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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Facebook continues to Rule With An Iron Fist:

Update on Facebook from Consumer Reports.

Randall Kessler of Kessler, Swartz and Solomiany, chair elect of the American Bar Association family law section, says he advises clients to "consider a cyber-vacation."

"Facebooks posts makes our lives so much easier as divorce lawyers" he adds, "Some people give it to us on a silver platter. There are spouses who list themselves as single while they are still married."

Lawyers and recruiters aren't alone in tapping into Facebook's vast database. Despite the uproar last year over Facebook's sharing of user data with some websites, the service recently proposed allowing developers of its more than 550,000 apps to request and obtain user's home addresses and phone numbers, The proposal prompted howls from several members of congress.

"This information is extremely sensitive, and the policy Facebook proposed would force users to give up this info if they want an app," says Senator Al Franken (D-Minn), who heads the new Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. "The potential for fraud is just too great," Franken and three other senators noted in a letter to Facebook that a phone number and a home address, coupled with a small few paid to a "people search" website, could yield enough information to complete a credit card application in someone else's name.




"Se Te Olvida, por Javier Solis

There are plenty of Latinos and others too out there interested in dancing to Mestizo music. No it is not from Africa. It originally comes from the original inhabitants of the North American continent, about ten million of them in 1492.

Yes, it was modified, but by the Europeans mostly from the very beginning. But only the very low class Europeans. The black slaves were captured relatively young and had little culture compared to the Indians in their thirties and forties. But they could learn and learn they did.

The history books talk about the decline of the Indian populations in the Americas, but not many will inform you that millions were being changed into Mestizos. The mix which began nine months after the arrival of Columbus in 1492.

"Y" por Eydie Gorme

We must begin to define the possible music which we wish to dance to. And the music comes first, not the dance. There are too many people in our dance elite that simply do not understand that.

Waltz should be the first, because it is not so localized in one country or particular section of one country. It is danced more or less the same all over Latin American. Some of the best Waltzes ever composed have been by Latin composers from Argentina to Mexico. It may be illegal in the Caribbean.

"Contigo En La Distancia" por José Feliciano

I think Rumba should be next because it evolved long before it got to Cuba via the Mayan Indian route. Probably just the rock step and the slow count and done in whatever ways music and beat asked for. It has also evolved into the sexiest dance in the world. There was none of that Clave stuff either. The sticks were only played in a five count measure.

Cha Cha Cha is probably next but I do not mean that watered down business which we have today. I mean Cha Cha Cha with all the frills, whistles and bells. We must find a way to reinstall the finer sounding way. There has just never been as good a sound anywhere at anytime. My opinion? -- Yes.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What's Happening?

RUMBA:

A love story of two people, and officially christened the "dance of love," Rumba is the forerunner of other Latin dances. Its origins are deeply rooted in the Cuban music and dance called the "Son."

"Many people can be very happy,
but are absolutely worthless to society."

It is danced throughout the world and many sections dance it their own way which has evolved over the years. The biggest groups are the American and British styles and both quite different from the originals.  The basic in the British style is closer to the real thing than the American. But the American was first in  line and Arthur Murray made the mistake of creating the box step for a basic.

"Maria Elena" By Placido Domingo

Later to compound a bad thing for the dancers. Fred Astaire began to use the same basic in his Rumba. And Arthur Murray took him to court and WON. That was terrible for now Fred Astaire had to change his basic from a slow, quick, quick to a quick, quick, slow. That was the beginning of the big screw up in American Style of dance.

Fortunately, the social dancers are dancers and they are now using what they refer to as the Salsa or Mambo basic. All the other steps and patterns remain the same. Then we, the social dancers, can dance with each other more comfortably.
The Rumba has manifested many forms and variations throughout the 20th Century (Beguine, Bolero, Danzon, etc.). Bolero has a slower rhythm than Rumba and Rumba has a slower rhythm than Mambo, making Rumba a great dance for beginners. The sensual Rumba is a wonderful introduction to the tradition of Latin dances, Latin music and Latin body movement.

It will remain a basic, basic Mestizo dance well into the next century. The kids will make their usual "discoveries" but the Rumba will remain -  perhaps forever.

"Green Eyes" By Jimmy Dorsey

Saturday evening, the 27th of May, Moanalua Corridor will have dancers swinging from the chandeliers. The social dancers will have two choices.

