We would like to welcome you to the Hawaii Bachata Meet Up Group! We are the 1st Bachata Meet Up Group in Hawaii. Our goal is to promote Bachata through the dance and the beautiful culture of the Dominican Republic. Our mission is have fun filled events that highlight Bachata music as well as the culture of this amazing dance. Our members are from all walks of life and we are glad you are here! We look forward to you becoming a member and true Bachatero/Bachtera!
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bachata, a form of music and dance that originated in the countryside and rural marginal neighborhoods of Dominican Republic. Its subjects are often romantic; especially prevalent are tales of heartbreak and sadness. In fact, the original term used to name the genre was "amargue" ("bitterness," or bitter music", until the rather ambiguous (and mood-neutral) term bachata became popular.
Bachata was created and primarily used by servants, who used to play it when they got off work. They made the music out of ordinary objects found in a backyard (Trashcans, Fences,etc). In some rural areas of the Dominican Republic, bachata means trash, but most citizens agree that it means a party. Others say that bachata is derived from the Italian Ballata, which was a popular form of music in Italy centuries ago.
Bachata grew out of - and is still closely related to - the pan Latin-American romantic style called bolero. Over time, it has been influenced by merengue - a fast paced dancable music also native to the Dominican Republic - and by a variety of latin American guitar styles.
The music itself is played in 4/4. The most recognizable aspect of bachata instrumentation is the use of an amplified guitar (either electric or acoustic) whose sound has been doctored with a flanger, reverb, echo, or a combination of the three. The use of arpeggiated chords as the basis for the melody is almost standard.
An additional guitar, called the 'segunda' or rhythm guitar is usually mixed at a lower volume, and provides syncopation. An electric bass guitar and guira help anchor the rhythm - with the guira sounding a bit like a high-hat (in pre 1900s bachata, maracas were played instead of the guira). The use of the bongo drum further solidifies the basic beat, and provides and percussive accents in transition points - for instance right before a chorus.
History of Bachata
Derived from the Latin American tradition of guitar music, and originally named for the crude bars and clubs where guitarists and singers would perform, bachata emerged in the 1960s. According to a documentary, the Beatles cover of Till There Was You (first performed in 1963) helped inspire the genre. Even though some set the origins of Bachata to the early 60s, Bachata-like guitar music was played in the brothels of El Salvador for long before that.
As popular radio filled the air waves with merengue and salsa, bachata musicians were forced to develope a grass-roots system of producing and distributing the music. As with most styles of Latin American music, bachata is predominantly performed by male singers. Some of the important early bachateros are Jose Manuel Calderon (musician), Eladio Romero Santos, Edilio Paredes, Luis Segura, Ramon Cordero, and Rafael Encarnacion.
The Bachata played today uses electric guitar and has phrasing which is more rhythmic and groove-like than in earlier styles. The evolution to electric has perhaps helped make bachata more accessible. Some associate Juan Luis Guerra's Grammy winning 1992 release, Bachata Rosa, with bachata's rise in legitimacy and international recognition. Others argue that Guerra had very little to do with bachata's rise, and that, although he used the word "bachata" in an album title, he never actually even recorded a song in bachata style.
At present 2010, the Dominican group Aventura is probably the best known bachata group worldwide with its single "Obsession" having dominated for a long time radio play both in Latin America, US Latino markets, and countries as distant as Italy and Sweden. While he is superseded in the international audiences by Aventura, for the Dominican audience, the most popular of the modern bachateros have been Anthony Santos & Luis Vargas. Other artists of note include Raulin Rodriquez, Zacarias Ferreira, Frank Reyes, Monchy y Alexandra, Domenic Marte, Xtreme, Andy Andy, Elvis Martinez, Leonardo Paniagua, Los Toros Band, and Joe Veras.
The Basic footwork is a series of simple steps that produce a back and forth or sideways motion. A schematic footwork would be as follows: starting with the right foot make a chasse to the right on counts 1,2,3. On 4, touch the left toe beside your right foot (alternatively, tapping the left toe, i.e., apart from the right foot, make an upwards jerk with the left hip). Then do the same from your left foot. The character of the dance is achieved through sensual hip and body movements.
Freddie Munoz will be performing at the 2nd Hawaii Bachata Festival.