Thursday, February 26, 2015

Under Arm Turns

By Jason Sato, Kalihi Valley

Dance is one of the oldest art forms and has existed for ages.  Its existence is evident in every culture around the globe. Dance and movement are powerful expressions of feeling. All present movements in dance have been done before, over and over again by somebody somewhere, If some present day "expert" has never seen the movement it is only natural, there are so many. And now in this present era we have "Partner" dancing.

That's Life: "Some days you are the pigeon. Some days you are the statue"

One of the oldest most basic movements in partner dancing is the under arm turn. It may have other names in other dances and in different cultures but in the US, it is still the under arm turn. Of course, there is not only one way. As  it evolved, they found at least six ways of doing it and all while both partners are on their feet. There may be others when either one of the partners is off their feet but that is not in our kuleana.

"That Old Black Magic" by Frank Sinatra

The first is the outside underarm turn, in which the lead will lift the lady's right hand with his left and move it to his left. As he steps back, he will use gentle pressure with his right hand on her waist to lead her in turning to her right.

The second is the inside underarm turn in which the lead will lift the lady's right hand with his left and as he steps back, moves it between them to his right. He will also remove his right hand from her waist while she turns to her left. Let it be fun as you are learning, it is all very simple and all it requires is a few trials as you go along.

"I Can't Get Started With You" by Bunny Berigan

There are only about one hundred dances where these movements are available. Needless to say they may not be done in many of the International dances. It is a common movement in American Waltz, Foxtrot, Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Merengue, Mambo and Bolero. Also common in at least 50 other Latin American Dances.

These two are the easiest to learn and most commonly used. But our readers are going to use the others too. There are four other basic under arm turns. What are they? Who knows? "Maybe the Shadow Knows?" Next year, I may cover it. -- Jason

Pub's Side Note: Dear Lord; I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self-indulgent. I have not whined, complained, cursed, or eaten any chocolate. I have charged nothing on my credit card. - - But I will be getting out of bed in a minute and I think I will really need your help then.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Milonga movies, stories

The novels of the 1900s and later the movies were developing and they had the same characters over and over again. This is a compilation translated from the Spanish.

The Girl, usually a Spanish mestiza, the man an Italian mestizo. And the pimp most always a pure blooded German. Juan, the Gaucho, in his late twenties has never had a real need for a wife. He has always taken his women like cough drops, only when he needed them. He has risen to be the foreman in the big Estancia through hard work, brains and pure guts.

Lupe Velez, Douglas Fairbanks
He loves to head the cattle drives into Buenos Aires, drink and dance the nights away having fun. And he well remembers Maria in her late teens, that last prostitute. She was really something beautiful, but in his state they all were. She had a beautiful body, but she had something else that he did not quite understand. He had to go back to see her.

Max, also in his twenties, born in Germany but grew up in La Orilla from the age of ten shortly before he lost both parents. He has had to learn to survive. He has a scar across his face which legend says, the man who put it there lived less than 30 seconds after.

"Caminito" por Placido Domingo

Juan delivers the cattle, makes all the paper work for the money transfers and pays the gauchos off so they can have a little fun. Then he heads for La Orilla and possibly Maria. He has a drink here and there, dances a few Milongas and by now he has become a good partner dancer.

Then he finds Maria. They make eye contact from across the big room, and they dance a Milonga, naturally. Max, her pimp happens to be there too and he already suspects that this is the guy that is going to try to take his prize chicken away. And Max has a reputation for being the roughest man in La Orilla.

Juan spends a little time with Maria in the upstairs rooms and comes back down, rents her for the night. He leaves, comes back later and they retire away from it all. They make their plans and she is willing to go with him wherever just to get away from La Orilla and she is crazy about him.

"La Media Luz" por Julio Iglesias

About four in the morning they pack what little things she has to have. He tells her she can buy whatever later. They get to the big room downstairs and we can all guess who is waiting there!

Juan pushes Maria aside and advances slowly towards Max, Max stands up and you can tell he is in no mood for conversation and has a Facon (long knife) in his hand. Juan pulls his own Facon and begins to wave it back and forth horizontally in front of him. His eyes appear enlarged and Max the pimp could swear they were mostly whites.

