Invented by musician and composer Arsenio Rodriguez is a popular dance form known Mambo. This “Latin American” dance is said to have originated in Cuba. Apparently, it is said that Mambo as a dance form was created as an alternative to Rumba. In addition, this dance is said to have become popular in countries such as Cuba and Mexico. Furthermore, this dance form also became extremely popular in the United States of America during the 1980’s.
a. History/origin of Mambo:
It is said that it was in the 1930’s, that a musician named Arsenio Rodriguez first developed this dance form in Cuba. It was further developed by a composer called Pedro Prado in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Furthermore, this Cuban dance which possessed no structure was “Americanized” i.e. given a structure in the 1980’s so as to cater to the market which then favoured the more structured social/ballroom form of dancing.
b. Costumes used in the Mambo:
Since this dance style involves both male and female the costumes used will vary accordingly and they are as follows:
1. For Females:
The attire worn includes a short multi-layered ruffle that at times also exposes the midriff of the performer to add to the sensuality that this dance style possesses.
2. For Males:
The attire worn includes colourful deep V-neck shirts and pants to go along with it.
c. Music played in the Mambo:
The music for this dance form involves the use of musical instruments such as piano, violin, flute i.e. a wind instrument, double bass, tumbadoras, guiro, and timbales which help produce rhythmic melodies.
d. Training availability and technique involved in Mambo:
In terms of the basic technique, this dance generally uses a 4/4 beat. It involves the performer moving his/her foot on the second beat while, on the third beat the weight is transferred to the other foot. Finally, it is on the fourth beat that the weight is transferred back to the foot used in the second beat. In addition, to what is referred to as “quick-quick-slow” feet movement the performers also make use of hip movements to provide this dance form with fluid motion as well as making it extremely sensuous. As for training centres/schools, there are many available all around the world today since this extremely “seductive” dance has gained a lot of popularity over the years.
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