Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Milonga Evolves

In the 1860s, the Milonga danced in Buenos Aires was being well established in the lower economic levels and beginning to get into middle classes. The great influx of Europeans and the Bandoneon, at this time added to the mix. Meanwhile the railroads were coming and bringing the Gaucho influence to its untimely end. No more cattle drives and the cattle could be shipped to Buenos Aires. And the myth of the Gaucho would evolve to greater heights.

"Dancers sometimes have to stop and step outside, get some air and remind themselves of who they are and who they want to be."

In the 1890s the people in Buenos Aires also saw the beginnings of private radio reception in which they had close to one thousand subscribers. The music and dance was definitely spreading to the middle classes amid a faster pace of evolution. By the end of the century there were more than one million radios in South America.

"La Comparsita" por Yochi Sugawara y Grabiela Susana

The elite of the Milonga, because of its indecent reputation decided to change the name to Tango from the old Andulasian dance. It was soon hyphenated by everyone to the Milonga-Tango. The appearance of the phonograph in 1906 undoubtedly contributed to its popularity among people not inclined to go to the poorer districts. The time had surely come to be exported.

"Dancers dance with their hearts, not their minds."

Friday, October 14, 2016

Los Mariachis 3

The Beginning of the Mariachis that We Know Today
Although the origins of Mariachi music go back hundreds of years, in the form we know it the Mariachi began in the nineteenth century in the Mexican state of Jalisco, in the town of Cocula. The Mariachi was the distinctive version of the Spanish theatrical orchestra of violins, harp and guitars which developed in and around Jalisco. In other areas such as Veracruz and the Huasteca region in the northeast, the ensemble evolved differently. By the end of the nineteenth century, in Cocula the vihuela, two violins, and a guitarrón (which had replaced the harp) were the instruments of the Mariachi.

"Good thing - dancers are becoming more aware that those that gossip
to you about others are also gossiping to others about - ? He He."

The principal music played by these early Mariachis was the SON, the popular music of the day. A mixture of Mexican Indian traditional music, with a big touch of Spain, the son was found in many regions of the country. Taking a big hold on South America all the way down to Argentina and Chile. The son from Jalisco is called the son jalisciense.

"La Golondrina" por el Mariachi Jalisco

Sones from other regions include the son jarocho or veracruzano, from the region around the Gulf port of Veracruz; and the son huasteco, from northeastern Mexico. The most famous example of the son jarocho is La Bamba . A typical son huasteco, also known as the huapango, is La Malagueña. It is interesting to note that there are some sones, such as El Gusto, which are common in all three regions and clearly date back to a common ancestor.

"Cien Anos" por Los Mariachis Espuelas

Primarily a music to be enjoyed by listening it has evolved into quite a dance group, specializing in Ranchera music, Rumba, Cha Cha Cha and Waltz. They do play Sambas, Tangos and Merengues when with the proper audience. And they even choreograph a few rock steps and sometimes a chassé for themselves while playing, This is just a few moves to the music in unison usually by the guitar section,

"To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself -
incredible and inconceivable."

Monday, October 10, 2016

Vals Criollo

In the 1930s, band groups in Peru modified the European waltz with the unique sound of the Indian Inca three count music. It made the new Vals Criollo and music more distinct from the European Waltz. By the 1950s, popular composer and singer Chabuca Granda helped in making the music widely known throughout Latin America, and the name Vals Peruano in time became used to refer to the dance in countries outside of Peru.

"Dancers sometimes have to forgive and forget. Forgive them for hurting
you and you may even forget that they exist."

At the height of its national and international popularity, the sounds of the 1950s and into the 1960s were introduced into the Vals Peruano by musicians and singers throughout Latin America, from Mexico all the way to Argentina. It never caught on very well with the dancers in the Caribbean. In modern times, the Vals Peruano, although softer and less traditional than before, still remains a widely popular symbol of Peruvian culture and still holds a high degree of popularity in Latin American society.

"Cuando Escuches Este Vals" por Vicente Fernandez

Quinceanera Dance - girl in front, fifteenth birthday.
Not rich, not poor, strictly middle class.

Musica Criolla such as the Vals Criollo is, typically includes two main instruments that symbolically represent European and Indian heritage: the Guitar and the Cajón, which literally means "box." Typically, the lead guitarist plays solos and strongly plucked phrase on the upper strings, while a second guitarist performs riffs (bordones) on the two lowest strings and strums rhythmically. In the early part of the twentieth century, the guitars along with hand clapping and singing were the traditional instrumentation . However, by the mid-twentieth century, the cajón was incorporated, providing a rhythmic base for the music.

"Dancers give faith a fighting chance and when you get the choice
to sit it out or dance - they hope you will dance."

Thursday, October 6, 2016

La Rumba

This blog continues to be at bottom of pile. And we can accept the fact that most of us do not have an understanding of what Latin music and dance is all about. No hu hu. We hear of it from many different venues. But few know that we, as a group, are going to establish Latin Music and Dance On Oahu, What we have to do is not much, because much is already there. Just a few more good fans.

"Dancers are a pretty good crowd and live they way they want to live.
They prefer not to comment on the way other people live."

Rumba is a good beginning. All the basic moves came from the influence of the Indians that went to the Caribbean from Mexico and surrounding territories. The rock step and a slow step in every four count measure. The Beguine where French was spoken? Of course. The Calipso where English was spoken? Of course. And a dozen different dances where Spanish was spoken. No Big Deal.

