TImeline of Latin America dance
Created by uncgdcl on Aug 13, 2008
Last updated: 06/06/11 at 10:56 AM
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Blog 3 - Global Do you think Capoeira has influenced hip-hop? If so or if not, how, specifically and descriptively? What similarities do you see in the two genres, what differences do you notice, and where do you see their intersection(s)? Draw relevant connections to course content, restated in your own words and in a way that offers some description of the cultural context and/or characteristics of the dance(s). Reference the course readings and time line material when relevant and appropriate, and be sure to do so without any danger of plagiarism.' Then, respond to at least one of your peers’ posts in no less than three or four sentences. This should be a substantial response that adds something to the conversation and does not just restate what they have said. Capoeira video (View on Vimeo) and Hip Hop Video Post your blog entry in Blackboard
The Mambo The Mambo dance originated in Cuba in 1943. It evolved when Swing and Cuban music fused, and created a new dance to match its rhythm. Introduced at La Tropicana in Havana, Perez Prado is credited with developing the Mambo. Variations were developed as other bandleaders such as Tito Puente and Xavier Cugat created their own versions of the music that inspired the dance. The music and dance may take their name from the "Mambo," a voodoo priestess who served the villagers as counselor, healer, spiritual advisor, and organizer of public entertainment. The Mambo gave rise to the Cha-Cha in the 1950s. Originally stemming from a style similar to Rumba with a riff on the end, it is often referred to as Rumba with an emphasis on the second and fourth beats in 4/4 time. Much like Samba, the steps can be counted as “quick-quick-slow,” with the first step on the second beat and the slow step lasting through the fourth beat into the first in the next measure. While it is thought to be a fast dance, professional dancers see it as a slow and precise dance with little movement. Dance teachers argue that it is one of the most difficult dances, and its performance is generally limited to advanced dancers. The challenging rhythm of this dance led to the development of the Cha-Cha. The steps are performed with a weight change while bending the knee, which results in the hip motion (called the Cuban hip motions) typical of Latin American dance. In mambo, however, this move is made to appear more sudden and accentuated because of the relatively slow step. While the lead partner performs the “Forward basic,” the following partner executes the “Backward basic,” and results in what is called a diamond pattern. Click here to enjoy a sample Mambo performance. The Cha Cha The Cha-Cha evolved from the Mambo because of the challenging step count. Instead of the slow step on the 4 and 1 beats, the Cha-Cha replaces these with a triple step (three short steps that replace the one step). In this dance, the left-right-left foot pattern danced by the lead partner is then reversed to a right-left-right pattern. This results in each partner repeating the other’s pattern over the course of two bars of the music. Pierre Margolie visited Cuba in 1952 and observed this new dance, which he brought back to Europe and popularized. As with some other dances, a gradual evolution has led to the modern ballroom form of the Cha Cha, with the technique differing greatly from its original form. The technique that Margolie performed in Europe is distinct from the Cha Cha performed in ballroom dance halls today, just as the Cha Cha is distinct from the Mambo, which was its origin. Click here to enjoy a sample Cha Cha performance.
A lively dance introduced as a street dance in 1917, the Samba is known as the native dance of Brazil. Unlike other stationary Latin dances, the Samba travels about the dance floor with spins and controlled bounces. Much like the tango in Argentina, it was eventually accepted into Brazilian high society in 1930. Known variations include the carioca, baion, and batucado, with the primary difference being the tempo, as the steps in each variation are largely similar. The variation of Samba taught in the US and Europe tends to move more like a waltz, smoothly, with regular bounces throughout. Carmen Miranda is credited with introducing the Samba to the United States in 1939. Since its introduction, the musical rhythm of the Samba has remained much the same. Several variations combined to form the Samba in Brazil, meaning that no individual dance can claim to be the greatest contributor to the style. Additionally, Ballroom Samba has come onto the scene, differing significantly from its less formal counterpart. Counted in 2/4 time, meaning that each bar of music gets two beats, it is important to remember that Samba is performed in triple time, with each bar getting three steps per two beats. Most formal instructors teach the step count as “quick-quick, slow,” but in more informal situations, it is taught in a way that tends to be easier for the beginner. The first movement acts as preparation for the first step, then counting “tap, up-down, place,” and so on. The “tap” is the act of stepping onto the ball of your foot, with the “up-down” coming from the shifting of weight onto that leg. “Place” refers to the shifting of weight onto the other leg. It is best to change moves after eight beats of music, or two repetitions of the “tap, up-down, place” count. Watch dancers move to the eight beats of Samba Watch another example of Samba dancers IMAGE REFERENCE: smh.com
