Friday, March 31, 2017

Not Sure

I do not really know what is going on but the Stats are looking good on my blogs. There are still some scam, spam robot hits but they are slowing down and the average hits per day is going up slowly. Platinum Horseshoe and Town Dancer are leading the parade. Hopefully we can get a Guest Author in one or the other to define the one most likely to go independent. I am looking for an independent group to take the best blog over.

"You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no
manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe
hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing
but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive."


I keep hearing of possible new dance clubs forming but nothing solid. Town is already saturated, so the outskirts of Oahu have been unanimously selected. With the Rail Disaster they have to be somewhere far away from the Rail. The noise will be something terrible. Steel wheels on steel rails. Auwe! And the Present Rail Party has shut down Kapolei as second city. You want anything? Go to Honolulu.

"Morning Dew" by Willie K.


Two very good locations are on the Waianae Coast and on the North Shore. Even though some of the roadways are pretty bad. The city cannot fix the roads because the money has to go for the Rail Catastrophe. But it still beats the heavy traffic in town.

"The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise." by Les Paul and Mary Ford.

From my Sister Eleanor in California. -- Daniel 2:44
“And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom
which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left
to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all
these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” 

Claves
Claves From Africa? There are several variations to the 4 count measure and some that are wrong. There may be a complete clarification some day but most Latins know that it is not from Africa. It was from the original Indian music long before the Spanish got to the Americas. Only it was in a five beat measure. (yes they had six and even seven beat measures.)

"Contigo A La Distancia" por Lucho Gatica.

These Indians were professionals and the sticks (Palitos) were hit in every other beat, The first measure was 1,3,5 and in the second measure it was 2 & 4. So it was pretty simple - you have 3 in the first measure and 2 in the second, every other beat. These Indians were not looking for complications. But what happened when the Spanish tried to apply it to a four beat measure? Ah Hah! La Clave (the solution) means the Key in Spanish.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Rumba

The dance is generally accepted very nicely in our dance circles on Oahu in whatever version you are dancing. The music and the rhythm, among the most beautiful in the world today. Basically the Rumba is the spirit and soul that unites all Latin America in this type of music and dance, and each section with their own preferences.

"Instead of perfection, perhaps we could strive
for continuous improvement."


Rumba is distinctly Latin in that the lead is the director and the follower is the show. It has a completely fascinating rhythm and bodily expressions which enable the lady to express her grace and femininity. And most ladies on Oahu do very well indeed without going into the Exhibition or Competition sector. The lead has to learn to lead and show the lady off in the best way. While he himself, is constrained to a few very basic moves, he will be feeling the spell of moving to this beautiful music and the sheer joy of being alive.

"Besame Mucho" by Placido Domingo


Rumba is a mix of various sources. The natives of the Caribbean learned many of their moves independently but there was some influence from the Mexican Civilizations at the time. Most of the original inhabitants came from Mexico and some came up from South America. Many different dances resembling the Rumba, the Son, Son-Montuno, Guanzon, Guajira, Conga, Guaracha, Nanigo to name a few. There were ten million inhabitants of the Americas when the first illegal aliens arrived.

"Adoro" by Armando Manzanero


Transportation between the islands was by boat and sailors were key in standardizing the different dances and even the music. They had many similar natural characteristics. In describing these dances they would use the term "por ese rumbo." It simply means more or less, lidat, in that direction, similar. In Spanish, Rumbo is masculine and the word danca (dance) is feminine. The word simply was applied and changed to the feminine "La Rumba." This was about the time the slaves were arriving.

"Abrazame" by Julio Iglesias


Many areas simply kept the local name. The English sectors used the Calipso, the French used the Beguine and the Spanish continue to use a large variety of names. Then the Bolero, an old dance from Spain arrived in the Caribbean. And had a marked effect of slowing the Rumba tempo down and contributing to it's sensuous sound in the biggest cities. That is what was exported as the Rumba and more complications set in. That Spanish Bolero has absolutely nothing to do with the present Bolero that was manufactured in the US.

"Rumba is not a fad dance and will last very comfortably into the
next century. The fad dances are for the kids, won't last long,
five to ten years but let them have their fun."

