filmed live in Cuba in 2005, in Spanish with optional English voice-over.
Genre: Latin: Afro-Cuban
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Album Notes
José Carrión was the principal dancer of Ballet Folklórico Cutumba de Santiago de Cuba. Born in Santiago, he began his career as a professional dancer in 1980 when he was invited to join Cutumba at the age of 17. After 25 years of researching, revitalizing & presenting the folkloric & popular dance manifestations of Afro-Franco-Haitian-Cuban origin found primarily in Cuba's Eastern (Oriente) provinces, José retired from Cutumba & moved to the US where he is currently co-directs the Academy of Cuban Folkore & Dance in Seattle, Washington.

RUMBA is the first in a series of instructional folkloric and popular Cuban dance DVDs to be produced by the Academy of Cuban Folklore and Dance. This two-DVD set features detailed instruction on yambú (42 minutes) and guaguancó (50 minutes), in addition to demonstrations and performances; in Spanish with an optional English voice-over.

José shares with the viewers the methodology he has used as a professor in Cuba to train generations of dancers. Those who have never danced before now have the opportunity to learn from a master. Those who already have experience can enhance their technique and develop new skills. The DVDs in this series will undoubtedly provide valuable learning material for all who love to dance.



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Alvin Villanueva

RUMBA, an Instructional Dance DVD featuring Jose Alfredo Carrion
Jose clearly knows what he's doing as both a dancer and instructor. His dancing skills are best shown at the end when he brings it all together. As an instructor, he is careful to keep it simple for the novices by breaking down each step with clarity and in detail of how to position what where.

This DVD falls short on its all-around quality. It is clearly an amateur recording as alluded to in the promotional material describing the story of how the DVD came about. Camera lighting is dim, thus it making it a little more difficult to see (although that's not too big a problem). Sound quality is poor: Jose has no mic, so the sound is distant.

That aside, the ultimate reason I bought this DVD was to learn rumba, and this dvd got the job done.

Vanessa Vandenbulcke

Got the DVD within the delay. It covers a lot! I still wish there was more details on body movements, music interpretation and timing of the dance and more guidelines to make up your own steps. Hopefully it will be in your next dvd! Thank you

Mario Diaz

You won't regret it if you don't know anything!
This DVD set is great and will teach you the basics. However, you won't be able to become a guaguanco or yambu dancer with it, since it doesn't go past basics. Even so, I am still happy with the purchase since even the basics are so hard to learn by just watching, specially since they are always hidden by so much improvisation. I was born and raised in Cuba but never bothered to learn that over there, once in the states I developed a taste for it, but everytime I would ask someone to teach me something they would all do it slightly different, or what's worse some people would tell you "you have to feel it, or you have to have it in your blood, or you have to be black" or something to that effect and laugh at you and not teach you anything. So, this DVD set finally ended that mystery for me, and yes, it is possible for white people to learn. The main reason I got this DVD is because I am an advanced intermediate Salsa dancer and I was tired of not being able to do anything when there was a guaguanco part to a song. Nowadays a lot of Salsa songs have intros, or sections with the Guaguanco rhythm in it, and my frustration just grew more and more everytime there was another one. Two things that bothered me somewhat were the poor lighting, and how much repetition there is in the DVD, most times you have to see the same step from 3 or 4 body positions, and 8 counts each, so it gets a little boring and repetitive. So a lot of the DVD time is consumed with this repetition. In my opinion they could have planned and synthesized the steps a whole lot better. The instructor is top notch and I especially enjoyed the live band that accompanies some of the steps.