Stupid bastard Max thought. With his feet wide apart for balance Max feints with his right hand and when Juan goes for it, he reaches for the knife hand with his left and gets him around the wrist. But he was stronger than he looked, and slips away. Then he feels the pain and shock as the knife rips him from groin to breast bone.

Juan is breathing heavily now and cleans his knife on Max’s clothes, hustles Maria out the door and they ride out into the sunrise.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Vogueing, The New Exhibition

By Ben Johnson, Manoa

Vogueing: To dance by striking a series of rigid, stylized poses, evocative of fashion models during photograph shoots. You can see a man in a skin tight suit, walk down the runway like a model, making all kinds of gyrations, usually to rap music. But it is not a partner dance and it does not seem to be involved much with rhythm, it is strictly for show.

"The truth that is told with bad intent beats all the lies that you could invent."

Parts have integrated into social dances, but it is most glaring in the International Rumba. They have made the rock step a little faster, quick, quick, which gives them a little more time to pose dramatically on the slow count. It is definitely not Rumba, the music does not call for that kind of fast movement. So is the music used changing? Yes. And actually anyone can do whatever they damn well please

Though many claim that it is not a gay dance, there is an increasing presence of the gay community as performers and as spectators. In some dance balls it is almost consists of the entire production including the audience. And even more, it is predominantly black, so, they have not predicted a good future.

"Panini Pua Kea"' by Bruddah Iz

The ballroom scene with vogueing has evolved into a national underground dancesport with major balls being held in different regions (East, Midwest, South, West). The major vogue city in the country has been and continues to be New York, but regional vogueing "capitals" exist—Chicago for the Midwest, Atlanta for the South, and Los Angeles for the West. I do not know of any in the State of Hawaii.

Pub's Side Note: Good write up on the local scene from Richie Fun in the Town Dancer blog. Check'im out, just what these blogs need.


By Wilbur Casivacha, Liliha

What is happening to Salsa and Bachata? The original way of dancing Bachata  in the Dominican Republic where the music was born is quite different than today. The young modern dancers always want to go faster. The early slow style in the sixties from where everything started was danced only closed, like the Bolero. The Bachata Basic Steps moving within a small square (side, side, forward and side, side, back) are inspired from the Bolero steps but is an evolved version of those including a tap and also syncopation (steps in between the beats) depending on the dynamics of the music being played.

"The journey between what we once were and what we are becoming is
where the Dance of Life really takes place."

The authentic dance is today danced all over the Caribbean, and faster in accordance to faster music, adding more footwork, turns - figures and rhythmic free style moves with alternate between close (romantic) and open position (more playful adding footwork, turns - figures, rhythmic torso etc.).  Authentic Bachata was created by the Dominican social dancers over many years (from around the beginning of the sixties) for social dancing and is still evolving to this day.

At some point in the late 1990s, dancers and dance-schools in the Western World began using a simpler side to side pattern instead of the box-steps probably due to a misunderstanding of the authentic steps. The basic steps of this pattern move side to side, changing direction after every tap. Characteristics of this "early" dance school dance is the close connection between partners, soft hip movements, tap with a small "pop" of the hip on the 4th step (1, 2, 3, Tap/Hip) and does not include many Turns - Figures.

"Moliendo Cafe" por Azucar Moreno

Most of the styling in the US is from Ballroom Dance and Dips are commonly used in the dance. This was the first new dance also danced to the faster Bachata music popularized by dance schools outside the Dominican Republic and mainly on the East Coast.

Pub's Side Note: Comments sections are opened and closed when we get too much comment spams. Those spammers are a uncivilized lot, they just don't care. At this moment all the blogs are open again and anyone can comment.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Universe Three

Now that we are looking at the size of the sun. What happened to the planets? Jupiter and Neptune are nice sized marbles but the rest of the planets are just peanuts in comparison. You thought we were pretty big? Now you can see that we are pretty well - nothing, even if we do live in prime real estate.