Friday, March 24, 2017

Salsaman, New York

By Aristides Raul Garcia, aka as El Intruso.
aka the Salsaman. - year 2000

A few months back, Mike Bello wrote a message on this board to "ANGRY, ENOJADA". In it he makes a statement which probably is the belief of many; this is what he told her, "also, realize that salsa began and was developed by, for the most part, Puerto Ricans in New York. They used the Afro- Cuban styles as a foundation and took off with them. So, naturally, New Yorkers have a longer history with salsa and mambo. Everywhere else, including South America, it was picked up much later and they developed their own styles. The same has happened in the west coast (L.A.)."

"Most dancers did not really choose dance. It chose them. They discovered
that life without dance would be like life without air. Impossible."


In reality, the Puerto Ricans who went for the Mambo were by and large born and raised, or raised, in the US. We are talking about the mid-50’s. They had to be the sons and daughters of the first waves of Puerto Rican immigrants to the US, before the great exodus of the 50’s, also known as Operation Bootstrap. Until that exodus from the Island, most Puerto Ricans in the US were of urban background, while those migrating during Operation Bootstrap were almost entirely of a rural background.

"Oye Como Va" por Azucar Moreno


To talk about Puerto Ricans doing the Mambo is not as easy as it may seem. The fact is that in the mid 50’s you had a diversity of clubs catering to the different musical tastes of Puerto Ricans. Catering to the Mambo-oriented there was, practically, only one; the Palladium. At the other end of the spectrum, you had the Club Caborrojeno, and the Happy Hills Casino (to mention two) providing more typical Puerto Rican music, what many call (in a derogative manner) "Jibaro" music.

Grupo Niche - Cali Pachanguero


The fact is that El Jibarito de Lares, Ramito, Cesar Concepcion, and a little bit later (late 50’s) Cortijo y su Combo were outselling the Mambo bands in NY. Yomo Toro had been a legend in that circuit (also derogatively known as the "cuchifrito circuit’) long before he played with the Fania All Stars. For Puerto Ricans not born in the US but of an urban background, Mambo was also not the thing; for them it was the music of Bobby Capo, Mirta Silva, Daniel Santos (the last two, both Puerto Ricans, were at points in their careers lead singers for the Cuban Musical legend, La Sonora Matancera, in fact Celia Cruz was a replacement for Mirta Silva), Arsenio Rodriguez, and the rest of them. Salsa is different people.

"Life does not require that we be the best, only that we try our best."

Monday, March 20, 2017

Street dancing

From an old Street Dancer,
by Frank Rutherford. New York.

I say I started dancing in 1927 and at the time I was 13 years old. I knew a little just fooling around but I did not really start dancing until the first time I can remember going to a ballroom, where there were kids around the same age that were dancing. Then too it was the first time I actually had an opportunity to dance with a young lady.

"You cannot help people permanently by doing for them what
they could and should do for themselves."


The Lindy hop had just begun so at that time it was not called swing. The youngsters were doing what everyone had all done before, like the Charleston and the dance they called the Breakaway, which was a form of Lindy Hop. They learned most of the basic moves in dancing. But at that time it was swing music, so the dancers just went along with the music.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges


I never studied any dancing or went to a dancing school or got anything from professional teachers. I loved the music and just went to dances, watched other people dance and picked up what I saw them doing from the music. Jitterbug wasn’t even a name back in 1927. The word jitterbug didn’t come about until the mid-thirties.

"Walk Through Paradise With Me" by Melveen Leed


I didn’t start performing on stage until 1937, which would be 10 years later and I was about 23 years old and I also started teaching at regular dances. Then I acquired my own studio about two years later. I was fortunate to get many good students willing to learn the basics and not many tricks. Many of them eventually became excellent dancers.

He passed at 98 last year.  But is it really possible that he could have accomplished all this without a professional teacher? It Is Unbelievable!

"Making a resolution to change one thing that will make us healthier
is a priceless gift that only we can give to ourselves,
and dancing is one of them."

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Blog Site continued

If Web sites are the Magazines, then Blog Sites are the daily newspapers and most Dance blog sites just furnish information about dancing. The truth is that a blog is hardly the place where you would want to reach for your credit card. Blogs rely on fresh content. It’s evolving in Hawaii that a dance blog should post at least 2 new entries a week. I have mine, each blog every four days.

 "The secret to happiness is to put the burden of proof on unhappiness."


