Saturday, August 20, 2016

Food

Chinese cuisine includes styles originating from the diverse regions of China, as well as from Chinese people in other parts of the world including most Asian nations. It has evolved into a foreign cuisine most enjoy throughout the world. The history of Chinese cuisine in China stretches back for thousands of years and has changed from period to period and in each region according to climate, imperial fashions, and local preferences. It has developed more interest by those living in the region.

“Dancers do trust their eyes - but most dancers see what they wish to see,
or what they believe they should see; not what is really there”


Mexican cuisine, is gaining rapidly throughout the world now and getting quite an influence in Hawaii. Latin food in Hawaii usually meant Porto Rican food. But now it is definitely Mexican. It is gradually becoming more standardized as it becomes more standardized in Mexico. Tacos will remain tacos and they have been there for millenniums. It has always been just anything wrapped in a corn tortilla. And an Enchilada is just a fancy taco with plenty hot stuff.


Burritos are a late newcomer and developed by Mexicans in the US, during the Great Depression in the 1930s. All the poor received sacks of floor as part of the contribution by the State. And the Mexicans were not interested in bread but they could make flour tortillas with it. Then putting food into the flour tortilla like a taco and you got a Burrito. And like anything else, you got good burritos and some not so good. Now you can try some Chiles Rellenos and that is something else, Wow!


In a Latin night club, you have to use two hands to handle a taco. The norm is the Taquito, a rolled up corn tortilla with a little meat inside. Cost about a dollar per taquito and cut into four pieces each. served with a little guacamole. On Oahu, they could be served with chopsticks. Order three or four and you gotta good meal to go with your drinks. 

“Dancers may say bad things about you, because it is the only way
their insignificant selves can feel better than you.”

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Latin Dancing

We are not there yet but we are getting closer to Latin dance. Fortunately it is going on all over the country on the mainland. The are two main dance organizations that have been running this whole Latin thing into the ground. American and International both have long ago decided the different divisions of dance, - one of which is called the Latin. He He He.

"When a toxic person finds they cannot control you, they will try to control
how others see you. The misinformation will seem unfair but stay
above it, trusting that others will eventually see the truth."


We shall take International first because they are the strictest and will state flatly that if you do not dance their way, you are dancing "incorrectly." And of course, they have their good reasons which do not apply to all of us. Rumba, Cha Cha Cha and Samba is just fine. They all have moves that were danced by the Indian Civilizations millenniums ago. However Jive is American and not Latin. Paso Doble is French and modified by the Spanish and not Latin. We can safely exclude them from our Social Latin Dancing.

"Mi Buen Amor" por Gloria Estefan


American has Rumba, Cha Cha Cha and Mambo which we can find easy to accept. However, Swing is American and Bolero is an American manufactured makeover of the Rumba to slightly slower music.We can safely exclude Bolero and Swing from Social Latin Dancing. We also have the opportunity of choosing others that might make it. Bachata, Merengue, Salsa, Tango, the choice should be and will be made by the Latin Dancers. It is slowly emerging.

"Lemon Tree" by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass


The Peripherals will still do as they wish. The Swing Club wishes to swing their way. Let us not look down on them but accept the fact that they have different preferences in the dance. Their privilege, their choice, no hu hu. Then why is Waltz missing from the Latin? That is not the answer.

Bolero by Ravel, 1928, A classic to this day, and da reel teeng.
Nothing like any Bolero fans have ever heard.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Still Struggling

At the bottom of the pile. Of course we have deficiencies, and the name is one of them. The search engines do not know and is not even included in the dance blogs of Oahu. And this blog is definitely a dance blog on Oahu. Most people seem to know that Ritmo means Rhythm in Spanish, but are unaware of the word, Mestizo. If they do not know by the end of the month, we must tell them.

“We cannot waste our time with too many explanations:
many people only hear what they want to hear.”


The Social dancers on Oahu are beginning to realize that in the American and International styles of dance there is much Latin. In social partner dancing there is much Latin. The peripherals such as Tango, Salsa, Bachata, Zouk and Zumbia are all in the Latin vein. If we have 35000 social dancers on Oahu, At least 25000 dance Latin as a favorite in one form or another.

