Latin dance

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Intermediate level international-style Latin dancing at the 2006 MIT ballroom dance competition. A judge stands in the foreground. MIT 2006 Latin Intermediate.jpg
Intermediate level international-style Latin dancing at the 2006 MIT ballroom dance competition. A judge stands in the foreground.

Latin dance is a general label, and a term in partner dance competition jargon. It refers to types of ballroom dance and folk dance that (with few exceptions) originated in Latin America.

This is a list of dance terms that are not names of dances or types of dances. See List of dances and List of dance style categories for those.

Ballroom dance a set of partner dances

Ballroom dance is a set of partner dances, which are enjoyed both socially and competitively around the world. Because of its performance and entertainment aspects, ballroom dance is also widely enjoyed on stage, film, and television.

Folk dance dances that were danced to traditional folk festivals and in traditional societies and are still been danced

A folk dance is developed by people that reflect the life of the people of a certain country or region. Not all ethnic dances are folk dances. For example, ritual dances or dances of ritual origin are not considered to be folk dances. Ritual dances are usually called "Religious dances" because of their purpose. The terms "ethnic" and "traditional" are used when it is required to emphasize the cultural roots of the dance. In this sense, nearly all folk dances are ethnic ones. If some dances, such as polka, cross ethnic boundaries and even cross the boundary between "folk" and "ballroom dance", ethnic differences are often considerable enough to mention.

Contents

The category of Latin dances in the international dancesport competitions consists of the cha-cha-cha, rumba, samba, paso doble, and also the jive of United States origin. [1] [2]

Dancesport ballroom dancing as a sport

Dancesport denotes competitive ballroom dancing, as contrasted to social or exhibition dancing. In the case of wheelchair dancesport, at least one of the dancers is in a wheelchair.

Cha-cha-cha (dance) dance of Cuban origin cha- cha

The cha-cha-chá, informally called cha-cha, is a dance of Cuban origin. It is danced to the music of the same name introduced by Cuban composer and violinist Enrique Jorrin in the early 1950s. This rhythm was developed from the danzón-mambo. The name of the dance is an onomatopoeia derived from the shuffling sound of the dancers' feet when they dance the three consecutive quick steps that characterize the dance.

Rhumba, also known as ballroom rumba, is a genre of ballroom music and dance that appeared in the East Coast of the United States during the 1930s. It combined American big band music with Afro-Cuban rhythms, primarily the son cubano, but also conga and rumba. Taking its name from the latter, ballroom rumba differs completely from Cuban rumba both in its music and dance. Hence, authors prefer the Americanized spelling of the word (rhumba) to distinguish between them.

Social Latin dances (Street Latin) include salsa, mambo, merengue, rumba, bachata, bomba and plena. There are many dances which were popular in the first part of the 20th century, but which are now of only historical interest. The Cuban danzón is a good example. [3]

Salsa (dance) Dance form

Salsa is a popular form of social dance originating in Eastern Cuba. The Salsa we hear now is said to be born in New York to a mixture of Afro Cuban folk dances with Jazz. Evidence shows that the “Salsa” sound was already developed in Cuba before being brought up to New York. The movements of Salsa are a combination of the Afro-Cuban dances Son, cha-cha-cha, Mambo, Rumba, and the Danzón. The dance, along with salsa music, saw major development in the mid-1970s in New York. Different regions of Latin America and the United States have distinct salsa styles of their own, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican, Cali Colombia, L.A. and New York styles. Salsa dance socials are commonly held in night clubs, bars, ballrooms, restaurants, and outside, especially when part of an outdoor festival.

Mambo (dance) Dance

Mambo is a Latin dance of Cuba which was developed in the 1940s when the music genre of the same name became popular throughout Latin America. The original ballroom dance which emerged in Cuba and Mexico was related to the danzón, albeit faster and less rigid. In the United States, it replaced rhumba as the most fashionable Latin dance. Later on, with the advent of salsa and its more sophisticated dance, a new type of mambo dance including breaking steps was popularized in New York. This form received the name of "salsa on 2", "mambo on 2" or "modern mambo".

Merengue (dance)

Merengue is a style of Dominican music and dance. Partners hold each other in a closed position. The leader holds the follower's waist with the leader's right hand, while holding the follower's right hand with the leader's left hand at the follower's eye level. Partners bend their knees slightly left and right, thus making the hips move left and right. The hips of the leader and follower move in the same direction throughout the song. Partners may walk sideways or circle each other, in small steps. They can switch to an open position and do separate turns without letting go each other's hands or releasing one hand. During these turns they may twist and tie their handhold into intricate pretzels. Other choreographies are possible.

