Bachata Ambassador explains the
The Extended Bachata Roots workshop will be an exciting journey to tainos, conquistadors, slaves, palo, atabales, religion, belief, fears, leisure, celebrations, politics, bourgeois, peasants, trujillo, merengue and tipico in the timeframe 1400-1960. We will raise up the details which had an impact on the evolution of the music and dance in Dominican Republic.
Bachata Ambassador Vesa has done a lot of work together with Dominican historians Melody to present a compact and visually package History of the Dominican Music and Dances and Rewritten Bachata History. We have done this class several times and most probably we'll do it again in DR12, because DR11 is a short festival.
This workshop explains cronologically the Dominican music and dance evolution. You will understand of what Tainos (the aboriginal inhabitants of DR), Spaniards and African slaves brought to Dominican music and dance. The ancient colonies were small and controlled by religions, law, beliefs and habits. During the 500 years period there were a dozens of music genres and most of these genres still exist.
Palo is the oldest Dominican dance widely danced today also. DR6 had 3 workshop hours, 1 Palo band live, 1 Palo animation by the pool and 1 Palo show. DR7 had amazing Palo show on the beach. DR8 had also Palo workshops and shows.
Above Yonathan Palo show and below Andina Palo dance.
Here is a demonstration of the ancient Merengue danced on the rhythm of drum.
Merengue as a linear dance.
Dominican Republic had a rich music and dance culture already in the 1700 and 1800 centuries. Due to the powerful drumming culture, traditions of the small ethnical groups, religions and politics the music was concentrated on merengue, tipico and palo type of music.
The powerful music, drumming and dancing didn't leave space for the romantic genres like Bolero and Tango. There weren't any resources to import the famous bolero artists to DR. Therefore bolero existed just in a form of troubadours paying in whore houses, streets and bars.
Dominican Son was in a better position and it spread all over the DR. Dominicans even believe that Son or certain Son subgenres were first created in DR. Ayway it's clear that the Son artists travelled back and forth between Cuba and DR.
Dominican Republic was an isolated latin island with powerfull palo, merengue an tipico culture. The rest of the latin world consumed huge amount of romantic music but due to the power music and Trujillo the romantic era seriously started from the 60's.
Bachata Ambassador re-wrote the Bachata History, because the Official Bachata History or the Internet Bachata History was full of confusing errors. The history was easy to correct, because most of the bachata artists are still alive and willing to tell the truth (at least from their point of view). Bachata Ambassador got invaluable help for his studies from the Dominican historian Melody.
TOP 5 ERRORS IN PUBLIC HISTORY
1. The first recorded bachata is Borracho de Amor
Bachata Ambassador responds
1. The song "Borracho de Amor" has nothing to do with Bachata. It's a Peruvian Valz. It's an excellent song re-recorded (=borrowed from other latin countries) by Jose Manuel Calderon from Dominican Republic. The magic of being popular, enjoyable and recorded in DomRep does not change the genre of the song from Peruvian Valz to Bachata.
2. There were most propably no bachata in the 60´s. Edilio Paredes confirms that the genre name bachata didn't exist in 60's and instead of playing bachata, he (and the others) played Bolero.
3. Bachata was never prohibited. Dominican artists played in the 60's bolero and badly played bolero. Playing some of the instruments too fast and by using a crying voice for singing they created the pre-bachata, the bitter music (musica amargue). The bitter music and later on in the 70's the bachata was first played in whore houses (cabaret). People were ashamed to reveale of being in a whore house. Instead of using the word prohibited, we should say people were ashamed to confess to like the music they have heard in whore houses.
4. Bachata does not come from countryside, it comes from Santo Domingo. The first artists (Calderon, Segura and Paredes) lived there and they got the bolero influences from the few international bolero artists who visited the capital.
5. Bachata of the 60's sounds like a bolero. It does not sound like a bachata. Some people claim that the bolero of the 60´s sound like Bachata Boleriada or Música Amargue. Bachata Boleriada is an adjective (or opinion), not a genre name. Música Amargue might be a genre name for some artists but mostly it means romantic&bitter (corta las veinas música, cut the veins music), an adjective meant for many music genres. Being able to IMAGINE a bolero rhythm (sounds like bachata rhythm with tap) does not prove anything. Bolero and bachata are alike, but not the same.
