This way of dancing originated in England (country dance), but it was also danced in other European countries, such as France (contredanse), and Germany (contratanz). The contradanza arrived in Cuba with the French settlers coming from Haiti, several years after the Revolution of Santo Domingo that started together with the French Revolution in 1791. The first contradanza known in Cuba was “San Pascual Bailón.” #Contradanza #Contradanse
On January 1st 1879, Miguel Failde, featuring his band “Orquesta Failde”, played his dance tune “Las Alturas de Simpson”, and he named it danzón. This rhythm came to be a “national fever”, for it was the most important one at the beginning of the 20th century in Cuba. But it was not until 1910 that it reached its definitive structure, when José Urfé, who composed “El bombin de Barreto”, where he introduces some built-in son elements. Such fact establishes the danzón structure for the rest of the century. #Danzon
The son, which originated in the easternmost part of the country, merged the Spanish guitar, or “el tres” (a guitar with three couple of strings) with the Afro Cuban percussion. Besides this type of guitar, the bongo, maracas, and claves were also used. Chants were most of them improvised. At the time these chants reached the suburbs from “del monte” (the wild, the peasants´ region) they got the name of “son montuno”, masterfully played by Miguel Matamoros and Compay Segundo. The greatest sonero (son melody singer) of all was Benny Moré, “El Sonero Mayor”; the most famous and an inspiration for many musicians all over the world, especially in Latin America and the USA. He got to be also known as “the father of son.” #CubanSon
The name ´Casino´ originated in the 60s, and it comes from the so-called “sports casino” clubs, that featured different bands, that people danced to. Later on, the expression “Let´s go dance casino” emerged in Cuba. This is the way a couple dances casino: Social dance position, figures are mainly performed clockwise, short distance between dancers, rounded, figures mainly end in a counterclockwise rounded shift. The Rueda de Casino started up in the 70s, it is danced in couples, and the number of them varies in accordance with the space the dancing floor allows for. In the Rueda, one person makes the calls. #Salsa #Rueda #Casino
In 1938, the Cuban musician Orestes López created the danzón-mambo, grounded on a rhythmical son montuno. In 1947, Dámaso Pérez Prado capture that new structure, and in 1951 he travels to Mexico where he reaches a “musical boom” with the song “El Ruidoso y Rico Mambo” (the noisy and tasty mambo), that is why Pérez Prado is internationally known as the “King of Mambo.” #Mambo
In 1951, Cuban musician Enrique Jorrín, composed “La Engañadora” (a female trickster), considered the first cha-cha-cha theme song. The title got its inspiration from a female dancer that used a sort of stuffing material under her dress to make people believe she had a better body contour. The name cha-cha-cha was drawn from the noise made by dancers when rubbing their shoes at the cha-cha-cha pace on the dance floor. The cha-cha-cha succeeded in Mexico during a trip of Enrique Jorrin and his band to that country in the years 1955 and 1958, and its music and rhythm is now known and danced all over the world. #Chachacha
There are three Afro Cuban rumbas: yambú, columbia, and guagancó. These dances are focused on the traditions that the African slaves brought to Cuba. The yambú is a dance in couple that at present is, almost, no longer danced. It represented the flirting between a man and a woman. The Columbia is a male dance, with acrobatic choreographies. The guagancó was used to tell the neighborhood´s latest news, gossips, and important events. It was later on used to display a man winning over the love of a woman, or the “vacunao”. The dance shows the “vacunao´” that the woman tries to evade when moving her skirt. The basic step of this dance gave way to the rumba. It was also essential for the son´s and the salsa´s basic steps. At present, some Afro Cuban elements are used to dance Cuban salsa, or timba. #Rumba #AfricanCulture