Thursday, January 31, 2013

Prestats

So the entire blogosphere for January is looking bleak. The rail tragedy is having its effect on the dancing environment. And of course,  Caldwell  is making it worse. It's the bread, Fred. I expected it to get farther than December and  but what do I know? Town Dancer, our number one blog is down to about 180 average hits per day. And I expect to let is cruise downward. I have to work on the others.

Notice the difference between what happens when people say to themselves,
"I have failed three times," and what happens when they says, "I am a failure."
 

Honolulu Dance Guide which was once neck and neck with Oahu And Beyond is now way ahead of OAB at over 150 average hits per day. Whatever they are doing must be right because they are catching up to Town Dancer which is also falling behind.

Those are the top runners for the present. I know what we have lacking and I will do what I can. First we need the Information and Photo Contributors. Hard to find and they should do as they please. They are needed not only for present contributions but also for the possibility of being a Guest Author.

"Sentimental Journey" - Les Brown (Doris Day)

All the rest of the herd is at the bottom and two that are showing promise are Oahu - West and Central Valley. When we get those going, they will help carry the rest of them. But it will be slow going. Like all the others, the differences of opinions and the different favorites in photos will be factors. Hits will go through the roof. Someone has sure missed on the free computer in the side bar. Tough.


The bus calamity is getting worse so I cannot move around the way I use to. And with Caldwell in charge it does not look at all promising. The rail catastrophe comes first and the people be damned. It's the money, Sonny. The big bucks in profits.

"Auld Lang Syne" - Guy Lombardo
 
For us older folks: Good news is that you can increase the density of your brain "forest" (hold back Alzhiemer's weed whacker) at any time in your life. Why? Your brain doesn't know how old you are - and doesn't care. Your brain just wants to be in a stimulating environment and that is something you can do at any age.

Reading, writing, crossword puzzles, playing board or card games, participating in dancing and playing music all may help to keep your mind agile and "dense." Even when you use to be able to take bus rides around the island.

Pub's Side Note: Some of the wheels in the dance community have to be dragged, kicking and screaming into the 21st century. I will not do that. If they do not want it they shall not have it. But the sign on the door I leave open still says welcome.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tango Anyone?

Tango consists of a variety of styles that developed in different regions and eras of Argentina and Uruguay as well as in other locations around the world. The dance developed in response to many cultural elements, such as the crowding of the venue and even the fashions in clothing.

"They say President Obama has blundered. Perhaps he has, but I notice he
usually blunders forward in spite of the Republican screw ups."

The styles are mostly danced in either open embrace, where lead and follow have space between their bodies, or close embrace, where the lead and follow connect either chest-to-chest (Argentine tango) or in the upper thigh, hip area (American and International tango).

Different styles of Argentine Tango are:

* Tango Argentino
* Tango Oriental (uruguayo)
* Tango Canyengue
* Tango Liso
* Tango Salon
* Tango Orillero
* Tango Milonguero (Tango Apilado)
* Tango Nuevo
* Show Tango (also known as Fantasia)
* Ballroom Tango
* Finnish Tango
* Filipino Tango

These are danced to several types of music: Does anyone know the difference? Not likely.

"La Media Luz" by Julio Iglesias

* Tango
* Vals (the tango version of waltz)
* Milonga (a related dance that usually has a faster tempo)
* Tango Electronico
* "Alternative Tango," i.e. non-tango music appropriated for use in the dance for ultra modern dancers.

"Jealousy" by Placido Domingo

The "milonguero" style is characterized by a very close embrace, small steps, and syncopated rhythmic footwork. It is based on the petitero or caquero style of the crowded downtown clubs of the '50s.

In contrast, the tango that originated in the family clubs of the suburban neighborhoods (Villa Urquiza/ Devoto/ Avellaneda etc.) emphasizes long elegant steps, and complex figures. In this case the embrace may be allowed to open briefly, to permit execution of the complicated footwork.