Perreo is a Puerto Rican dance associated with Reggaeton music with Jamaican and Caribbean influences. escondido and zamba. Typical Bolivian folk dances are the morenada, kullawada, caporales and the recently created tinku. In Colombia one of the typical dances is the cumbia. [4] [5]

Reggaeton, also known as reggaetón and reguetón, is a music style which originated in Puerto Rico during the late 1990s. It is influenced by American hip hop, Latin American, and Caribbean music. Vocals include rapping and singing, typically in Spanish.

Zamba (artform) Musical rhythm

Zamba is a traditional dance of Argentina. It is a style of Argentine music and Argentine folk dance. Zamba is very different from its homophone, the samba - musically, rhythmically, temperamentally, in the steps of the dance and in its costume. It has six beats to the bar and is a majestic dance, performed by couples who circle each other waving white handkerchiefs very elegantly. It has common elements with the cueca.

Bolivia Country in South America

Bolivia, officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The capital is Sucre, while the seat of government and financial center is located in La Paz. The largest city and principal industrial center is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, located on the Llanos Orientales, a mostly flat region in the east of the country.

Origin

Latin dance is mainly derived from three styles: Native American, European, and African influences. The roots of Latin dance are deep and geographically embedded because it dates back to the fifteenth century when indigenous dances were first recorded by Europeans.[ citation needed ]

Its influence was first derived from their native roots, the Aztecs and Incas. When sixteenth century seagoing explorers returned home to Portugal and Spain, they brought along tales of the native peoples. According to Rachel Hanson, no one knows how long these dance traditions were established, but they were already being developed and ritualized when they were observed by the Europeans. This suggests that these Native influences became the foundation for Latin dancing. [6] Indigenous dance often told stories of everyday activities such as hunting, agriculture, or astronomy. When European settlers and conquistadors began to colonize South America in the early sixteenth century, they reinvented the local dance traditions, but still kept the styles of the natives. Catholic settlers merged the native culture with their own and incorporated catholic saints and stories to the dance. The Europeans were captivated by the highly structured, large member dance working together in a precise manner. It was not until the integration of European styles that modern Latin dancing became its true form.[ citation needed ]

After the Europeans brought home the Aztec/Inca influences in the sixteenth century, they incorporated their own styles to the dance. Since the Aztec/Inca dances were performed in a group, many of the European dances were performed by a male and female. This was a new practice because European dances prohibited male and female dance partners from touching each other. The benefits of such dance style allowed musical appreciation and social integration, which became the form of Latin dance. However, “much of the storytelling element disappeared from the genre as the focus moved toward the rhythm and steps,” [6] Hanson explains. The movement evolved differently because it brought a certain element of daintiness to the Aztec dances since the steps were smaller and the movements were less forceful. Combining African styles along with the Native and European influences is what truly makes Latin dance unique.[ citation needed ]

The movement and rhythms of African influences left a permanent mark in Latin dance. When the African slaves entered Europe in the 1500s, they brought styles such as basic, simple movements (putting emphasis on the upper body, torso, or feet) and intricate movements like the coordination of different body parts and complex actions such as “fast rotation, ripples of the body, and contraction and release, as well as variations in dynamics, levels, and use of space.” [7] [8] The difference between the African and European styles was that it included bent knees and a downward focus (grounded to the earth) rather than a straight-backed upward focus like the Europeans, and whole-foot steps than toes and heels. Such influences of African roots allowed the beauty and uniqueness of Latin dance.[ citation needed ]

Development

Many dance styles from different areas of the world were integrated into Latin dance. Such styles came about which comprised the main categories of Latin dancing: Salsa, Mambo, Merengue, Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Bachata, and Samba. Music became the engine for Latin dancing because it guided the dance steps with its measure, speed, and the feeling it evoked, from energetic to sensual. Various Latin American regions developed independent styles, and from each genre, or combination of styles, a different genre was born. For example, the Mambo which was created in the 1940s emerged through the combination of American swing and Cuban Son music.

