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.
Beginner Bachata Class
Dance Space Studio
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 2006, 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.
These are the Top 10 Bachata videos on You Tube.
Please email us any nice Bachata videos we haved missed.
Xtreme Te Extrano ~ Original version
13,334,489 viewszas of August 20, 2010
Ataca Jorgie & La Alemana will be performing and teaching at the Hawaii Bachata Festival.
8,714,424 viewszas of August 20, 2010
6,167,596 viewszas of April 27, 2008
Christian Sola will be performing and teaching at the Hawaii Bachata Festival.
Learn to Dance Bachata
2,808,696 viewszas of August 20, 2010
2,379,830 viewszas of August 20, 2010
Surprise Bachata Dance
2,282,792 viewszas of August 20, 2010
2,179,875 viewszas of August 20, 2010
2,144,463 viewszas of August 20, 2010
Sensual Bachata 2
1,323,282 viewszas of August 20, 2010
Ataca Jorgie & La Alemana will be teaching and performing at the Hawaii Bachata Festival.