The complex figures of this style became the basis for a theatrical performance style of Tango seen in the touring stage shows. For stage purposes, the embrace is often very open, and the complex footwork is augmented with gymnastic lifts, kicks, and drops. This borders much into the exhibition type even on the social dance floor.

"El Choclo" also known as "Kiss Of Fire"

A newer style sometimes called "Tango Nuevo" has been popularized in recent years by a younger generation of dancers. The embrace is often quite open and very elastic, permitting the leader to lead a large variety of very complex figures. This style is often associated with those who enjoy dancing to jazz- and techno-tinged "alternative Tango" music, in addition to traditional Tango compositions.


What we intend to inform the readers, that if you want to Argentine tango it is not easy, and there is much to choose from. There are so many others, to the same old music and many are simply stupendous, really more like da reel teeng.

Blogger's Law #43: Opportunity always knocks at the least opportune moment.

 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Know Then Thyself

As we find ourselves well into the new year, I think this part of the poem by Alexander Pope, written in the 1700s is most appropriate and one of my favorites.

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state, A Being, darkly wise and rudely great:

With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride.
He hangs between, in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast;

In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reasoning but to err;
Alike his ignorance, his reason such,
Whether his thinks too little or too much.

Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confused,
Still by himself abused or disabused,
Created half to rise, and half to fall,
Great lord of all things, and yet a prey to all.

Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurtled,
The glory, jest and riddle of the world.

***********************
 
Ecclesiastes  3.
 
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance.
 
 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What Do You Mean, Swing?

Janice Galapon, Ewa Beach:

I have come across some surprising information on Swing that covers quite an area. In International dance Style they limit it to "Jive." In American, they limit it to East Coast and Triple Step and some will admit others. In country dancing they specialize more in West Coast Swing. But there certainly is a lot more swinging going on that is of interest to our growing readers.

"Do you love life?  Then do not squander time,  for that is the stuff life is made of."
 
In many scenes inside and outside the United States the term "Swing dancing" is used to refer generically to one or all of the following swing era dances: Lindy Hop, Lindy Charleston, Shag, Balboa and Blues. This group is often extended to include West Coast Swing, East Coast Swing, Hand Dancing, Jive, Rock and Roll, Modern Jive, and other dances developing in the 1940s and later. In Hawaii, the total among the swing clubs amounts to quite a bit.

"The Best Things in Life Are Free"
by Luther Vandross & Janet Jackson
 
A strong tradition of social and competitive boogie woogie and acrobatic rock'n'roll in Europe add these dances to their local swing dance cultures. In Singapore and other scenes, Latin dances such as salsa, bachata and Tango are often taught and danced within the "Swing scene", and for many scenes, even tap dancing and a range of other jazz dances are considered key, as are hip hop and other contemporary African American street dances. The variations continue, dictated by local dance community interests.

"Spanish Harlem" by  Ben E. King

Many swing dancers today argue that it is important to dance many styles of partner dance to improve technique, but also to reflect the historical relationship between these dances in the swing era of the 1920s and 1930s. In the Savoy Ballroom, for example, bands would often play waltzes, Latin songs and so on, as well as swinging jazz.
 
Dancers were often familiar with a wide range of popular and traditional dances. There seems to be a few Swing Dance Clubs in town, we just never hear about them around here. * * * *

How about this new Swing Dance Club in Ewa Beach?
  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Club Switching

And Multiple Club Memberships.
by Randy Matsumoto, Renton Village

With the new year coming into better focus, we have some dance clubs that still find it difficult to accept that their members like to try other clubs. Many express anger, pout, scream disloyalty or display some other negative emotion in their attempt to prevent this practice. Usually the biggest clubs with the “de jure” group of rule makers will be the most narrow minded.

"Life is a one way street. No matter how many detours you take,
none of them lead back."

They often try to make people feel guilty. But if people are into dancing long enough, the practice of going to another dance club is inevitable. This has existed whenever there have been choices. This practice should not be taken as personal failure or with feelings that the dancers are ungrateful.