The modernization of Latin dance

Following the music, movement history, and the rhythms, Latin dance evolved over time and individual steps slowly shifted the repertoire of each dance. It has several different forms and many modernized styles which creates a problem because it is shifting away from its Native, European, and African roots. A popular aerobic dance class known as Zumba is said to be influenced by Latin rhythm and steps. However, there are disagreements among Latin dancers about whether Zumba is true Latin dance. One skeptic is Darlin Garcia, salsa dancer and instructor. She says: “You're taking a salsa step and in the middle of it you jump into a jumping jack. When you're mixing the two, that's just funny.” [9] Zumba is including and expanding moves from international and western influences such as Coast swing, belly dancing, and bhangra.

Conclusion

Although Latin dance has been evolved and modified over the centuries, its Native Latin, European, and African roots will always remain in the movements and rhythms of the genre. The great thing about such genre is the rich, cultural history embedded in each dance.[ citation needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

Mambo is a genre of Cuban dance music pioneered by the charanga Arcaño y sus Maravillas in the late 1930s and later popularized in the big band style by Pérez Prado. It originated as a syncopated form of the danzón, known as danzón-mambo, with a final, improvised section, which incorporated the guajeos typical of son cubano. These guajeos became the essence of the genre when it was played by big bands, which did not perform the traditional sections of the danzón and instead leaned towards swing and jazz. By the late 1940s and early 1950s, mambo had become a "dance craze" in the United States as its associated dance took over the East Coast thanks to Pérez Prado, Tito Puente, Tito Rodríguez and others. In the mid-1950s, a slower ballroom style, also derived from the danzón, cha-cha-cha, replaced mambo as the most popular dance genre in North America. Nonetheless, mambo continued to enjoy some degree of popularity into the 1960s and new derivative styles appeared, such as dengue; by the 1970s it had been largely incorporated into salsa.

The term rumba may refer to a variety of unrelated music styles. Originally, "rumba" was used as a synonym for "party" in northern Cuba, and by the late 19th century it was used to denote the complex of secular music styles known as Cuban rumba. Since the early 20th century the term has been used in different countries to refer to distinct styles of music and dance, most of which are only tangentially related to the original Cuban rumba, if at all. The vague etymological origin of the term rumba, as well as its interchangeable use with guaracha in settings such as bufo theatre, is largely responsible for such worldwide polysemy of the term. In addition, "rumba" was the primary marketing term for Cuban music in North America, as well as West and Central Africa, during much of the 20th century, before the rise of mambo, pachanga and salsa.

The music of Cuba, including its instruments, performance and dance, comprises a large set of unique traditions influenced mostly by west African and European music. Due to the syncretic nature of most of its genres, Cuban music is often considered one of the richest and most influential regional musics of the world. For instance, the son cubano merges an adapted Spanish guitar (tres), melody, harmony, and lyrical traditions with Afro-Cuban percussion and rhythms. Almost nothing remains of the original native traditions, since the native population was exterminated in the 16th century.

Music of Puerto Rico Variety of musical genres from Puerto Rico, US

The music of Puerto Rico has evolved as a heterogeneous and dynamic product of diverse cultural resources. The most conspicuous musical sources have been Spain and West Africa, although many aspects of Puerto Rican music reflect origins elsewhere in Europe and the Caribbean. Puerto Rican music culture today comprises a wide and rich variety of genres, ranging from essentially indigenous genres like bomba to recent hybrids like Latin trap and reggaeton. Broadly conceived, the realm of "Puerto Rican music" should naturally comprise the music culture of the millions of people of Puerto Rican descent who have lived in the United States, and especially in New York City. Their music, from salsa to the boleros of Rafael Hernández, cannot be separated from the music culture of Puerto Rico itself.

Timbales shallow single-headed drums with a metal casing

Timbales or pailas are shallow single-headed drums with metal casing. They are shallower than single-headed tom-toms, and usually tuned much higher, especially for their size. The player uses a variety of stick strokes, rim shots, and rolls to produce a wide range of percussive expression during solos and at transitional sections of music, and usually plays the shells of the drum or auxiliary percussion such as a cowbell or cymbal to keep time in other parts of the song.

Danzón is the official musical genre and dance of Cuba. It is also an active musical form in Mexico, and is much loved in Puerto Rico as well. Written in 2
4
time
, the danzón is a slow, formal partner dance, requiring set footwork around syncopated beats, and incorporating elegant pauses while the couples stand listening to virtuoso instrumental passages, as characteristically played by a charanga or tipica ensemble.