Dance blog reader/dancers visit blogs to get fresh information or insight on topics that are current and important to them. Not the schedule for a month or two down the road, that is fine in a Web site. The most interesting are the less complicated ones with enough photos to make it more interesting. Dance Blogs tend to be more opinion-based than Dance Web sites because they continually ask for dance information.

"I Just Want to Be Your Everything" by Andy Gibb


And we are working on making them more so. They will not be from only one blogger but from many points of view. The real value of blogging isn't the capability of the tool, but the ability for each and every page on the site, each and every article, to invite and display feedback from readers. This is a dramatic difference because it changes a monologue, a "brochure," into a dialogue with the reader/dancers.

"Cavatina" by Maximo Spodek


Indeed, often the most compelling reading on a blog are the comments that others leave and the debate that often ensues as people add their two cents and disagree with each other. We have yet to see much of this in our Hawaii blogosphere because most of our reader/dancers are very polite in public. It will take some time to be recognized and used in Hawaii.

"When social dancers start dancing, they dance like they don't know
they are dancing. They are just moving to their favorite music
and they can let the rest of the world go by."

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mariachi Music

They had a good one on the Big Island last year and also one on Kauai, but what happened on Oahu? Some of the best music in the world is played by Mariachis. For the last hundred years it has been for beautiful listening but since the 90s it has been phasing over into perfect music for social dancing. Latin Waltzes played by Mariachis are some of the most beautiful in the world today. Danced differently, yes, but easy for social dancers - Rock Step and a Chassé from the old Indian 3 count measure.

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination and life to everything else."


Prior to the arrival of the Spanish illegal aliens, indigenous music was played with rattles, drums, flutes, and conch-shell horns as part of religious celebrations. The Spanish introduced violins, guitars, harps, brass instruments, and woodwinds, which slowly replaced the native instruments. The Europeans introduced their instruments to use during Mass, but they were quickly adapted to secular events. Indigenous and mestizo peoples learned to play and make these instruments, often giving them modified shapes and tunings.

"Ay, Jalisco, No Te Rajes" por Jorge Negrete


In addition to instruments, the Spanish introduced the concept of musical groups - which, in the colonial period, generally consisted of two violins, a harp, and various guitars. This grouping gave rise to a number of folk musical styles in Mexico. In Jalisco, the Mariachi groups developed from these beginnings at the time of the French occupation in the Mexican Empire.

"Cien Anos" por Pedro Infante


No discussion of Mariachi dance would be complete without mentioning the famous Jarabe Tapatio - the Mexican Hat Dance. Associated with Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco, it has become the national dance of Mexico. It is highly stylized, with prescribed movements and costumes. The male wears the classic outfit of the Jalisco horsemen or Charro, while the female, la Cheenah, (means dear in Spanish) wears a hand-woven shawl and a bright sequined skirt.

"Our good dancers know that to be ourselves in a dance world
that is constantly trying to make us something else is
the greatest accomplishment."

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Robots

An autonomous car (also known as a driverless car, auto, self-driving car, robotic car is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input. Many such vehicles are almost fully developed, but as of February 2017 automated cars permitted on public roads are not yet fully autonomous. They all require a human driver at the wheel who is ready at a moment's notice to take control of the vehicle.

“Dancers make the world a better place by making daily improvements
to become the best version of themselves.” 


Autonomous cars use a variety of techniques to detect their surroundings, such as radar, laser light, GPS, odometry, and computer vision. Advanced control systems interpret sensory information to identify appropriate navigation paths, as well as obstacles and relevant signage. Autonomous cars have control systems that are capable of analyzing sensory data to distinguish between different cars on the road, which is very useful in planning a path to the desired destination.

Single Passenger Vehicle
A report from one of the testers:
He left the night club before midnight but he knew he had had a little too much to drink. He staggered over to his vehicle "Robby" and was able to unlock the door and insert the key to awaken the car. The speaker said "ready, chief." He buckled his seat beat and replied, "Home, Robby." And the speaker said, "right, chief." The car started out and stopped at the street, then no cars coming, it went into street and found its way to the freeway. He fell asleep on the way and woke up when the speaker said, "We are home, chief." He was inside his garage. He replied, "Thanks Robby and Goodnight." He thought, good thing they couldn't get him for drunk driving. He wasn't driving. Went inside and passed out on the couch.