Dance Hawaii at Radford High School or HBDA Ohana at Aliamanu Intermediate.
Whichever, they will be dancing to their delight and we will have a lot of happy dancers.

They are getting people from Makaha, the North Shore and with HBDA, probably getting some from the Windward side too. It is getting to be a merry crowd in a very nice place. I still think the Dance Pavilion in the West will be in Waipio.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Who is Hispanic?

This blog will be for those interested in Mestizo (Latin) music and dance mainly on the island of Oahu. This does not necessarily exclude those that are not Hispanic or those off island.

"Nothing endures but change and then perhaps
things do not change; we change."
   
Even then it's not clear who is Hispanic. On this island, Latinos are predominantly Puerto Rican, but the Mexicans are not far behind and the rest of the Latinos come to more than the Puerto Ricans. So it is getting quite diverse.

Also the Hispanic market is multi-faceted and there has been and will be more intermarriage on this island with all the ethnic groups available. Some of us speak English only, some Spanish only and some both languages equally well. Some of us were born in the US and others are foreign born.

"Tengo Todo Excepto a Tí" Por Luis Miguel

We span socio-economic classes and shades of brown. Many can and do pass for Haole. The Latinos in Tango dance groups, or Salsa Dance groups, many of which are very good dancers, do not want to be part of the ballroom dance scene because of the reputation for "correctness."

They abhor the rootzi tootzi attitude and they paint the entire ballroom dance scene with the same paint brush. We are not all the same. There are many more that are real social dancers and just want to enjoy moving to the music of their choice. Should be quite understandable.

"No Sé Tú" por Luis Miguel

They are well aware that the rootzi tootzis want no part of them and are more likely to go to a place to dance if they knew there would be no rootzi tootzis there. This will come about slowly.

We shall have a little more understanding of those who wish to be competition dancers and  "must" dance according to "their" rules. We must accept that it may not be necessarily "correct" for all dancing but it is their style which may not be "da reel teeng."

"El Día Que Me Quieras" por Luis Miguel

Then there are the Swing Dance groups and the Night Club Scene, that want no part of the ballroom dance scene for the same reasons. At this moment the Arthur Murray Studios are in the vanguard of holding most of the forts for more freedom in dance movement.

All of this which makes the Hispanic population incredibly rich and interesting, but also difficult to lump them into a monolithic group with a single leader.  We're tough to get your arms around. The issue is not black or white -- literally. Hispanics suffer perhaps from a general discomfort with grey.

"Inólvidable" por Luis Miguel

But let's face it -- there are few prominent Hispanics on this island who can speak of the complexities of our population.  We live in an extremely multi ethnic community. There may be some who can understand how to address our shared humanity. Come to think of it that's not just an Hispanic problem.

In this blog with new commentaries, Information Contributors and Guest Authors, it will come into good light and with the sameness of music and dance, it will bring us all closer together. It will just take a little time. Send them in.

Pub's Note: Saturday, 28th at the Moanalua Corridor you will all have a choice of two dancing locations. HBDA - Ohana at Aliamanu Intermediate and Dance Hawaii at Radford High School. It going to be a rip-roaring evening in Moanalua Corridor on Saturday Night. Dancers coming from Makaha and maybe from the North Shore too.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Mestizo Territory

It has been slow going but I am not in any hurry. All I can do is help and most of it is out there already. I have been enjoying my trips to Night Clubs and I must do more. And I am waiting for the first one in the West.

"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to help
in changing them yourself."

Age makes the difference and eventually we will have three. The young, the adults and the elders. Of course there will be a large overlap.

The music seems to be already there. Waltz, Foxtrot, Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Swing, and Tango. This for the adult and elder tourists with a good part of the locals joining them.

So in Latin Dancing the first one to be eliminated will be the Fox Trot. All the others fit in very nicely to make a base. And none of them are fads, so they will probably continue on to the end of this century.

"Maria Elena" By Jimmy Dorsey

Waltz: the old standby for most of the world. Not the one that takes an acre of ground of course. American, Country and Latin styles are just fine. The music will last forever. And of the 10,000 waltzes that have been written, there are least 500 hundred, that are just beautiful, and will be danced over and over again in sheer joy for hundreds of years to come.

Rumba: Another old standby, with a basic Mestizo style and heavy American influence omitting the basic box step. The sexiest dance in existence without any groping or outlandish sexual overtones.