The basic step, basic movement, basic pattern, or simply basic is the dance move that defines the character of a particular dance. It sets the rhythm of the dance; it is the default move to which a dancer returns, when not performing any other moves. For some dances it is sufficient to know the basic step performed in different handholds and dance positions to enjoy it socially.

In Cuba, a popular dance known as Casino was marketed abroad as Cuban-style salsa or Salsa Cubana to distinguish it from other salsa styles when the name was popularized in the 1970s. Dancing Casino is an expression of popular social culture; Many Cubans consider casino a part of their social and cultural activities centering on their popular music.

Pachanga is a genre of music which is described as a mixture of son montuno and merengue and has an accompanying signature style of dance. This type of music has a festive, lively style and is marked by jocular, mischievous lyrics. Pachanga originated in Cuba in the 1950s and played an important role in the evolution of Caribbean style music as we know it today. Considered a prominent contributor to the eventual rise of Salsa, Pachanga itself is an offshoot of Charanga style music. Very similar in sound to Cha-Cha but with a notably stronger down-beat, Pachanga once experienced massive popularity all across the Caribbean and was brought to the United States by Cuban immigrants post World War II. This led to an explosion of Pachanga music in Cuban music clubs that influenced Latin culture in the United States for decades to come.

Sequence dance

Sequence dancing is a form of dance in which a preset pattern of movements is followed, usually to music which is also predetermined. Sequence dancing may include dances of many different styles. The term may include ballroom dances which move round the floor as well as line, square and circle dances.

Cha-cha-chá is a genre of Cuban music. It has been a popular dance music which developed from the Danzón-mambo in the early 1950s, and became widely popular throughout the entire world.

Cuban folk music includes a variety of traditional folk music of Cuba, and has been influenced by the Spanish and the African culture as well as the remaining indigenous population of the Caribbean.

Monsieur Pierre was the professional name of Pierre Jean Phillipe Zurcher-Margolle. He was a professional dancer and dance teacher, largely responsible for introducing the Latin American dances to England, and for codifying them, and laying the groundwork for their use in competitions and in social dance. The system he and his colleagues developed became the basis for all Latin and American competitions held under the World Dance Council (WDC).

Dance in Cuba

Cuban culture encompasses a wide range of dance forms. The island's indigenous people performed rituals known as areíto, which included dancing, although little information is known about such ceremonies. After the colonization of Cuba by the Spanish Kingdom, European dance forms were introduced such as the French contredanse, which gave rise to the Cuban contradanza. Contradanza itself spawned a series of ballroom dances between the 19th and 20th centuries, including the danzón, mambo and cha-cha-cha. Rural dances of European origin, such as the zapateo and styles associated with punto guajiro also became established by the 19th century, and in the 20th century son became very popular. In addition, numerous dance traditions were brought by black slaves from West Africa and the Congo basin, giving rise to religious dances such as Santería, yuka and abakuá, as well as secular forms such as rumba. Many of these dance elements from European dance and religious dances were fused together to form the basis of la técnica cubana. Cuban music also contributed to the emergence of Latin dance styles in the United States, namely rhumba and salsa.

References

  1. Lavelle, Doris 1983. Latin & American dances. 3rd ed, Black, London, p108.
  2. The reason jive is included with the latin dances is because its dancestyle is similar: "... a non-progressive dance which can be danced in a small space when the floor is crowded". and "The hold is similar to latin dances" [meaning, it is quite different from the modern or ballroom dances]. Silvester, Victor 1977. Dancing: ballroom, latin-american and social, 105/6. ISBN   0-340-22517-3. Teach Yourself Books
  3. Santos, John. 1982. The Cuban Danzón (liner notes). New York, Folkways Records FE 4066
  4. Box, Ben (1992). South American Handbook. New York City: Trade & Travel. At the beginning of each chapter (except the Guianas) is a section on "Music and Dance" written by Nigel Gallop, an Englishman, fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, who lived and worked in almost every country of South America.
  5. Box, Ben; Cameron, Sarah (1992). Caribbean Islands Handbook. New York City: Trade & Travel. Dance information is provided under "Culture" headings.
  6. 1 2 "History of Latin Dance". LoveToKnow. Retrieved 2016-04-25.
  7. Guide, Africa. "African People and Culture". www.africaguide.com. Retrieved 2016-04-25.
  8. "Recent from Latin Dancing Shoes". LT Dancers.
  9. "Zumba Is A Hit, But Is It Latin?". NPR.org. Retrieved 2016-04-25.

Further reading