There was no Bachata in the 60´s
Edilio Paredes and the other Dominican musicians played bolero and the other hot genres (Chacha, Merengue and Tipico) in the 60's. The artists have confirmed that the genre name Bachata didn't exist which means they didn't even know Bachata to exist. We have ongoing project to find out which song could be qualified to be the first clean bachata. Most probably the clean bachata was first introduced in the 70's.
Bachata wasn't prohibited.
Romantic music (bolero, bachata) was regarded as a low class music in Dominican Republic, because it was mainly played in whore houses. Bachata was never prohibited, but people were ashamed to reveale having been in the whore houses. Saying Bachata was prohibited gives a false impression of just the Bachata (not the other romantic music genres) being the problem. Actually romantic music was not a problem, but how the society consumed it.
Trujillo favoured Merengue and Tipico
Dictator Trujillo supported only Merengue and Tipico. There weren't any resources (or very limited resources) for the other music genres. Bolero (tango, valz and other romantic music) was supposed to grow in big numbers as in the other Latin countries, but due to the lack of resources, romantic music was waiting for the future. Soon after the death of Trujillo, romantic music sector started to flourish.
Bachata comes from Santo Domingo
The first artists Manuel Calderon, Luis Segura and Edilio Paredes lived in Santo Domingo and performed in Av. Venezuela. The artist opportunities were in the capital. However it isn't too bad to say bachata being the countryside music, because the Santo Domingo barrios looked and functioned more like a countryside in the 60's and the bitter songs don't specify themselves into any specific location, rather to the sad and poor situations.
The difference between bolero & bachata
Bolero and Bachata were in the beginning very close to each others. Bachata music is directly evolved from bolero and some Dominican music historians say that bachata was in the beginning badly played bolero. You should start studying these things by listening to the first bachatas and to compare them to the ancient boleros in order to understand how close they are to each others. Then you can continue with this great video below to understand the details. The famous old school professional musician Rey La Bam shows in this video how to play Bongo in bolero and bachata. It sounds so good, doesn't it? In order to make the evolution theory clear he also shows how to play bolero wrong with bachata bongo hands and vice versa how to play bachata wrong with bolero Bongo hands. You don't have to be a professional musician to understand that playing wrong sounds funny, but you can put your imagination to fly to understand why the super active Dominican musicians in the beginning played bolero too fast and with too much energy. This is amazing. The rest of the theories you will hear in DR11. Rey La Bam is an absolutely amazing musician.
Hunting for the first bachata !!!
Who did the first bachata and when? The race has started. Who will be the first one to reveale the right answer. We guess the year being 1968-1974 and there aren't more than 20 artist options.
It's amazing that people swallow Peruvian Valz as the first Bachata and they don't show any interest in searching for the first real bachata, but no problem. We are going to collect all the boleros and bachatas of the 60´s and 70´s and then study their musical structure and instrument usage to know if they are bachata's or not. This is just a time consuming process.
Extended Bachata Roots Workshop
The first workshop hour Extended Bachata Roots covers the pre-history: Tainos, Columbus, conquistadors, slaves and Europeans. We'll see how the music instruments evolve and how the small group genres get popular. We'll see the regulation of the powerfull instruments and genres and how well the music and dance combined the religious and political life. As a result we end up in the 60´s to start the bachata era. The workshop is done by Vesa and Melody (Dominican historian, dancer, instructor) and will be visualized with the demontrations of Angela del Pilar y Juan Antonio Zapata del Ballet Folklorico del Ayuntamiento Santo Domingo.
Re-written Bachata History
The second workshop hour covers re-written bachata history and the late evolution of Bachata. It will take some time to understand of what happened in the 60´s to fully understand the wrong claims, new theory and the logical reasonings
Bachata evolution in 70-80-90-00
Rodolfo and Yocasti presenting the differences in bachata dance styles in different decades.