Thursday, December 28, 2006

latin american dances

The Portuguese imported many slaves from Angola and Congo into Brazil in the 16th century, who in turn brought their dances such as the Caterete, the Embolada and the Batuque (Raffe, 1964, 313). These dances were considered sinful by the Europeans as they involved the touching of navels (Sadie, 1980, 10/47). The Embolada is about a cow with balls on its horns for safety, and became a term meaning 'foolish' (Michaelis, 1955, 281). The Batuque became so popular that Manuel I passed a law forbidding it (Raffe, 1964,60). It was described as a circle dance with steps like the Charleston done to hand clapping and percussion, and with a solo couple performing in the centre of the circle (Raffe, 1964, 60).
A composite dance evolved in the 1830's combining the plait figures from these Negro dances and the body rolls and sways of the indigenous Lundu (Behague, 1979,93). Later, carnival steps were added like the Copacabana (named after a popular beach near Rio de Janeiro). Gradually members of the high society in Rio embraced it, although they modified it to be done in closed ballroom dancing position (which they knew was the only correct way to dance anything) (Ellfeldt, 1974,77). The dance was then called the Zemba Queca, and was described in 1885 as "a graceful Brazilian dance" (Burchfield, 1976, III/1466). This was later called the 'Mesemba'. The origin of the name 'Samba' is unclear: perhaps it is a corruption of Semba, although another suggestion is that is derived from Zambo which means the offspring of a Negro man and a native woman (Taylor, 1958,648).
The dance was later combined with the Maxixe (Raffe, 1964,438). This was also originally Brazilian: a round dance described as like a Two Step (Burchfield, 1976, II/865), and named after the prickly fruit of a Cactus, although now the word is used in Portuguese to denote a gherkin.
The Maxixe dance was introduced into the U.S.A. at the turn of the 20th century (Stetson 1956,30). It became popular in Europe after a demonstration in Paris in the early twentieth century. It was described as having the steps of the Polka done to the music of the Cuban Habanera (Chicago, 1985, 7/968). The present day Samba still contains a step called the Maxixe, consisting of a chasse and point (Romain, 1982,19).
A form of the Samba called the Carioca (meaning: from Rio de Janeiro) was revived in U.K. in 1934. It was popularised by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in their first film together: 'Flying Down to Rio' (Shipman, 1979, 23). The Carioca spread to the U.S.A. in 1938 (Raffe, 1964,438). In 1941, its popularity was boosted by performances by Carmen Miranda (Maria do Carmo Miranda da Cunha) in her films, particularly 'That Night in Rio' (Cawkwell, 1972, 189).
The Samba was further popularized in the 1950's by Princess Margaret, who played a leading role in British society (Rust, 1969, 103). The Samba was formalised for international propagation by Pierre Margolie in 1956 (Lavelle, 1975, 69).
The dance in its current international form still has figures with very different rhythms, betraying the heterogeneous origins of the dance, e.g. the Boto Fogo is danced to a '1 & a 2' quarter beat rhythm, whereas the Natural Rolls are danced to the simpler '1 2 &' half beat rhythm. The dance still retains a hip movement on the half beats between steps (the 'samba tic'), a flat carriage of the torso, and is danced with the weight forward onto a bent standing leg.


