The story of bachata
Bachata – “a party, good time” in Caribbean Spanish
Bachata is a name for both style of music and dance, that originated from Dominican Republic (DR) in early sixties. A social dance – a part of culture that was kept inside the country for long years, and cultivated mostly by the lower class in mostly rural areas of DR, and is now known and being danced all over the world – from sunny California to chilly Lithuania.
But let’s get back to where it all started – the DR a long time ago where influenced by cuban son, bolero and merengue authentic bachata was being danced. Social dancing full of rich interplay and variety of complex variations. This is what is now called authentic bachata or dominican bachata. But then something happened.
First of all, Juan Luis Guerra introduced the bachata music to the world. The album “Bachata Rosa” sold over 5 mln. copies, tours over Latin America, US and Europa. The big bang of bachata as a dance happened some years later when a group Aventura from US started releasing bachata songs. This new wave (at that time) was the beginning of the bachata in other countries than DR.
Bachata, that is called a dance in a western world is usually an adapted and slightly simplified version of authentic bachata. Well, very simplified. It got way flatter in the basic step (from square to line), removed some funny parts ( something from bolero – syncopations). There are also new styles emerging when bachata meets other dancing styles, e.g. bachatango (bachata + tango), sensual bachata (zouk, kizomba + bachata). These styles are different. and they add very nice spices to bachata. For example my favorite sensual bachata is slower and contains a lot of close dancing figures, body control, wavy motions. And by slower I don’t mean, that one does less steps, but can better exploit slower parts of the songs and even improvize very nicely. Just to give a quick look – here. They are beautiful! <3