Overview Capoeira is a dance that originated in Brazil. It is generally performed in pairs who are surrounded by a group that chants and uses percussive instruments to make music for the dancers to perform to. Characterized by extensive use of legwork and acrobatic stunts, capoeira is a type of mock fight between the participants within the circle. History Much of the history of capoeira is hotly debated. The practice seems to have originated among African slaves in South America, though some claim that it is likely based on war dances from Southern Angola in West Africa. Slave masters in the New World forbid slaves from learning martial arts, so they disguised their fighting as a dance to avoid punishment. After the Paraguayan War, in 1870, Brazilian president Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca signed an act that made the practice of capoeira illegal, but the poor and others continued to practice it, causing the dance to be associated with criminals. A new type of capoeira, regional, was developed in order to bring it out of that shadow. With the immigration of South Americans into North America, capoeira came with them, taking root primarily in the South, further shedding the stigma that it had in Brazil. Through time, capoeira schools have been founded around the world, turning it into a truly multinational, multiracial dance. Music A very important part of capoeira is the music. It sets the tempo of the dance and dictates what moves are used. The music is made by the people in the circle around the dancers, with vocalizations often being in the form of “call and respond,” where the musician will call out and the rest of the crowd will repeat. Common instruments are the berimbaus, a steel-stringed instrument that is played by striking the string with the stick and using a stone to modulate the pitch; there are also tambourines, a rasp, and an agogo to provide percussive rhythm. Styles Capoeira Angola: The traditional form of capoeira, it is characterized by a closer dance that is slower and lower to the ground than contemporary capoeira. Capoeira Regional: More commonly practiced than capoeira Angola, it was developed by Mestre Bimba in order to make it more efficient and help remove the stigma that capoeira Angola had acquired. Terminology Jogo: The “game” refers to the dance itself, and serves to remind participants that the focus is the show, not beating an opponent. Ginga: The fundamental movement in capoeira, characterized by moving one foot backwards and then back to the base, describing a triangular step, allowing the capoeirist the ability to shift into another movement. The rest of the body remains close and tight in order to protect from strikes and move quickly should the need arise. Au: A cartwheel, used for a quick retreat or a lure into a trap. Melandragem: “Trickery” in the dance, using feints and fakes in order to lure the opponent into a trap. Roda: The circle in which the dance is performed, made up of the spectators and musicians. Bateria: The part of the roda where instruments are played. Click here to see capoeria in action. Or, click here to see capoeria in action. IMAGE REFERENCE: capoeria.com
The Merengue is the national dance of the Dominican Republic, and has a strong connection to the culture of the neighboring island of Haiti. Two popular stories of the origins of the dance attempt to explain the characteristic dragging or low swinging of the leg in the dance. One story tells of slaves being chained together at the leg, and dragging one leg as they cut sugar to the beat of a drum. A second story tells of a Dominican revolutionary hero wounded in the leg during a battle, who was shown respect by villagers dancing while dragging one leg. A third story connects the name and moves to the confection of meringues, which is light and airy and might reflect the dance’s short, precise rhythms. It is clear that the dance has existed since around 1850 in the Dominican Republic. In 1930, it became popular throughout the island, when Rafael L. Trujillo used several Merengue bands for his presidential campaign and used radio stations for broadcasting his message. It has been used to celebrate most occasions on the island. Its popularity quickly spread to other islands in the Caribbean and countries in South America. It is recognized as one of the standard Latin American dances. The dance is a combination of the African and the French minuet. As opposed to the minuet, this dance was said to have been adopted by slaves to use the strong beat of the drum, and incorporate upbeat skipping or hopping. Like a minuet, it was originally danced not by individual couples, but by couples facing each other in two circles, with the inner circle facing the outer circle with couples holding hands at arm’s length. It also lacked hip movement and consisted of mostly shaking shoulders and moving feet quickly. Today’s version of the Merengue is danced by couples who hold each other in a closed position, which means they remain connected by at least an arm’s length throughout the dance. The man normally holds his partner at the waist with his left hand, while holding her hand at her eye’s height with his right hand. The dance involves partners moving their hips synchronously while stepping, so they seem to move as one throughout the dance. Partners can add many variations of moves, such as walking sideways, circling each other in small steps, or doing a double handhold (instead of holding one hand and having the other on her waist, the partners link both sets of hands) while completing turns without letting go of each other's hands or momentarily releasing one hand. This move was popularized in the 1970s disco dances. The upper body is kept majestic and turns are slow, typically four beats/steps per complete turn. The Merengue was introduced in the United States in the New York area in the 1930s as well, with the touring of Dominican artists. The increased wave of immigrants from the Dominican Republic strengthened its presence, and gave rise to variations of the dance that incorporate rock, rap, and pop music and moves into its character. Click here to enjoy a sample Merengue performance.