Our kuleanas on this island are still too small and we must be friends within the larger group. And I do not mean the wheels, I mean the people. In our case the reader/dancers of these blogs. Too few have made the rules and have been running us straight into the ground.'

"It's not the pace of life that concerns me,
it's the sudden stop at the end."

Street Dancer: A person who has learned dancing at parties, nightclubs, dance halls and from other non professional dancers. Most are well aware of the importance of rhythm, timing and the different styles of dance.

They phase easily into the studio club, the social dance club and night club dancing.  And yet, few people in the modern world have the uninhibited rhythm required to learn this way, They have been inhibited for too long. But there are many that are finding it easier to acquiring the right rhythm.

So how does our sun compare with "other" suns? We still think we are hot shots don't we? Yes, there is more, we can go out farther yet. Meanwhile, people think there is too much to be a Guest Author. No, there is no rigid commitment. They even hold back on being Information Contributors. It seems to be too much commitment. So we ask that you say something using the commentator box in every blog. Maybe, one way of getting your two cents in.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Latin on the Big Island

There seems to be an active Latin Dance Community on the Big Island. Not only the Regular Ballroom Dance Latin - Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Samba etc. They also have plenty Salsa dance events: Lance Oliver - Former salsa competitor and current social/club dance instructor.

"Just get up and move to the music and don't worry too much about
not dancing well. Have fun and enjoy."

There several others available for corporate events, hotel activities, wedding dances & reception fun. They have private lessons, group lessons and setting up fun and successful dance parties. Every Wednesday at the Kona Elks Lodge there is a Latin Dance Party from 7:45-9:30pm

"Portatil" by Chuco Mendez

There is an awful lot of Bachata and Zouk in Hilo. Maybe new center for Latin dancing. But the North Shore of the Big Island still looks interesting. Anyone with any news, send it in and I will post to this blog.

Pub's Side Note: photos are valuable in the inverse proportion to their availability. How you figure? One nice photo of the dance gang in one of our blogs, compared to the same photo in Facebook who is due to get 350 million today?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Latin Music and Dance

 I am finally getting some agreement, in that Latin Music and Dance is from Latin America and has little to do with Europe or Africa simply because you had a lot of those people as immigrants. Any out side influence can be said to come from Asia, simply because that is where all the Indians came from.

"The struggles we are in today, are developing the strengths
we need for tomorrow."

But they moved our there at the beginning of the Modern Man. The evolution of Cro-Magnon was about 30000 years ago and that is when they decided to migrate to the Americas using the land bridge across to Alaska. There are no Neanderthal bones in the Americas. And the first group got to Tierra Del Fuego in South America about 25 thousand years ago. There is some dating at 27 thousand years.

The second group came all the way from about Moscow and ended up in the Central America some time after 18000 years ago. And there is some dating at 20 thousand years. The newest were the ones from China, Japan and Korea and ended up in Northern Mexico to Alaska a few thousand years before agriculture evolved. The differences have been established by the basic tongues and the skeleton frames.

"Abrazame" por Alejandro Fernandez

These people developed a much varied music and dance from Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego in South America. And the biggest center for the development of music and dance was in the Mexican empires right after the emergence of Agriculture about 8000 BC. There develop a very solid style of music and dance that had some effect on each other for thousands of years.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Street Dancers

By Edmund Jung, Manoa.

Any one who dances to music and has not had formal instruction is a street dancer. There are thousands of trick moves that they learn just dancing by themselves. If they can do it to music, they are dancing. Sooner or later many will want to do partner dancing as in social dancing.

"For those Haters and Party Poopers out there, we have so much more for you to be mad at.
Just be patient."

Of course, the easiest is taking American style dance classes at the local social dance club. It is usually fun and friendly, and if you are male, you can find a partner very easily. We are also fortunate to have some of the best American Style dance teachers in the Pacific so you can't lose.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner

You can also continue to learn on the street or more commonly in Night Clubs. And it can be much easier if you know, Rudolf Laban's, five basic dance movements. And I mean you must try to understand what each one implies. The more you know and understand the better your results will be.

First, Gesture is any movement to music not connected with supporting the body's weight. Same as Posturing.

Second, Stepping: which is simply transferring the weight from one support to another.

