Sunday, 13 May 2012

Bachata: Dominican and Modern style

Bachata is a popular form of Latin dance and a romantic style of music that originated in the Dominican Republic and has evolved over the years. The style has its roots in bachata music, and like other Latin dances, it has become very popular in the US and Europe. Some of the reasons that make it so popular are: an easy to learn dance that is sensual and a form that can be danced in very close contact with a dance partner. Moreover, R&B influences have also made it more attractive among the younger audience. 

Here dance moves may vary depending on the music, setting, mood and the interpretation. Unlike Salsa, Bachata dance does not usually include complex turn patterns but they are used more and more as the dance evolves. Bachata Dance styles are all about swaying with the music and enjoying the various moves. Like other social dances, the leading is done with a “pushing and pulling” hand and arm communication. 

Bachata is essentially an 8-beat dance, similar to the Salsa, in which partners can dance either in an open position or closed position, based on the mood. In Bachata dancing, the dancer takes three steps in one direction and add a lift or hip motion on the 4th count of the beat (1,2,3 and hip) and the same pattern in other direction. The sounds are like: "one, two, three, uh; one, two, three, uh." Overall, it is an incredibly fluid and dynamic dance where partners move together in harmony. Under the spell of music, the partners are bound to feel the connection unlike any other dance form. In this article we’ll explore its two major styles: 

1. Dominican Bachata:

The original style (Dominican bachata), accompanied by the music of same name, is characterized by jumps and lots of foot works and free style moves. Also called domibachata, the style originated around the late 1950s and continues to evolve in different ways. Domibachata’s basic dance sequence is a full 8 count moving within a square. A more open position allows for more plalyful footwork and body motion while closed position is for more romantic stance. It can be danced with or without bounce. The style was created for social dancing and is popular in the western world today.

2. Modern Bachata:   

It is the new version of the traditional Bachata that has origins in the 1980s. The basics are the same as the Traditional Style Bachata, but involves a lot of elements and styling from Salsa, Zouk-lambada, Ballroom, Tango, and some Hip-Hop elements. A tell-tale sign of this form is its free style moves which involves a lot of complex footwork: lock steps, guapachas, slides, enchufles etc.

Dancers usually move their upper torsos more, and women in particular use more exaggerated hip movements. In terms of steps, on each count you lead to a cross (cross on 1, cross on 2, cross on 3, cross over), but on the 4th count you keep the hip movement of the Traditional Style Bachata.

The overall growth in music industry has seen Bachata going immensely popular in a lot of countries. As a dance form, Bachata has branched out to many different styles, but the feeling of Bachata has not changed. People love to dance Bachata as per the emotions present in the music by combining elements from different dance styles.

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