Tango refers to both a musical form and the dance performed to it. While the exact origins of the tango are unclear, the dance originated around 1850 in the dance halls and brothels frequented by dock workers in Argentina’s main port city, Buenos Aires, and in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. The tango derived from the milonga, a dance often performed by males dancing in pairs while they waited their turn outside brothels. The primary instrument was the bandoneon, an accordian played by Italian and Spanish immigrant dock workers. Street dancing became so popular that prostitutes soon began to join impromptu parties outside their work places. Like most other Latin dance forms, the tango blends dances and music from the many cultures of the immigrants in these cities: traditional polkas, waltzes and mazurkas, the Habanera from Cuba, and the candombe rhythms from Africa. Since it developed in the poor sections of the cities where immigrants lived, the upper class shunned the tango because they considered the dance to be extremely vulgar. By the early 20th century, the dance had spread to all regions of Argentina and other parts of the world. The worldwide spread of the tango came around 1910 when wealthy sons of Argentine society families made their way to Paris and introduced the dance, which by 1913 was embraced by Parisian high society. The Parisians modified the tango into a more refined dance, which became popular throughout the world. As the dance gained popularity among upper classes around the world, the elite of Argentine society accepted the previously maligned form. In 1913, the tango began to move from low society to elegant dance palaces. With the shift from low to high society, the lyrics became an important aspect of the tango in Argentina. Speaking of lost love and shattered lives, the lyrics were generally melancholy and slow. The most famous tango singer and composer was Carlos Gardel, whose work began "the Golden Age of Tango," which lasted from 1930 until the 1955. Tango poets and librettists became revered figures in higher literary circles, culminating with the famous collaboration between the writer Jorge Luis Borges and composer and bandoneon player Astor Piazzolla in the 1960s. Piazzolla’s compositions are played by symphony orchestras and tango ensembles around the world. Click here to watch a couple dancing Argentine Tango. IMAGE REFERENCE: iStock photos
While Rumba brings a particular style of dance to mind, it is actually a generic term serving to describe a group of West Indian music and dance such as the Son and Danzon. The dances have their roots in both Spanish and African traditions, and although it was primarily developed in Cuba, there were similar dances which were developed throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. The word “rumba” may have originated from the “rumboso orquestra,” which referred to dance bands in 1807; “rumbo” for route; or “rhum,” which is the liquor rum. The version of the Rumba recognized and danced around the globe today is the Cuban Rumba. The Rumba was influenced by African slaves who were brought to the West Indies in the 16th century. Described as a “sex pantomime,” the Rumba is danced quickly, with exaggerated hip movements, an aggressive posturing on the part of the man and a defensive posturing on the part of the woman. In keeping with the sensual, powerful movements of the dancers, the dance is accentuated with a sharp, staccato beat. VIDEO: Click here and here to sample some Rumba dancing. Drums, maracas, and the claves are traditional instruments in rumba music. Only movement of the hips happens on beat 1, with steps taken on beats 2, 3, and 4. This music emphasizes the movement of the hips, and is combined with little movement of the upper torso. Along with the slow rhythm of the music, these movements give the dance a strong romantic character. Click here to see a diagram showing the basic traditional Rumba dance steps. Favored among the middle of Cuba was the “Son,” slower and more refined than its forebear, the Rumba. Lew Quinn and Joan Sawyer are credited with introducing the Rumba to the United States in 1913. Their version (the “American Rumba”) is a modified version of the “Son.” It became more popular around 1925, when Benito Collada opened the Club El Chico in Greenwich Village and popularized it. Latin music and the Rumba’s popularity were helped along by Xavier Cugat, who opened the Coconut Grove club in Los Angeles and performed Latin music there with his orchestra. The movie “Rumba” was released in 1935, a demonstration of the favor that the dance was acquiring in Hollywood and around the United States. Monsieur Pierre Margolie, a leading dance teacher in London, popularized Latin American dancing in Europe in the 1930s, with his partner, Doris Lavelle. This pair introduced the "Cuban Rumba," which was established as the official recognized version of the Rumba in 1955. Their efforts have made the Rumba one of the most popular ballroom dances in the world. IMAGE REFERENCE: http://www.centralhome.com/ballroomcountry/rumba.htm