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."


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Latin Pop2

New York and Miami were home to a thriving Latin club scene during the 1980s. They led the rise of Latin freestyle, a club-oriented dance music that was rooted in Latin rhythms but relied on synthesizers and drum machines for most of its arrangements. They were a young modern generation and many were non-Latino.

"Always remember those who have inspired you to learn and live with your all.
Dancers who have inspired you to get up after every fall.
And those who inspired you to always shine through respect and to stand tall."

Both of these sounds influenced the rise of Latin pop, which retained Latin rhythms in its uptempo numbers but relied more on mainstream pop for its melodic sense. Latin pop's first major crossover star was Gloria Estefan, who scored a succession of non-club-oriented dance-pop hits during the mid- to late 1980s, but who eventually became known more as an adult contemporary diva with an affinity for sweeping ballads.

"Adoro" por Armando Manzanero

This blend of Latinized dance-pop and adult contemporary balladeering dominated Latin pop through the 1990s; most of its artists sang in Spanish for Latino audiences, although Latin pop's similarity to the mainstream helped several performers score crossover hits when they chose to record in English. Jon Secada landed several pop hits during the mid-1990s, and Tejano pop star Selena's album Dreaming of You actually debuted posthumously at number one on the album charts upon its 1995 release.

"Contigo A La Distancia por Christina Aguilera

At present it is gravitating back to a more Latin sound, with a more complete drum understanding. It had been sounding a little too "foxtroty" which was beautiful but another genre. Keep it Latin and keep it simple has been the rule for four centuries. We are learning, Lambada came in big and went out with a whimper. Many do not remember.

"No matter what anyone says, nobody can take away
all those good dances you have already had." 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Latin Pop

Latin pop refers to pop music that contains sound or influence from Latin America but it can also mean pop music from anywhere in the Spanish- Portuguese-speaking world. Latin Pop first reached a global audience through the work of bandleader Sergio Mendes in the mid-1960s. Later it was defined by the romantic ballads that legendary artists such as Julio Iglesias, Lucho Gatica or Roberto Carlos produced back in the 1970s.

"Dancers that have time to judge other people - have way too much time on
their hands. Get off your butts and do something meaningful."

Latin Pop became the most popular form of Latin music in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s. Even achieving massive crossover success among non-Latino listeners during the late 1990s, with the arrival of artists like Thalía, Shakira, Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias and mostly for young people. It did not do much in the Pacific Basin.

"Abrazame" por Julio Iglesias

While not restricted to America by any means, Latin pop was profoundly affected by production techniques and other styles of music—both Latin and otherwise—that originated primarily in the United States. Tejano music, centered in Texas and the U.S./Mexico border region, had begun to introduce synthesizers, slicker production, and a more urban sensibility to formerly rootsy styles like norteño and conjunto.

"Contigo A La Distancia" by Lucho Gatica

Various sectors have been introduce to Hawaii on various occasions without much success. But then, most Latinos in Hawaii come from too many different sectors in Latin America and the diversity of preferences is too great. Bachata and Salsa have done their share of unification and they are Latin, but have established themselves as specialties. Latin is not Bachata nor is Rumba, but there is the basic Rumba that has been there for over a century and now firmly in the Social Dancing of the World. Rumba is "part" of the Latin Scene worldwide.

"Dancers drink wine because they don't like to keep things bottled up."

Saturday, September 10, 2016


The Classic Period for the Mayan Empire, began around A.D. 250 and is considered their golden age. Classic Mayan civilization grew to some 40 cities of  between 5,000 and 50,000 people. At its peak, the Mayan population may have reached 2 million. And they had Professional Musicians and Dancers.

"Let us pray for all those who are in denial. Let
us pray for those that lie for attention."

They developed measures, in the 2 count and up to 7 count measures. But by the year 1600 the only ones remaining were the 2, 3, 4 and 5. The Chassé developed early and used in most dances. In the three count they had the same rhythm as the American Waltz. Accented on one of the counts and all equal. They also had a 2 1/2 measure which was played on three counts and using a chasse which is similar to the Viennese Waltz. And none were partner dances.

"Alejandra" por Enrique Mora

When the French arrived to establish the Mexican Empire in the 1860s. They just naturally introduced the new Viennese Waltz to high society in Mexico City. It spread easily for the Indians had been dancing this three count chassé for centuries. They also developed something similar to the American style waltz and partnered.

"Molokai Waltz" by Bill Kaiwa

In Peru with the late developing Incas, the 2 count and the chassé were most common, and danced mostly by men and solo. They took to the Viennese easily and the adaptation became the Vals Criollo or Peruvian Waltz. In the 20th century, the genre became symbolic of the nation's culture as it gained widespread popularity in the country and South America. Latin Waltz is still considered throughout the Latin world is some of the most beautiful music in existence.

The combination of European, and indigenous musical elements and the Vals emerged among the public in all of Larin America. The Viennese type music is characterized by the use of triple meter, sometimes compound duple time, and the lyrics in Latin America are all about the same style. In the 1920s and 1930s, the Vals became the main musical expression of the urban working class, with its lyrics reflecting their cultural personality, conflicts, and value systems. And the new resurgence of the Latin Waltz is with the older more experience social dancers that are able to enjoy the beautiful music.