This had its origin with the African Negro slaves imported into Cuba, whose dances emphasized the movements of the body rather than the feet. The tune was considered less important than the complex cross rhythms, being provided by a percussion of pots, spoons, bottles, etc. (Raffe, 1964, 431).
It evolved in Havanna in the 19th century by combination with the Contradanza (Sadie, 1980, 5/86). The name 'Rumba' possibly derives from the term 'rumboso orquestra' which was used for a dance band in 1807 (Sadie, 1980, 5/88), although in Spanish, the word 'rumbo' means 'route', 'rumba' means 'heap pile', and 'rhum' is of course an intoxicating liquor popular in the Caribbean (Smith, 1971, 502), any of which might have been used descriptively when the dance was being formed. The name has also been claimed to be derived from the Spanish word for 'Carousel' (Morris, 1969, 1134).
The rural form of the Rumba in Cuba was described as a pantomime of barnyard animals, and was an exhibition rather than a participation dance (Ellfeldt, 1974, 59). The maintenance of steady level shoulders while dancing was possibly derived from the way the slaves moved while carrying heavy burdens (Rust, 1969, 105). The step called the 'Cucaracha' was stomping on cockroaches. The 'Spot Turn' was walking around the rim of a cartwheel (Rust, 1969, 105). The popular Rumba tune 'La Paloma' was known in Cuba in 1866 (Sadie, 1980, 10/530).
The Rumba was introduced into the U.S.A. in the 1930's as a composite of this rural Rumba with the Guaracha, the Son, and the Cuban Bolero (unrelated to the Spanish Bolero) (Ellfeldt, 1974, 59). It was particularly popularised in 1935 by George Raft, who played the part of a suave dancer who wins the heart of an heiress through dance, in the movie 'Rumba', although the male dancing was done mainly by Frank Veloz.
The British dance teacher Pierre Margolie visited Havanna in 1947 and decided that the Rumba was danced with the break step on beat 2 of the bar, rather than on beat 1 as in the American Rumba. This is not entirely true, as the 'beat' of the music is traditionally determined by the rhythm of the Claves (two sticks being hit together). The Claves are hit on half-beats numbers 1,4,7 in the first bar of a two-bar phrase, and half-beats 3,5 of the second bar. Counting full beats, these correspond to beat 1, the half beat before 3, and beat 4 of the first bar, and beats 2 and 3 of the second bar. Ideally one might dance 5 steps over the two bars to match the Clave beats. But instead it was decided to dance only on one of the bars of the Clave sequence. The American Rumba is danced on the first bar Clave beat. Pierre decided to use the second bar, stepping on beats 2 and 3, and he added an extra step on beat 4 for no obvious reason. He brought this back to Britain, together with many steps he learned from Pepe Rivera in Havanna. These steps together with dancing the break on beat 2 rather than beat 1, after many years of heated debate in the 1940's and 1950's, became part of the standard International Cuban Rumba. (Lavelle, 1975, 1).
With only a transfer of weight from one foot to the other on beat 1 of each bar, and the absence of an actual step on this beat, the dance has developed a very sensual character. Beat 1 is a strong beat of the music, but all that moves on that beat are the hips, so the music emphasises the dancing of the hips. This together with the slow tempo of the music (116 beats/minute) makes the dance very romantic. Steps are actually taken on beats 2, 3, and 4. Weight tranfer and turns are performed on the intervening half beats. Again, as in the Samba, the weight is kept forward, with forward steps taken toe-flat, and with minimal movement of the upper torso throughout.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Is it LOVE???

Are your palms sweaty, is your heart racing and is your voice caught within your chest?? >> > >-It isn't love, it's LIKE.

You can't keep your eyes or hands off of her, am I right?? >> > >-It isn't love, it's LUST.

Are you proud, and eager to show her off?? >> > >-It isn't love, it's LUCK.

Do you want her because you know she's there?? >> > >-It isn't love, it's LONELINESS.

Are you with her because it's what everyone wants?? >> > >-It isn't love, it's LOYALTY.

Are you with her because she kissed you, or held your hand? >> > >-It isn't love, it's LOW CONFIDENCE.

Do you stay for her confessions of love, because you don't want to hurt her? >> > >-It isn't love, it's PITY.

Do you belong to her because the sight of her makes your heart skip a beat?? >> > >-It isn't love, it's INFATUATION.

Do you pardon her faults because you care about her? >> > >-It isn't love, it's FRIENDSHIP.

Do you tell her every day she is the only one you think of? >> > >-It isn't love, it's a LIE.

Are you willing to give up all of your favorite things for her sake? >> > >-It isn't love, it's CHARITY.

Does your heart ache and breaks when she's sad? >> > >-Then it's LOVE.

Do you cry for her pain, even when she's strong? >> > >-Then it's LOVE.

Do her eyes see your true heart, and touch your soul so deeply it hurts? >> > >-Then it's LOVE.

Do you stay because a blinding, incomprehensible mix of pain and relation pulls you close and holds you to her? >> > >-Then it's LOVE.

Do you accept her faults because it's a part of who she is? >> > >-Then it's LOVE.

Are you attracted to others, but stay with her faithfully without regret?? >> > >-Then it's LOVE.

Would you give her your heart, your life, your death?? >> > >-Then it's LOVE.

Now, if love is painful, and tortures us so, why do we love? Why is it all we search for in life? This pain, this agony? Why is it all we long for? This torture, this powerful death of self? Why? The answer is so simple cause it's...LOVE. It is such an addictive thing that even people who are not having it wish to experience it and share it with others as well.