Just got notice of a new dance called the Trump dance. All you have
to do is take three steps forward, two steps backward, then
side-step, side-step and turn around. Yeah, that's him.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Frank

I just read one last one on Frank's blog and in my grizzled old age, I must say that is what dance bloggers do, they spread the word. However his blogs will be losing hits slowly but surely. No blogging results in no hits and I have removed the "Pages" in my blogs. So I offer to him Guest Author in any blog of his choice. He can say whatever he wishes, whenever he wishes and he will have ready made reader/dancers. Although Frank has never mentioned it, he was the father of blogging on these islands.

"When you're really happy, the birds chirp and the sun shines even on
cold dark winter nights - and flowers will bloom on a barren land."


When I arrived in Hawaii I was a street dancer and I learn a lot of my American style dancing from Frank and Lani. Then he is the one that discovered the secret of blogging. He already had two blogs when I read him and I learned from him. Of course, we all go our separate ways and learn different things and it is normal. I started out too much in "niche blogging" which is specializing, like a Dance Club Web site. He had a much wider spectrum, and which I later found out is called "content blogging." Today most of us are into content blogging.

"Let's Dance" by David Bowie

 

The neighbor islands are beginning to develop their own blogs too. However if they are too much "niche blogging"(like a Web site for their club only,) they will be slow. With a counter you can see how many people are tuning in to you and your fellow blogger's words. Most dance media is in the single digit average per day hits. The one very good thing is that none of us are experts at blogging and we can sure learn a lot from each other and that's the point.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner


One thing I want to see is the development of a completely independent blog of several Guest Authors. Platinum Horseshoe is the leading blog in hits and the one most indicated. My best blogs must go and the junk blogs will remain mine. To make a long story short, I want to say to Frank, Gracias which of course, he knows enough Spanish to understand. I could say Muchas Gracias, and it may make him smile a little. In these case I must say, Muchisimas Gracias. (no translation necessary) Have a happy retirement.

"A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance."
From the Bible - Ecclesiates 3:4

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Paso What?

By Colin Hillary. Las Vegas, ten years ago.

This article is not intended as a dissertation but rather to marvel at the phenomena of world wide acceptance of the five Latin dances as the criteria for International Competition. I mean, does anybody in our industry, which is not that old, know why we include the Paso Doble? Don't get me wrong, it is one of my favorites and I would be devastated if it were deleted, but talk about obscure dances! It is easily justified now as the dance to observe a couple's ability to dramatize and theatricalize, but its closet-link is Spanish Flamenco, although we incorporate hardly any of the "authentic" movements from this dance form.

"Looking back on a happy life, one realizes that
one was not happy all the time."


The wonder of it all now is that, not only does the number of countries which subscribe to this "style" of dance increases, but that no matter whether you're Australia, Finland, Taiwan, Lithuania etc. ... all with divergent cultures, the dances are instantly recognizable and comparable. Since I have listed countries where competition dancing is well established and flourishing, you will note the absence of Latin American countries. The remaining countries which will never allow "couple" dancing are mostly Moslem, Hindu or too poor to entertain such frivolity.

"El Cid" by Rene Touzet

The irony is that, the ethnic authenticity, legitimate origins and hence arguable connection of the so called techniques of the Latin Dances is indefensible intellectually. The very inception and adherence to the art-form world wide by individuals and worthy organizations, has created a certain legitimacy of these dance forms and their characterization of ethnic cultures historically. Danced well, the present style certainly conjures up images of what we could like to think of as representative of an earlier romantic time and place. This, in turn has been subliminally implanted by the "Hollywood Magic."

"Malaguena" by Placido Domingo


The only people who might be upset about this and perhaps have the right to be, are the people from the very cultures who, for the most part, only express astonishment upon observing this style of dance and what it supposedly represents. But in the absence of something "authentic" to replace what we presently have, it is inevitable that time will only reinforce this popular misconception of the ethnicity of our competition dances. To quote the definition of "Image." It is not what truly exists, nor is it what the informed know to be accurate. Image is simply what the people generally "believe to exist."

Robot Cars are coming to Oahu. We may have less need for Traffic Police, The cars would be programmed not to break laws. More Bicycles? If self-driving cars are safer than human drivers it may be less dangerous to bike on the road. There may also be an opportunity to create wider bicycle lanes and better infrastructure. Of course, the Present Rail Party will try to stop them. Its the money, Sonny.

"We are FREE, not bound like a Tree. We can Move,
We can dance and We can take a Chance!"