If, however, one is losing members on a more permanent basis, it is imperative that corrective measures take place. In some cases of the “de facto” rule makers, liars and seat controllers (Creative Researchers And Producers) it is very difficult. This does not include punishment for anyone. It does include giving the ordinary everyday dancers more to make the club more attractive.

"You May Be Right" by Billy Joel

Dancers going from club to club should be looked upon as a healthy outgrowth as they gain more confidence, skill and independence in their love of dancing. Rather than becoming upset, the top brass should concentrate on ways to keep their members with them most of the time. If the idea of the revolving door is acknowledged, everyone will benefit as long as new dancers are coming in some door.


Getting more dancers in that door is an area that needs much improvement and is greatly neglected. Look at the clubs now that have no classes for beginners at all. Fortunately, many clubs are including Bolero, Salsa, Bachata, Night Club 2 Step, Mambo and Hustle, all of them, dances excluded in the International curriculum. And the DJs are finding music that is "classic music," not just a metronome. (but you can dance Rumba to it.)

"Once Upon A Time" by  Rochell & the Candles

While fair competition is good there is also much to be gained from cooperation specially among the smaller clubs. This, specially, since there are a few that are holding on by a hair. Whatever, dancers have an absolute right to feel free to go where they please and spend their money and time as they see fit without having to justify this to anyone. They should not have an assumed obligation to support anyone and should not be made to feel guilty or fear criticism.  This includes the night clubbing part of the action too. *  *  *  *






Thursday, January 17, 2013

Industrial Park in Ewa Plain

This idea of setting land aside through this type of zoning is based on several concepts to be able to concentrate dedicated infrastructure in a delimited area to reduce the per-business expense of that infrastructure. And on the island of Oahu, it would sure help the traffic situation all around.

"The Leaning Tower of Pisa and Big Ben tower in London had been planning
on getting together and having a family. But no go. One didn't have the time
and the other didn't have the inclination."

Such infrastructure includes roadways, high-power electric supplies, high-end communications cables, large-volume and water supplies. They should be able to attract new business by providing an integrated infrastructure in one location.  It would also set aside industrial uses from urban areas to try to reduce the environmental and social impact of the industrial uses.


Tycun Industrial Park, Changtai Zhangzhou, China. The Chinese are making the most extensive studies of city environments. One just like this could be nestled right into
any of the Waianae valleys. Voted down by the Rail People. With 2000 employees,
there would be two thousand less cars on the freeway and there would be 2000
less cars in Honolulu Traffic. And "I coulda been home in 20 minutes."

Just this one Industrial Park and a few Bi-Articulated buses and the freeways would be clear and downtown traffic would be much better. The Rail is superfluous, but yes we know. It's the loot, Klute. And everyone has noticed the increase in prices around town. But you ain't seen nuttin' yet. You voted for it, now you have to pay through the nose. Wait till you get your property tax bill, Wow!


Pub's Side Note: Bogota, Columbia now the most Bi-Articulated (two tandems) bus city in South America and leading the way for the entire world. They have been thoroughly convinced, no rail, but their buses are the berries. The neighbor islands have got some smart people, unfortunately only now have they become aware that they have to  pay for the rail in Honolulu too. They know they got suckered in.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Cha Cha Cha

It should come as no surprise that in the West we have some of the best Cha Cha dancers on these Islands. I happen to be talking about American style Cha Cha Cha, breaking on the loud noise. How did that happen? Where on earth did it come from?

"You are the sound of the ocean - the breath of fresh air - The brightest light
and the darkest corner - You are a collective of every experience you have
had in your life - You are every single day - and it will end, all too soon."

Many years ago, in the West Indies, there are certain plants that produce seed pods called cha cha or (depending on the island) tcha, tcha. These were used to make a small rattle also known as a cha cha. In Haiti, (French blacks) the typical voodoo drum consists of three drums, a bell and a cha cha. The cha cha is used by the leader as a timing instrument or "metronome" to set the time in secular dancing as well as in religious music or singing. The drums follow as any other instruments.