"Cuando Calienta El Sol" por Luis Miguel


When the Mexican influence gets into Oahu more, there will definitely be a Latin Studio and Night Club, a miniature of the famous Granada in California. A Dance Studio, with the weekends dedicated to the Night Club fun. And plenty of chopstick pupus available. And a more standardized format for the Latin music that is played. For now it is over 60% Latin on Oahu. All we can do is hope the search engines become aware that this is Dance Blog on Oahu. Mahalo.

"Into each life, a little wine should pass."

 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Salsa New York

Mambo, Salsa?
By Aristides Raul Garcia,
aka as El Intruso, New York

The Cuban Perez Prado, to whom some people attribute the creation of the Mambo, was well established for years in Mexico before the Mambo arrived in Manhattan. He was the darling of the upper classes, and the chic, not only in Mexico, but all over Latin America. In an interview, Tito Puente told Marla Friedler that he was the first one to put dancers on the stage; Perez Prado was doing that in Mexico 30 years before that!!!, probably with Mexican dancers. Many Mexicans took to the Son, the Danzon, the Mambo, etc. In fact, even today the Danzon is taught in the Ballrooms of Mexico.

"Some people march to a different drummer ... and some people Salsa on the two."


The movie simply titled "Danzon" gives a good picture of this phenomena. I mention the Mexican ruling class and the chic, because to talk about Latin Music without referring to economic classes, demographics, race, age groups, and even political beliefs, is to be myopic. For example, Salsa music owes its origin to two Cuban music and dances: the Danzon which was the music of the rich and powerful, and the working class Son. The Danzon finds its origin in the French Contre Danse, which derives its name from the English Country Dance, which had become the dance of the French royal court and of the colonialists in Haiti.

"Que Rico Es El Mambo" por Perez Prado


When the slaves rebelled in Haiti and threw them out, many of these colonialists moved, not back to France, but to Santiago de Cuba. The Cuban rulers (Cuba was a Spanish colony at the time, and slavery was still flourishing there) took well to this "new" dance, and adopted it with enthusiasm. Eventually it evolved into the Danzon now being danced by many Mexicans.

"Indestructible" por Ray Barretto

Funny, that in a "proletarian" state such as Cuba the National Dance is the dance of the ruling class; the Danzon. The Son, according to the Cuban musicologist Alejo Carpentier (and others) is from its beginnings working class. I mention this business about social classes, demographics, and race because to understand the popularity of Mambo in NYC, all these things have to be considered.

“Revive your soul daily by dancing to soothing music - 
You can dance to the music in your soul.”
 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Maybe the West

My research is paying off and it is looking more clear now. More people are in agreement that the Rail Catastrophe is going to screw up the works including the social dance scene from Waipahu to Town. And that is not even counting the noise which few have yet mentioned. The dance scene will be moving inevitably towards the Waianae Coast, the Central Valley and even to the North Shore. Away from Honolulu and the Rail Tragedy

"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the
most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.

Waipio?
Some bars in the West have been turning into small Night Clubs by providing dance music and have some dancing. But the dance floors are postage stamp size. Very difficult for the social dancer and I don't mean Quick Step, Now that the classiest clubs in Waikiki are going for the 10, 15 dollar cover charge, it will follow to the West and "I coulda been home in 20 minutes." Now if we can find a nice Business Park,- ideal.

"Y Volvere" por Christina Aguilera


That won't be so bad, since there won't be so much of that existing pressure on dancers to buy drinks. Then too, so many clubs world wide are learning the art of making non-alcholic fruit drinks. The conclusion is obvious, there is more need of a good night club in the West and the customers will be more than willing to pay. We are so fortunate to have some of the best rumba dancers on Oahu. That is Latin dancing, son!

"Adoro" por Armando Manzanero 


There are three dance studios in the upper Moanalua Corridor, but they seem to go for other than the social Ballroom Dances. Both Woodson and Nix are into "performing" arts which translates to "exhibition" type dancing. The third is into other types of dance. There are no professional studios where a person can go to learn to move to the music of their choice because their body asks for it. That is a horse of a different color, the kind that is provided by the social dance clubs.