"Begin The Beguine" By Artie Shaw

Cha Cha Cha: Without doubt from its initial involvement from the Mambo, it is a "must" and most fun dance to the proper Cha Cha Cha music, which is being somewhat lost at the present time. When was the last time you heard a cowbell in Cha Cha Cha?

Of course, the old excuse of, you can dance Cha Cha Cha to it, does not hold for Mestizo dancers. Mestizo dancers hear Da Reel Teeng and they "must dance Cha Cha Cha." There is a big, big difference there, not quite understood by some DJs.

"Vaya Con Dios" By Les Paul and Mary Ford

Samba: The music is there and it has always been there. The basic step is the answer. There are at least four different basic steps in the American and British Samba. Completely fabricated by the Dance Teachers of the time.

Someday soon, we will get back to the Brazilian style of Chassé, and work it from there. It may gradually acquire the steps and patterns of the hustle and leave the other goop for the exhibitions and competitions.

"Jealousy" By Frankie Laine

Tango: Of course, but which one? We are in the process, perhaps after ten years or so only one will remain prominent.

Swing: For some reason or other it has been included in the Latin Divisions of competition dancing. It has been readily accepted in Mestizo circles too. I myself think that the East Coast Swing with the single and the chassé would be acceptable as an added ingredient to a night of dancing fun.

Will this remain so? I do not think so. It will evolve according the patrons and the promotors must pay attention and make the changes slowly.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Latin Beat

Yes, it is true, the DJs are missing more and more what makes Latin music, Latin Music. The percussion instruments of the advanced Mexican Indian Empires of 2000 years ago.

"Life is a dance, you learn as you go. Sometimes you lead
and sometimes you follow."

There are examples of metal maracas in early Mayan culture. So it is reasonable to suppose that the earlier Toltec civilization  had them too. These had evolved very nicely 500 years ago into two rattle like gourds (tuned) with the right amount of seeds to give the right sound.

The player fronts the band with maracas in hand in animated motion. In Central America they are sometimes made out of small metal juice cans, filled with sand, welded three or four and painted with vivid colors.

The Cowbell, which is just that, a player striking it with a stick.  The cowbell came into use six or seven decades after the arrival of the first illegal aliens. There had been no cattle in the Western Hemisphere until brought in by the newcomers. This is also played in American Country music.

"Tangerine" By Jimmy Dorsey

The Guiro, normally, a long notched gourd. The player makes scratching sounds, scraping it with a round stick. It can be scraped  with an even count sound or it can quick, quick, slow as in Rumba or Mambo.

It was used in the Mayan culture, long before the Aztecs took over and then went to Cuba and the Caribbean. It attained more popularity in the Dominican Republic than anywhere else and it is generally accepted as Dominican.

The Claves, are a usually two round pieces of mahogany about an inch in diameter and about five inches long. They are played by holding one loosely in one hand and struck by the other five times in two measure phrase.

A holdover from the Mayan five count measure, where each clave "Palito" was hit in every other beat. Very easy there. Not so when trying to do this in a four count measure. Not many profess to do this "correctly."

These are now being omitted more and more in the music that passes for Latin or Mestizo. It helps to know that the Mexican empires from the Toltec to the Aztec had professional dancers and musicians and very proficient in many percussion instruments in addition to the drums. The drums came into existence right after the appearance of Agriculture throughout the world.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bachata

From Jorge Elizondo:

Welcome to another BachataFusion Newsletter. I am excited to share with you my upcoming journey around the world!  I will be very busy teaching Bachata in USA, Europe & Asia this coming Summer!

I am also organizing several events in the USA for 2011. My next Major event will be this Memorial Day Weekend in Stamford, CT!

Read below to see my latest tour dates and Events.
I look forward to sharing my Passion of Bachata with you

Jorge Elizondo


World BachataFusion - 2011 Summer Tour Dates
May 21- 22 - Atrium Dance Studio - Pennsauken, NJ

*Special 8 hour Master BootCamp  May 23-24
Providence, RI - Promotional Stop - Open for Privates

May 25 - Boston, MA - Bachata Workshop at
An Tua Nua Bar

May 26-29 - CT Salsa Fest Hot & Sexy Bachata Weekender

June 4-5 - Dance Sport NYC Bachata Boot Camp - More info Soon

June 17-19 - Mediterraneo Salsea Bachata Weekend in Alicante, Spain and maybe a little Paso Doble?