"Most dancers know that it is nice to be important, but it is important to be nice."

Monday, September 5, 2016

Latin? Who Cares?

In the newer Latin Music and dance it may take time before you can connect to the music, and able to use your instincts. You will be slowly realizing that it is whole new ballgame. And it certainly will not be the Latin dance of your grandparents. You will let it all go into your dance and you will reveal yourself. Just keep on dancing and your own style will emerge from the music. The dance also will begin to look and feel more natural and become effortless.

"Strong people don't put others down - they lift them up."

We all dance differently because of the way that we interpret the most important ingredient, the music, and express ourselves to it. We must not be a prisoner of the dance. We will find that we must take control of it, experiment, play, have fun with it, and it will set us free and lead to marvelous new movements and discoveries in the dance for all of us. Can we learn from our dance teachers on this island? Of course, but it is very interesting and not a discipline for us. And we will find it very useful to use the KISS method. Keep It Simple, Stupid.

"Voy Apagar La Luz" by Luis Miguel

Luis Miguel Gallego Basterin is now 46 years old  and known professionally as Luis Miguel, is a mexican singer and an icon in Latin America. He has often been referred to as El Sol de México, (the Sun of Mexico. He is one of the most successful artists in Latin American history, having successfully performed in a wide range of musical styles, including pop, ballads, boleros and mariachi. To date, he has sold over 100 million records worldwide.

 "Contigo Aprendi" by Luis Miguel

I copied his last show at Viña Del Mar in Chile - probably the most prestigious Latin Festival in the World. The first half contained many of my favorite songs but the last half is all new and not in my taste. Probably that I am just getting old. A show at Viña Del Mar is a song video album and very valuable if I  were to buy it but I just copy from the Internet. And now that I beginning to learn editing I will delete the last part.

Sign in Pearl City Bar: Warning, consuming large quantities of alcohol
may cause uncontrollable muscle spasms masquerading as dancing. 

Friday, September 2, 2016


Eight years after Columbus the first Portuguese arrive in Brazil. There was no wholesale killing of the Natives and they tried to get along. Many of the lower class Portuguese would socialize with the Indians and even join in on their drinking and dancing. The two count was predominant in South America and the only variation was the Chassé.

 "In our dance world, sometimes not saying anything is the best answer.
We know that silence can never be misquoted."

The Portuguese had many dances with a Chasse, so that they were able to add a few moves to the basic Indian dances, and the "Maxixe" evolve into a pretty standard dance up and down the coast by Rio De Janiero by 1700s. Soon after the big influx of slaves from Africa began and they were not picked for their musical and dance abilities. They took to the Indian dances readily and in no time at all the Maxixe became their favorite. The third and fourth generations of slaves soon added new moves to the dance but none were from Africa.

"Chica, Chica, Boom, Chic" by Carmen Miranda

One of the most beautiful spectacles in the world is the Brazilian Carnival.

It was introduced in US, in the early 20th century several times without much success. It was never a smash hit in the States and the name was changed to Samba. However, big interest in the Samba was stimulated at the 1939 World's Fair in New York, where Samba music was played at the Brazilian Pavilion.Then the American Studios got a hold of it and went so far as to make three or four basics. (yes, it was the money, Honey.) Most successful dances have only one basic.

"The Girl From Ipanema" por Antonio Carlos Jobim

The peak may have been about the fifties but the decline has been gradual and the Dance Societies have kept it alive. The music has always been some of the best in the world but to dance all those goopy patterns is beyond most of us.

Some dancers were mingling at the bar in Pearl City when an Oxford graduate walks in. “Hi stranger,” one dancer says. “Where are you from?” The Oxford graduate answers, “I come from a place where we do not end our sentences in prepositions.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” replies the dancer. “Where are you from, jackass?”

Sunday, August 28, 2016


Ariadna Thalía Sodi-Miranda Mottola (born 26 August 1971), known  as Thalía, is a Mexican singer, songwriter, published author, actress, and entrepreneur. anonymously She has sung in various languages apart from her native Spanish. She is recognized as the most successful and influential female Mexican singer worldwide. She is often referred to as the "Queen of Latin Pop" by international media, mainly because of her legacy within the Latin pop music scene for the last three decades.

 “Dancers are least themselves when they talk in their own person. Give
them a mask, and they will tell you the truth, use a pen name.”

As a solo artist, she has sold over 40 million records worldwide. She has had dozens of Top 10 singles, 16 of which went to No.1 and she has received numerous accolades, As an actress, Thalía has starred in a variety of successful telenovelas that aired in over 180 countries and she is publicly referred to as the "Queen of telenovelas" by the media across the world.

For the older more experienced dancers, she has many good songs with a good Latin beat, however there are too many flavored with American Foxtrot. Beautiful but not Latin and that is why they call it Latin Pop.

"Cien Años" por Thalia

She had a regular partner for eight years in the nineties but no go. Then she married Tommy Mottola in 2000 and has two children with him. Tommy had been married to Mariah Carey. 

"We will never be sure if the happier we are the more we dance
or if the more we dance the happier we are."