"Mi Cha Cha Cha" by Rene Touzet

But even during the popularity peak of the mambo, many dancers did not care for it because, they claimed, it seemed to go against the natural rhythm of the music. In particular, many cultural dancers criticized the fast mambos for having the acrobatic character of jitterbug rather than the smooth movements usually associated with Latin dance.

In the early 50s, the Cuban orchestra "America" started playing the time honored Danzon with a new syncopated beat. This sounded like a very slow mambo and Cuban dancers used a chassé on the slow count. They added triple hip undulation too.

Gradually it evolved into a rock step and a chassé and the Cha Cha Cha was born. The Cha Cha Cha was introduced into the US in 1954 and by 1957, it arrived in Hawaii and picked up by Aiea Ballroom Dance Club, islanders going ga ga over it as well as throughout the world.


Most dancers in West Oahu have become more comfortable with the Cha Cha Cha rhythm than with the Mambo or Salsa rhythms and it lends itself very easily to most variations available in Mambo or Salsa. Today almost sixty years after its inception, it remains one of the most popular dances in our island Cultural community. Just needs the right music, that Latin sound.

Pub's Side Note: A dance blog is what all dance websites would like to be, updated on a regular basis, containing content that is of interest to a select or target audience. Information easy to update and change. Our readers are gradually picking up on this action. Whenever you are ready.



Friday, January 11, 2013

Oahu - West Blog

This blog now breaking out of the lower pack where it has been in the 20s. The Christmas season was one reason, and the bus situation that did not allow me more access to the dance functions too. With reorganization to include Aliamanu dancing, it is pretty definite, it will go up in hits.
 
"We haven’t failed. We’ve just found 1000 ways that won’t work."

Then with a couple of good steady Information and Photo contributors it will solidify in the sixties. One Guest Author and it would go over 100 average hits per day. A couple more and for sure it could go independent. That is my aim for all of them except my personal blog which seems to be shaping up as Dancing in the Dark, helping all the other blogs.


I was also waiting for the next social club to arise. But some have already told me there will be none as less people will be moving east because of the rail. We have already lost one lady in our Senior Apartments, she moved to Kaneohe. So few buses, packed to the gills, some have two wheelchairs already in the bus, they cannot take another. "Wait for the next bus, in one hour." Auwe ! The people in the Ivory Towers, "What problem? We don't see a problem." They have 97 articulated buses. Wow, the case solved. Ha Ha! Old ladies riding standing up Waianae to downtown. Hey, Hey, Hey! That's Criminal! Ivory Towers couldn't care less, they have their own stats.

 
 With the articulated bus in 60% of the fleet, five times the efficiency and at one tenth the
cost of the rail. So who needs the rail? Yeah, right. But it's the bread, Fred.

The Caldwell administration couldn't care less. He is already screwing up some things at Honolulu Hale. And the rest of us are stuck with him and Boylan too. Our west coast representatives are already in the pockets of the Rail, so we are losing there too. But there is some hope. "Honolulu Traffic" the organization is leading the way. Let us all wish them luck. They may be able to stop the rail yet.


For the Waianae Coast one of the best buses scheduled is the #93 bus. I can get it 3:00 pm at the Alapai Transit Center and be home in Nanakuli before 4:00 pm. The rail ain't gonna beat that in a million years. And I get off right around the corner from where I live. I don't need a rail station even if the parking fees will be less than $200 per month. But the Caldwell rail hatchmen will kill that route too. Maybe I will have to move to the East too.

Pub's Side Note: Check out Richie's blog on the Gonzales new gig, in the Oahu And Beyond blog. Good news for the Gonzales fans.
 



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's Beginning to Roll

Bernardo Cadiran, Waipahu

Dancing in West Oahu is traditional social, cultural dancing and it means handed down. It means that it has evolved naturally from earlier forms, rather than having been created, established or defined artificially or arbitrarily by professionals.

"The error of youth is to believe that intelligence is a substitute for experience. While the
error of age is to believe that experience is a substitute for intelligence."

