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“SALSA: ITS hip-shaking rhythms and sensual moves embody the spirit of the Caribbean and Latin America,” says the eighth edition of Fodor’s Puerto Rico. The dance style is popular in many places, but, says the guidebook, “it’s the Puerto Ricans who are the most fluent.”
For those just wanting to watch it, the guidebook suggests the International Salsa Congress, held in San Juan each July. It attracts “thousands of aficionados from the island and surprisingly far-flung places, including Japan, Korea, and Norway.”
For those wishing to wade right in, there’s Nuyorican Café in Old San Juan. It “looks like a dive—and it is—but it’s the heart of Puerto Rico’s salsa scene.”
If you’d like lessons, the guidebook recommends the Academia de Baile Julie Mayoral in Ponce, 120 kilometres southwest of San Juan on Puerto Rico’s south coast. “Mayoral’s second floor studio is steaming hot, and her young, enthusiastic instructors will have you doing proper vueltas [turns] in no time. For a bit more than $5 for an hour lesson, Mayoral probably offers the best deal in Puerto Rico.”
The guidebook also points out that “your clothes should honor the significance of the event and venue. Many dance organizers impose dress policies, prohibiting running shoes, sleeveless shirts, and overly informal or provocative clothing. Dress to impress.”
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THE SEVENTH EDITION of Clockenflap, which Fodor’s describes as “Hong Kong’s answer to Glastonbury,” runs 28-30 November at the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade. In 2013, 30,000 attended what’s become HK’s musical event of the year.
The 2014 musical headliners are Mogwai, Travis (both from the United Kingdom) and The Flaming Lips (from the United States), but the full line-up includes over 100 acts from Germany, Italy, France, the Philippines, Thailand and Australia, along with plenty of local outfits.
There are also art exhibitions and film screenings, among them the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom and a selection of BAFTA shorts.
The festival name, by the way, is made up. “It’s absurd,” admits the website.
134 shows worth travelling to
including this one in New York City
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