House of Latin Dance
Where: New York, NY
Address: 25th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenues
New York, NY
Phone: (212) 252-3753
Reviewer: Robert Abrams
Date reviewed: 12/1/01
The people who brought you Spice on the Frying Pan at the Chelsea Piers this past Summer have cooked up a layered confection of dance to see you through the Winter. The new House of Latin Dance held its grand opening Friday November 30, 2001. Held at SAVA Arts, located in the annex of the historic Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava, Reba Perez and her compadres use all three floors to good effect. The first floor offers Salsa. The second floor offers Brazilian Samba. The third floor offers Argentine Tango. Wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks are sold on the first and third floors. Miniature empanadas are sold on the second floor. The empanadas are the perfect size to recharge your Cuban motion without needing to wait an hour before you "go back in the pool."
The House of Latin Dance is run by dancers for dancers. As such, it is a safe place to grow. For example, suppose that you are a Salsa dancer and are content to mostly dance Salsa all night long. You can do that here, but unlike a Salsa-only club, you can also observe the solemn intensity of Argentine Tango. You might start to notice patterns that cross dance traditions. Traditionally, serious Tango dancers show up in a suit. Some of the accomplished Salsa dancers show up in a sharp-looking suit. Not that you have to wear a suit, but you know what ZZ Top said
The House of Latin Dance accommodates both orthodox dancers who insist on strict adherence to the traditional norms of each dance, as well as dancers who interpret the music in their own way. For partnership dance to remain vital, both preservation and innovation are necessary. The House of Latin Dance has the potential to create a community that can contribute to this vitality.
Tango on the third floor
Salsa on the first floor
If you are not a philosopher of dance, the House of Latin Dance will still warm the cockles of your cheap stuffer's heart. Who doesn't love a bargain? A $20 cover gets you three floors of music, reasonably priced food and drink and friendly service all in an historic and beautiful space. Part of the cover charge goes toward the St. Sava Cathedral renovation, so you can enjoy yourself and support historic preservation at the same time.
Plus, if you show up before 9:30 PM and you have a discount card (which you can print out at www.spicemedia.net), the cover is only $5. Show up with the card after 9:30 PM and the cover is $15 and includes a free drink. As with any new venture, this is a work in progress that has a few rough edges, but it is worthwhile work with a lot of potential. You have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new New York dance tradition. In a space like this, you might just ascend to heaven.
The House of Latin Dance at SAVA is located on 25th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue and is held Fridays and Saturdays from 9 PM to 2 AM. Go to www.spicemedia.net or call (212) 252-3753 for more information.