"La Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin

June 20-24 - Madrid, Spain - More info Soon on Workshops

June 24-27 - Paris, France - More info Soon

July 13-19 - Shanghai, China - More info Soon.

July 21- 25 - Beijing 2nd Annual Summer Latin Festival 2011

"Moliendo Cafe"
by Azucar Moreno

July 27 - Bachata Workshop in Chicago - TBA

July 29-31 - 1st Annual Atlanta Dance Classic

August 18-22 Latin Street Salsa Congreso w/ Bachata Convention.

"Me Gusta Estar Viva"
By Paloma San Basilio

August 25-28 HAWAII'S BACHATA &
SALSA NO KA OI Latin Event

September 22-25 - Bachaturo Fest in
Warsaw, Poland

October ? - Dallas Bachata Festival 2011 -
More info Soon

Oct 28- 31 World Bachata Festival in
Kuala Lumpur - TBA

Nov 18-20 Russian Bachata Festival 2011 in St. Peterburg

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mambo and Salsa

By Francisco Parodi, Miami

Mambo dates back to over 600 years. Many years before the arrival of the first illegal aliens. Of course it was not exactly the same thing and danced a little different according to the location.

"Things do not change; we change."

With the advent of bolero, it slowed somewhat and evolved into the Son and Danzon and others similar dances. Gradually, as more people mingled from one island to another, it took on the name Rumba in the cities. But what was exported was really the Mambo slowed down. The closest is the English style Rumba. The Mambo-Rumba went back to the sticks.

The Mambo-Rumba dance reemerged and was introduced by Perez Prado in the 1940s and 50s. However in Cuba, Mexico City, and New York it was completely different to the modern dance that New Yorkers now call 'Mambo' .

The original mambo dance contains little of basic steps at all. The Cuban dance wasn't accepted by many professional dance teachers. Cuban dancers would describe mambo as "feeling the music" in which sound and movement were merged through the body.

"Se Acabo" By Casa Musica

Professional dance teachers in the US saw this approach to dancing (naturally) as "extreme," "undisciplined," and thus, they saw it necessary to standardize the dance to present it as a sell-able commodity for the social or ballroom market.

The modern Salsa dance from New York was popularized in the 70s by Eddie Torres and his contemporaries who were 1st or 2nd generation Puerto Rican immigrants. This style is not danced to Mambo music, for which it is poorly suited, but instead to Salsa music.

"No Me Voy Sin Bailar" by Ann Belen

Mambo is still danced for fun and the joy of moving to Mambo music. As a fad dance it has been in effect for over half a century. But then came Salsa, but it too may be a fad dance. Another 10 years perhaps.

Ten years ago Reggaeton began to attract young Hispanic Americans who might otherwise have gravitated to Latin music. It was destined to replace Salsa but it too seems to have fizzled out in a very short period. And there have been others that did not make it far.

"No Me Digas Adios" by Azucar Moreno

At the same time ballroom aficionados began to embrace Salsa as a serious dance form, which further alienated the young clubgoers. Today Salsa is kept alive by an ardent band of Professional and Semi-Professional dancers, not only in New York but around the world.

It has been said that Salsa has gotten bigger in the sense that more people are taking lessons but the people who came up in the streets and know about the music are not dancing it. Even in the 90s, you could go out every night in New York and have four or five places to choose from, and all of them had live music, and you don't find that anymore, especially in the Bronx, which used to be known as "el barrio de la Salsa."

"Just because everything is different doesn't mean
anything has changed."

Pub's Note: Whatever the slowdown, it will begin to hit Hawaii by the end of the year. So we must help all our friends in the Salsa scene. Perhaps a revival will take hold. Mambo had that magic at one time but it too is lost now. We must expand our coverage of Salsa. Meanwhile, we must include Bachata, it is coming up fast.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco De Mayo

Everyone is celebrating all over the place. I have decided to stay home. But then the urge hit me for a little R & C. Why Not? I can celebrate too, in my own place.

"It's the most unhappy people who most fear change."

Came across one of the myths of Cinco De Mayo. And myths on dancing have existed for centuries.

This one called for a shipment coming from New York to Vera Cruz, Mexico in the mid 1800s. It consisted mainly of 500 huge buckets of Mayonnaise. And the Mexican were just learning to like their Mayo. Coming into the Gulf of Mexico a great storm arose and the boat sank.

