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Cuba Dance

Music and dance play an important role and is very popular in Cuba. In the countryside or in the towns it punctuates the life of the Cubans. The island has a vibrant dance culture. Cuba has a vibrant dance culture. Music and dance strongly linked in the island is very popular. Son, Danzon, Chachacha, Rhumba, Mambo, Pilon and Ruedo are among the most popular Cuban dances. Among them all some have crossed the Cuban frontiers.

The ‘Son’ originated from the Maestria Mountains and the starting point of all the dances of Cuba. Coming from the Oriente province of Cuba, it has African and Hispanic roots. When the son arrived to Havana and gave way to different types of Son namely the Son montuno, the Son urbano and the sucu sucu. The Son is danced by a couple where the male partner performs many postures both simple and difficult with his female partner for example the tornillo (made up of rotations of the body till it is parallel to the floor).

The cha-cha-cha or cha-cha, derived from the Mambo, is Cuban dance music. This dance was introduced in 1951 by Cuban composer and violinist Enrique Jorrin. According to him, the sound made the dancers’ shoes made the sound cha-cha-cha while they tried to follow the rhythm. The cha-cha is the named of some seeds in the Caribbean islands.

The Danzon
The first Danzon was played by Miguel Failde a musician. It is an adaptation the contradanza. The danced not well accepted at first but is now considered as a national dance. There are different types of Danzon coming from the various regions of Cuba. In the Danzon dance, there are two parts that alternate; the dancing part and the relaxing part. It is in relation with the music. Danced in couple the introduction and the relaxing part are not danced (the dancers have time to talk with their partners or other couples) the active part and the ‘montuno’ or final part where the dancers are given the opportunity to perform more difficult postures.

Pilon is a Cuban musical style and dance which was very popular in the 1950s. Originating from the village of the same name, it imitates the movements, rhythms and steps are according the movements of pounding the sugar cane. Pacho Alonso is believed to be the father of the Pilon.

Rumba bears many similarities with the Santeria music and dance but unlike it is not danced for religious purposes or in religious ceremonies. It originates from the African slaves who blended their African traditional dance with the European /Spanish influences Cuban in the 18th and 19th centuries to create a purely Cuban dance that is part of the Cuban inheritage and count as national dance of the country.

The rumba is a variety of musical rhythms associated with dances. Of the many types of rumba, only three survived after the 1950s, there are three main types of rumba (American version rhumba) namely the yambł the guaguanco and the columbia. All the three types of rumba though having different instruments accompanying the dance lyrics and choreography are very mimetic.

The yambł is danced with a very slow tempo. It is said to be an old aged dance because of its slow pace and it imitates the difficult movements of the elderly people in their daily life. In this dance the pelvis movement is not performed.

The guaguancó the most popular form of rumba is a new form of rumba coming from the towns. This dance is very aggressive and sensual at the same time. The guaguanco is danced by a couple and is the simulation a man pursuit of her female partner her attempts to turn him down and her conquest at the end her capitulation and the sexual conquest of the male partner.

The Columbia originated from the Matazas region. It is danced by a man in solo who mimes many people at work or in their daily activities for example the football player, the cyclist the driver the cane cutters or farmers. The dancer’s body must be supple for it requires many acrobatic movements.

Bolero is danced by either a solist or a coup it is a 3 / 4 tempo. Originate from spain and a lending of sevillana and contradanza . Accompanied by castanets and guitars and music that is sung.





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