"La Golondrina" por Placido Domingo

In Kapolei, there is Kapolei Chapter and Ewa Beach Chapter of HBDA. Kapolei Chapter is the largest chapter of HBDA on Oahu and they have their own Web site. They have a terrific crowd of members, good dance teachers, and a board confidently looking at the future. They have been the vanguard of dancing to the Waianae Coast.

"Desahogo" por Gloria Trevi

In Kapolei, there is only one Dance Studio but not covering any ballroom dancing and only two bars, which double as a night clubs at times. And I have gotten to one when it was closed because they had a private party. So it is quite evident that they need a good Night Club in Kapolei and it is coming. With half the prices of Ko'Olina Resorts, it will be packed. "And I coulda been home in 20 minutes."

"Being fixed that aome of the people who come for dancing lessons
have rumba ambitions and minuet bodies "

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Latin Dance?

The Inca Empire from about the early 1400s to 1533 was late in relation to the great Indian Civilizations in Mexico but they did very well establishing the professional class very nicely. The favorite dance even among the peasants was always the Milonga (a cat dance) and just step, step, step for about seven counts and then a rapid close for the cat pounce.

"There can't be any large-scale revolution among dancers until there's a personal revolution, on an each dancer's individual level. It's got to happen inside of us first.”


The arrival of many European populations in the 1800s made little changes. Most changes were in the new instruments, guitars and violins and naturally the music. The dancers seemed to be in two parts. The top half was almost immobile and they focused their dancing on the bottom half and yet kept the same steady timing. They still had the simple Milonga walking step but were slowly accepting the quick, quick, slow too.

"El Choclo" por Julio Iglesias

The stealthy effect achieved by many Milongueros even today results from holding every slow step until the last possible moment before moving the other foot. The sharp staccato motions of the head and feet became expressions of “love, jealousy, hate, violence and tragedy.” And much of it has been incorporated in all the Tangos the world over. Even in Argentina there are almost one dozen different Tangos to choose from.

"El Dia Que Me Quieras" por Carlos Gardel

The tango consists of a variety of styles that developed in different regions and eras of Argentina as well as in other locations around the world. The dance developed in response to many cultural elements, such as the crowding of the venue and even the fashions in clothing. The styles are mostly danced in either open embrace, where lead and follow have space between their bodies, or close embrace, where the lead and follow connect either chest-to-chest (Argentine tango) or in the upper thigh, hip area (American and International tango).

"Nostalgias" por Placido Domingo


Tango is just a small part of Latin music and dance. It has also been acceptable to not know so much about it as in Latin music and dance. But there are many that like Latin Music and Dance and more than that, many are good at it. So there is more to it and we are finding it out day by day. There is something about Latin music and dance that is unique. And we are not talking about the fad dances. We are talking about Latin music and Latin dance from way back. Hear ye, hear ye.

"The lead in Tango: You can flow - you created and you don't totally know how.
You just knew you could, so you did. It wasn't thinking and it wasn't
imitating somebody else's moves, you were just moving to your
favorite music and your partner was with you."


Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Latest

There may be over 35000 average social and formal partner dancers on Oahu. And most are at least average dancers in every dance of the clique. Waltz is still predominate and almost all are very proficient in the American Waltz. That means that perhaps only five thousand dance only something else exclusively such as Tango, Swing and Salsa.

"We are fortunate that musical compositions, are not constrained
to inhabit certain countries the way they used to. Da Reel
Latin music is attainable on CD and online very easily."


Since the Latin dances can be danced in much smaller social clubs, Latin dance clubs can eliminate, the Viennese Waltz, the Quickstep and the Peabody. The Paso Doble will be of no consequence, it is strictly a foreign affair. The Foxtrot can be superfluous if you have good Rumba music. The Swing dances will not be problem but a simple acceptance or non-acceptance will depend strictly on the dancers.

"Cuando Quieres, Dejame" por Pandora


The Waltz, Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Samba, Tango and Swing will give us a pretty solid basis. In roads can be Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Mambo and West Coast Swing. And of course, the coming Latin clubs will do their own thing and none of this will be engraved on stone. It will be and should be up to the dancers.

"Come into the Latin dance world and you may see the phenomenon that others
have experienced. You will feel the cascading moves in Cha Cha Cha. You
will  dance to the Waltz in both styles and just dance. A day spent without
appreciating the beauty surrounding us is a waste."