This shocked everyone in Mexico with the news that they had lost their mayo.  And they decided to commemorate the day with a New Holiday, and they called it, "Sinko de Mayo."

Well, every one is entitled to their myths.


"Sabor A Mi" By Edyie Gorme

Da Reel Story or pretty close to it:

Benito Juarez
On July 17, 1861, Mexican President Benito Juárez issued a moratorium in which all foreign debt payments would be suspended for two years. In response, France, Britain, and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand reimbursement.

Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew, but France, at the time ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to establish a Latin empire in Mexico that would favor French interests, the Mexican Empire.

Benito Juarez was full blooded Indian. One big difference, he was an educated man and he was always ready to die for his principles and he was President of Mexico.

The Battle of Puebla
The 8,000-strong French army attacked the much more poorly equipped Mexican army of 4,000. Yet, on May 5, 1862, the Mexicans who were fighting on their land, managed to decisively crush the French army, the best army of the time. In spite of everything, this was their day. Even though the French eventually took over.
 
This day will always be a day of remembrance and celebration.

Napoleon III, had looked at the Americas as a perfect spot for his megalomania. The Kingdom of Mexico would have been perfect. But then with his sycophantic advisers he thought better of it. The Mexican Empire and Maximilian as the Emperor of the Mexican Empire would be much better.

As an Empire they could see Central America as possibles. And then there was the US to the North. The US was on the verge of civil war. Who could tell, Maybe? The French established a good government in Mexico city and they did a lot of good.

Maximilian's last moments.
Can you imagine a Saturday night at the Palacio Social, with all the attendees dressed to perfection and with a live orchestra, dancing the new dance that was called the Waltz. Of course they were all Europeans. No one thought to let the Indians in on it, heavens forbid.

The Mexican Empire lasted only 3 years, from 1864 to 1867. With the U.S. Civil War over in 1865, the U.S. was able to provide more assistance to Mexico to expel the French, after which Maximilian I was executed by the Mexicans, along with his Mexican generals Miramón and Mejía, in the Cerro de las Campanas. As Juarez told Maximilian, he had no personal animosity against him but he must die to convince the world of Mexico's human sovereignty.



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tango in Argentina

How do you ask a woman?
By Ken Haas, Chicago

The old dancer sat before me in Cafe Tortoni. Quiet years in the sun had bleached his hair a yellow-gray and made a dry red river bed of the back of his neck. I had to imagine how he looked in 1940, a nocturnal youth, with a pencil thin moustache and raven hair shiny with Gomina. He was telling me about the tango.

"Because things are the way they are,
things will not stay the way they are."

Carlos Gardel
He told me about Carlos Gardel, tango's famous hero/singer, who sang of revenge, the vagaries of love, tango's profound melancholy, and the brooding sense that life exists on in a Promise Land. He described the fights, the feuds, the spiked heels, who danced the best and how the great ballrooms looked.

Finally he shared the secret of how to ask a woman to tango. It seems the men would line up on one side of the hall and the woman on the other, like gladiators. The man would fold his arms or push his hands in his pockets and scan the room, trying to look as unconcerned as possible.

"Cuesta Abajo" By Carlos Gardel

When he finally saw a woman he fancied, he signaled by the slightest raising of an eyebrow. If the woman was not interested, she would ignore it, it was gentle but unmistakable. If, on the other hand, she was receptive, she would respond with a lift of her eyebrow, flutter her eyelashes, or the sudden brightening of her eyes.

"And then you went over to escort her to the floor?"

"Gracious, no," he replied, "Then you took a firm and careful look around. You see, this is a subtle art, and you didn't want to cross that floor only to find that she was calling the man beside you. The walk back, my friend, is the longest you will ever take."


Milonga

The ancient Indian Milonga was, is and should remain as a constant beat without any accent at all. And it was from several ancient Cat dances in the Southern part of South America. Nowadays if it has a syncopation either at the beginning or at the end of a measure, it should be quite permissable.

"Volver" By Libertad Lamarque

However, the quick, quick, slow and the more often syncopation during the song is definitely Tango. And some very beautiful music has evolved throughout the years.

Not many people in the dancing world understand this because it is not the music but the dance that they are interested in. Much, much different view point.