Not an original...but in true LoLa ishTyle..


On the road to Trivandrum

Coconut oil in my hair

Warm smell of avial

Rising up through the air

Up ahead in the distance

I saw a bright pink tube-light

My tummy rumbled, I felt weak and thin

I had to stop for a bite

There he stood in the doorway

Flicked his mundu in style

And I was thinking to myself

I don't like the look of his sinister smile

Then he lit up a petromax

Muttering "No
Muttering "No power today"

More Mallus down the corridor

I thought I heard them say

Welcome to the Hotel Kerala-fonia

Such a lousy place,

Such a lousy place (background)

Such a sad disgrace,

Plenty of bugs at the Hotel Kerala-fonia

Any time of year

Any time of year (background)

It's infested here

It's infested here

His finger's stuck up his nostril

He's got a big, thick mustache

He makes an ugly, ugly noise

But that's just his laugh

Buxom girls clad in pavada

Eating banana chips

Some roll their eyes, and

Some roll their hips
I said to the manager

My room's full of mice

He said,

Don't worry, saar,I sending you

meen karri, brandy and ice

And still those voices were crying from far away

Wake you up in the middle of the night

Just to hear them pray

Save us from the Hotel Kerala-fonia

Such a lousy place,

Such a lousy place (background)

Such a sad disgrace

Trying to live at the Hotel Kerala-fonia

It is no surprise

It is no surprise (background)

That it swarms with flies
The blind man was pouring

Stale sambar on rice

And he said

We are all just actors here

In Silk Smitha-disguise

And in the dining chamber

We gathered for the feast

We stab it with our steely knives

But we just can't cut that beef

Last thing I remember

I was writhing on the floor

That cockroach in my appam-stew was the culprit,

I am sure

Relax, said the watchman,

This enema will make you well

And his friends laughed as they held me down

God's Own Country? Oh, Hell!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

welcome back tabi

I am totally aware of the fact that it has been quite a while since i last wrote...maybe my mind is just rotting..thats why i decided to write once again..But what is it that i should write about??Does this post also have to be as strong and as loud as the previous one???Do my posts have to compete against each other??
Blah...Tats all bulls**t..
Today am gonna write about TRUST...eva heard of the word "TRUST"??
Goddamn it..obviously..everyone has heard of the word "trust"..
We use it everyday..atleast most of us who are in love (or atleast claim to be in love) find the need to use it in our daily terminology..
"Don't you trust me,honey???"
"This wouldn't have happened had u TRUSTED me"..
Sounds familiar??

But then again..How important is "TRUST" in any relationship???
This is a question i saw myself rappling wid today...Lets not get into the nitty-gritties of why i felt like answering this question today..was just faced wid a situation of that sort...

why should we trust???whom should we trust??when should we start trusting??when should we stop trusting??who decides all this??

Why is it so difficult to trust someone whom we love soooo much...Shouldn't we find it easier to trust our love much more easily???Then why is that they are the first ones we tend to doubt..The moment someone tells us something bout em,why do we jump to conclusions..

why why why???????????

why cant we learn to trust more openly??wat does it take to trust???

This is an observation that i have made...All of us want to be trusted...But find it highly difficult to trust..

So which one requires more guts??Trusting or being trusted???
A question worth askin??rite??

Monday, October 23, 2006

Thy name is woman..

Wat is it that makes woMEN different from MEN??Dont they both have the word "men" in them..isnt that a lil biased..Literally speaking,the word women describes us as being those who "woo" that all we are worth??
Wat is it that makes us different from men???
Is it only the Biological differences??
Women are said to be more in touch with their emotional side..This is often looked at as their weakness..Isnt it unfair??
A woman who is not afraid of speaking her mind is looked at as being "aggressive"..Is that the right adjective to be used for her??"AGGRESSIVE"..The term has a certain violent ring to it..
What bout the manuscripts of "MANUSMRITI" that have been the point of arguments for many male chauvinists till date..They have legitimised their ill treatment of women on the basis of this manuscript which is highly demeaning to women..
What about the increasing no.of abortions of female fetuses??Where does that fall into this already marred picture of the women in countries like India, Pakistan n Bangladesh..The most surprising part of it is that these abortions take place most commonly in the urban areas..This seems highly contradictory of the levels of education that are available in these areas..
There is a lot more that I have to say about issues like these..My feelings about these issues are so strong that talking about them itself sucks energy out of I shall halt my words here..