DigiFilm // 2005 // 50 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Diane Wild (Retired) // May 30th, 2005
Salsa made simple.
The Quick & Dirty Guide to Salsa: Part Two -- Intermediate zips along quickly, if not dirtily, with clear instructions to over thirty salsa steps.
Our instructor is Gigi, and she (along with her partner Pedro) explain clearly and simply what they are doing while they are doing it. With a straightforward attitude and no dazzling effects, they demonstrate the steps with little introduction. The instruction goes by quickly, which has the benefit of allowing them to cover a lot of steps, but you'll likely need to use your skip buttons to go over the steps multiple times before you can match Gigi and Pedro's pizzazz.
The prospect of multiple viewings is made far more practical by the disc's great use of DVD technology -- not for technology's sake, but to add value to the instructional content. There are no dazzling effects or camerawork to distract from the focus on the steps, but the best feature -- the one that sets this apart from many other instructional DVDs -- is the use of multiple angles. You can choose high, front, or back angles to see the proper technique from all sides, either with a click of your remote, or by choosing different angles from the main menu. The decent disc menu gives a list of steps so you can go directly to the one you want to practice, and offers the option of setting a different angle as your primary viewing choice (front is the default). Because chapter stops are placed before each step segment, you can also use your remote's skip buttons to practice along with Gigi and Pedro until you get it right.
At the end, a brief segment set to music has Gigi and Pedro showing us their stuff, so we finally get to see the beauty of the finished steps connected into an actual dance.
There's a sameness to all the segments, with Gigi almost invariably starting each with: "I'm gonna call...Balsero" (or whatever move they will be demonstrating). She has an oddly impersonal tone, too, treating Pedro as an inanimate object for the most part. But the low-key tone is appealing and helps focus on the salsa moves.
The grainy, oversaturated picture could have been recorded from a cable channel, and the dialogue has a hollow echo to it while music plays a fleeting role, so even Dolby Digital 2.0 seems like overkill. At the beginning, distracting text ads for the other DVDs in the series appear at the bottom of the screen. But this is instruction, not entertainment, and those are minor quibbles.
You need a partner to follow the instructions to full effect, and they're not kidding about the part two thing. You might be lost if you don't have some grounding in salsa moves, since Gigi uses terminology and references steps apparently already described in The Quick And Dirty Guide To Salsa: Part One: Beginners. But to add to your salsa moves quickly and easily, grab The Quick & Dirty Guide to Salsa.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 50 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official site
* DVD Verdict Review of Part One