We have had an awful lot of amateur teachers in the West, and many teach by movements and not by rote, knowing full well that the same movement may be used in other dances. It means that there is a respect for the roots and for the cultural integrity of the form.

It means live traditional music with intervals between dances. Our dancers cherish the music, and cultural dancing in the West has the regular accepted forms that allow the musicians and dancers to inspire each other. We are in no hurry and accept the slow learning process while learning and we realize that we are enjoying the process tremendously.

"On The Atchison, Topeka And Santa Fe"  - Johnny Mercer

It means dancing at private home parties as an integral part of life, rather than an activity that is separate from life, restricted to professionals and performers, and consumed passively by spectators. As it has been pointed out so often by the Rootzi Tootzis, these can be different people and we must respect the Rootzi Tootzis. The new "public" dance clubs that will be forming will not be with static dance environments.


Social means community, co-operative, rather than competitive. It means respect for those whom we dance with, whether they be partners or others with whom we share the dance floor. No seat controlling for personal gain. It means taking care that everyone has a good time, rather than being selfish and self-centered. It means being sociable, rather than a show-off. It means dancing with a variety of dancers, not just favorite partners, and usually it means changing partners for every dance.


It means being civil in partnering, waiting until the music starts, before asking someone to dance. It means inclusive, rather than exclusive. The term "dance community" is open, in the sense that it includes all those with an interest in dancing, rather than only those who belong to something, or have taken "deluxe" training. Too much private is not so good.

"And if things are going bad, don't worry. That can't last forever either."

Cultural dancing means an activity to participate in, rather than a performance to watch. The distinction between these two groups is becoming clearer and all the dancers are becoming aware. It has always been through "innuendo" from the Rootzi Tootzis but we are now bringing it to the forefront. And we must accept the fact that many of those that are at the "top" can still enjoy the dance along with the rest of us. We don't really want to exclude anyone, we must let them make those decisions.

We will eventually emerge as the core of Cultural Dance in Hawaii, everything else will be the peripherals and everyone will make their own choices. Happy Dancing. * * * *

Monday, January 7, 2013

The New Year Shaping Up Good

Forty Five years ago, amidst the quagmire of Vietnam, Arkansas Sen. J. William Fulbright’s Foreign Relations Committee held televised hearings on how the United States stumbled into a land war in a Southeast Asian nation in which we had no historic or vital interest.

"Dance is like life, it exists as you’re flitting through it, and when it’s over, it’s done."
~Jerome Robbins

Even after a "police action" in Korea where we came out the same door where in we went. After losing thousands of lives and spending billions of dollars. Out of those hearings came, among other things, a book by Fulbright titled The Arrogance of Power.

In it, Fulbright warned of the trap the powerful set for themselves - that they can force other nations and other cultures to accept their will. We learned in Vietnam, just as the French had, that we can’t always do that.

"Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive" by Johnny Mercer

Or I thought we learned. But in Afghanistan and Iran, we were attempting to do what neither the Russians nor the British could do. Why do we think we can? Because we’re more powerful, more decent - that we are the very glue that holds the world together.
Talk about arrogance.


"Life is -- far too important a thing to talk seriously about."
Oscar Wilde

Pub's Note: History notes that Alexander the Great did it, but I doubt it. The Republicans still believe that we can teach the world even if they don't want us to teach them. We can force them.
Just like we can force people to use the rail in Honolulu. "The Arrogance of Power." There will be ways to avoid it. Some are already thinking about moving to the other side of the island where they may still get a bus to get to town.
 
 
 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dancing On The "2"

The Western Fluke of History
by Aristides Raul Garcia (aka El Intruso)


Then you had the groups that played mainly Son Montunos. The main one was that of Arsenio Rodriguez. I will stay with this one for here you will find what many Cubans say today’s Salsa is; I disagree with them. To believe that today’s Salsa is Son, or Son Montuno, or Mambo will be to deny that the Music evolves. To deny the evolution of Latin music, one has to do a lot of oversimplifications; it is equal to killing a living thing, and Salsa is a living organism.

"Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will
never do any harm to the world." ~Voltaire
 
 
In any case, the contributions of Arsenio Rodriguez, to the evolution of Latin Music are many; he took the small Son format and expanded it; he expanded the rhythm section to include "Congas", and Pailas (similar to the Timbales); he started to write music which was more urban in nature, and today’s Conjuntos are an inheritance of his creativity; en fin, he was setting the standards for Latin popular dance music.

"Ven Devorame Otra Vez,
By Azucar Moreno

All you have to do is buy some of his music, or records others have made in tribute to his work; listen to them. After you have done that go and buy some Mambo records; listen to them. After that, compare them to your collection of today’s Salsa and decide for yourself what sounds more like today’s Salsa. I can’t resist the temptation to tell you that, as far as I know, you won’t find a Mambo in Arsenio’s repertoire.

Ah, the "Congas" and the Tumbao. It is one of the dogmas of the Church of The Land of the Holy Two: "dancing on the 2 is also the proper way to "execute" the dance because this step pattern compliments the "slap" of the Tumbao rhythmic pattern which falls on the 2, it is the accent of the Tumbao". This is a real gem, for it reveals why some Cubans call "dancing on the "2" New York Style", dancing upside down (feeling wise).

Anyway, lets take a closer look into this. The Tumbao, in proper Spanish, Tumbado, is a rythmic pattern which derives its name from the percussion instrument on which it is played: the Tumbadora drums, better known, outside of Cuba, as Conga drums. In Cuba, there is not one single drum called Conga. There is a Carnaval music and dance called the Conga. The rhythmic patterns for this Carnaval music are played on drums similar to the Tumbadoras.


Not yet in search engines, new URL, just click the name in side bar of this or other blogs.

Outside visitors to Cuba during the Carnaval festivities simply started to call any drum resembling a Tumbadora "a Conga drum", or a "Conga". Later, the Cohen brothers (Latin Percussion) decided to market the drums using the more appealing, simpler, and exotic name of Congas. They were extremely successful and the rest is history: in Cuba Tumbadoras, and outside of Cuba Congas.


Pub's Side Note: Ordinary Communication Media: To whom it may concern, one way, newsletters, email flyers, web sites. They do their job, but it is not a Blog site.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Starting The Good New Year

What I believe
By E. M. Forster
 
I believe in aristocracy. Not the aristocracy of power based on rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky. Its members represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos.

They are sensitive for others as well as themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but the power to endure and they can take a joke.

The aristocracy of the spirit is not — cheap, whiny, petty. They are without showiness, without envy, without narrowness of any kind. They do have certain snobberies. They look down on bullies, bigots, liars and cheats. Their idea of a low life is a gossip and the commoners they snub are the cruel, the ungenerous and the unkind. *  *  *  *

"Sh-Boom, Life Could Be A Dream" By the Crew Cuts

Most of us adhere to these principles. We shy away from the bad ones that are mentioned above. For these principles we are shaping up the blogs in our blogosphere. The results seem to be that we can cover the entire Island chain and even a few off island reviews and comments from the entire dance world. We just need a little more help from anyone.


"He who would learn to fly one day - must first learn to stand and walk
and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying."

Then, of course, we do cover the Island of Oahu much more thoroughly than before. The main thing is that the perception of our dancing has expanded much farther than previously for our reader/dancers. We are still a work in progress of communicating with the maximum of efficiency.

The stats for the prior month will appear in the Dancing in the Dark blog at the beginning of the each month. You can see that Oahu - West is near the bottom of the pile. Don't give up hope, we shall overcome. We are developing closer communication with Pearlridge and Aliamanu Chapters. And Dance Hawaii is still in the schedule.

I intend to proceed, with or without the terrible bus situation which we are in now and which was inspired by the Rail people. There was a time when Honolulu Da Bus was one of the best in the nation. Now, the  Rail People got hold of it and we can all see the results.

"Truth will be truth regardless of the lack of understanding,
disbelief or ignorance on the part of anyone."