Third, Locomotor: Movements from one location to another. May consist of Walk, Leap, Jump, Hop, Gallop, Slide and Skip.

Fourth, Jumping is simply a movement without a point of support.

Fifth. Turning which is changing the position of the front.

And there is an awful lot of room for use in there. Salsa has over 700 documented moves in their dancing.

In Waltz for instance, the basic is easy to start and then the man going forward 3 half patterns and you have a walk. He can also move backward. And all you have to do is ask somebody and you can do it.

The man turning to his left, and then turning to his right and you have two different turns and each one has a name. All you have to do is ask.

Basic to the left and basic to right and you have half the song danced. And you will know it. And the more you like the music the better you will enjoy it. Then you will learn the use of the arms.

And when you find out that you can have just as much fun in a dance class - heh. Need I say more?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

One Sided Latin

Salsa and Bachata still leading the parade of what could be considered Latin Dance. This is mostly in Night Club Circuits. And they have plenty of hype, it means plenty bucks and there are profits to be made. Reggaeton came like a wave and went, and there are others waiting in the wings, Zouk, Zumba, Kizomba. The other avenues of Latin Dance are much more different and they are still Social Dancing and the peripherals (specialities.)

There will be more publicity on the older standbys that have done so well in the Past, in Exhibition and well as in Competition dance, in the different disciplines. Rumba, Latin Waltz, Cha Cha Cha, Samba and Tango. With all the independent blogging opinions out there, it should straighten itself out very nicely this year all by itself.

"Intellectuality is an open door to a road that has no end."

The Indians of the Western Hemisphere had been dancing for millenniums before the arrival of the first illegal aliens. The European thinking of those days was that the illegal aliens had at much rights to be there as the Indians. Columbus discovered America and no one in that entire European group ever thought for one second that the Indians had discovered America 50000 years before this.

Now we are still in the process of teaching these people how to really dance. Ha!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Palace Theater, Hilo

We got a nice poster and we are glad to spread the good word for our readers on all Dee Odder Islands. Next time they may include a few words of their own. You're welcomed. Any thing musical around the Islands is just fine and everyone is going to know each other better.

Kalealoa Airport is just developing but we look for more inter island travel by air since they sabotaged the Super Ferry. The Big Buck still rules in Hawaii, just like building the monster Rail Catastrophe.

I think the Big Island is what is going to develop into various centers of social partner dancing. Hilo, of course, and Kona-Kailua. but I am looking forward to something on the North Shore of the Island. They just had a wiz bang Ballroom Competition there last year and we hope to see them again this year.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner

Pub's Side Note: Be careful with the "publish personal emails" virus on Oahu. If they say we publish personal emails, people believe it and that's it. No need to ask "Where, When, Show me?" Naturally no one says a word. You are guilty and there is no way to prove your innocence. Those are their rules, tough.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Recorded Music

Why is recorded music so good?
Stephen Kim, Kaimuki

When a band makes a recording they will usually augment the band with a few expert musicians for that particular type of music. Then of course they are not going to pick their worst numbers.

Email direct from God asking to post it to my blog.
"I don't question your existence!"

For a recording session, they prepare special arrangements and practice more. Upon recording it, if it is not perfect, they will play it again. until it is perfect. Of course, they are well rested and “sober” and playing at their best because they know it is being recorded.

Our fellow Dancers appreciate the recorded music that we enjoy at our dances and we should thank all of our DJs for their efforts. Most of our DJs really know their music and make every effort to try to please us, the dancers. Some music not to your liking? So who in the hell is perfect?

"Woodstock" by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

I cannot define the word Love. I cannot say what it is. I can say only that I know when it ain’t. I can feel it’s absence in the marrow of my bones: sometimes, as living hostility; at other times as deathly cold indifference.

In the same manner I also know when soul ain’t, and when justice ain’t, when compassion ain’t and when brotherhood ain’t. The fact that I cannot positively define any of these does not stop me from performing the act which may turn “ain’ts” into “ises” and all the ises shall be for all, and it has to start now with me.

Not I for an I, but I for us.
“We the People ......
Sam Levenson.