"Contigo A La Distancia" por Lucho Gatica

It was modified by the American and the British dance teachers to suit themselves and of course make a little money on the side. And after all, what did them stupid Indians know about music and dance, anyway?

"Adoro" por Armando Manzanero

Anyway the Rumba that we dance now is basically two of them, the American and the British. And the American has been screwed up by two basics. The Arthur Murray, slow, quick, quick box and the Fred Astaire, quick, quick, slow box. Fortunately throughout the world the American has an alternative basic, which is International basic of a rock step and a slow step. Yes, back to square one.

"Abrazame" por Alejandro Fernandez

Danced throughout the world more than any other Latin dance in existence. Most basic moves can be applied easily. Been good for a few centuries and will be good for a few more. And don't forget that the music has been some of the very best ever composed by anyone on this planet since the beginning of time. You want to enjoy moving to beautiful music? Dis is it!

"Laissez le bon temps rollez"

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Mariachi 2

By Roberto Maldonado, Ewa Beach
The Unique Make-Up of the Mariachi Ensemble
In the complete Mariachi group today there are as many as four to six violins, four trumpets, and four guitars - all standard European instruments. Then there is a high-pitched, round-backed guitar called the Vihuela, which when strummed in the traditional manner gives the Mariachi its typical rhythmic vitality. There is also a deep-voiced guitar called the Guitarrón which serves as the bass of the ensemble. While these instruments have European origins, in their present form they are strictly Mexican.

"A lot of problems in our dance community would disappear
if we talked to each other instead of about each other."

The sound that these instruments combine to make it unique. Like the Zarape, which often used widely contrasting colors side by side - green and orange, yellow and blue. The Mariachi use sharply contrasting sounds, the sweet sounds of the violins against the brilliance of the trumpets, and the deep sound of the Guitarrón against the crisp, high voice of the Vihuela; and the frequent shifting between syncopation and on-beat rhythm. The resulting sound is the heart and soul of Mexico.

"Adoro" por Armando Manzanero

The size of the Mariachi band can be quite varied depending on the money available. The big bands do alright in the tours of the big cites. But for any sort of permanency, they must be smaller. I have seen a Mariachi group with a violin, guitar and a trumpet, just three for a small club and they can still produce a very nice sound. In this century, since they are usually standing up, they are even doing a little choreography because of the increase in the dancing crowds.

"Yes, Dance may be an art - the floor is our canvas, we are the brushes
and whatever we create comes from the heart."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Over The Waves

Sobre Las Olas, was the Mexican waltz composed by little known, Juventino Rosas that conquered the world. I first heard it at local Mexican carnival Carousels in Los Angeles, in the 1930s. World wide, it is recognized as the only other waltz that vies with the "Blue Danube." It has the privilege of being played around the world every day, every hour. It is "Over The Waves" the most universal piece among those produced by the Mexican arts.

"In dance, your age does not define your maturity, your speech does not
define your intellect and rumors do not define who are."

The world was conquered by this Mexican waltz around the end of the 19th century even reaching the Orient. Its melody filled the air in dance halls, parks, fairs and carnivals throughout the world. In Europe it delighted listeners who danced and cheered it as if it were their own. In Scandinavia it helped to evolve the Waltz into the new Nordic Waltz which is spreading into Central Europe now.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner

In Latin America there have been hundreds of beautiful Waltzes composed in the 20th century. And waltz has been danced in many different forms throughout the area from Mexico to Argentina. The music tempos have been two. One resembling the American type tempo and the other the Viennese type tempo. Both of them can be danced in one, two, three style, or using the rock step and chassé.

"Alejandra" por Enrique Mora

When we have the Mariachis and the Latin Night Club in Honolulu, then we will have Latin Waltz and our people will go for it as if it was Peaches and Cream. After all, most them can dance it easily, just going with music, only they don't know it yet.

"Dancers do not have to have to stress themselves with useless people (you know
who they are), who do not even deserve to be an issue in our lives."

Saturday, September 24, 2016

La Milonga y El Tango

Milonga and Tango are not the same but they may never be completely separate. There are many people throughout the world that believe that Tango is European. And there is a lot of European in the modern versions of Tango. Tango has evolved into the least likely dance to come from Indians. But the Milonga is strictly from the Incas in Peru. It went down to Chile and across the Andes to Argentina. It also traveled westward across Brazil to Uruguay and was pretty well established by the 1600s as an even step.

"The dancers good advice for life: Everything in the universe has rhythm.
Everything dances.  So we can dance and sing our songs while the party is still on."

The leading styles were developed in La Orilla, the biggest section in Argentina dedicated to the bordello. The beat of the musicians changed a little and slowly the Pimps introduced the rock step and the chasse into the Milonga. This was not only in La Orilla but south into Las Pampas with the influence of the Guachos. By the 1700s. the great grandsons of original Gauchos, now with more education. money and class had a bigger influence in the middle classes.

"El Dia Que Me Quieras" por Carlos Gardel

The first “head fake” evolved. The man would look at the whore and she would look at him, then away. He would then grab her forcefully, look toward the promenade and prepared to dance. She would look towards the promenade and then look the other way. “No” He would look at her again, bring her into promenade position a little more violently. “Come on bitch!” She would then look that way and the dance would begin.

"La Comparsita" por Placido Domingo

Blas Matamoros wrote:
“The Milonga’s main purpose in La Orilla came to represent choreographically the sexual relations of the pimps and the prostitutes and was danced by the brothel’s patrons." Many of the Tangos in the civilized world have absolutely nothing to do with sexual relations.

"Yeah, they told me about that wall that went into the
local Pearl City bar - and got plastered."