Wednesday, December 15, 2004

What is the difference between Mambo and Salsa ?

An Introduction:

What is the difference between the Mambo and Salsa is one of those very rare questions which comes in social and professional dance. Yet, it is one in which has been alive since on the Island of Cuba different ethnic elements came together in Latin social dance during the rise of Havana as an urban center. Diversity was apparent, even to those of us who had knowledge of the Cuban Peoples well before Castro.

Thus as introduction:

Salsa means within the world of Latin America music only. Moreover, and due to the barriers impossed upon Cuba by United States Internationally inspired sanctions, and thus, the resulting cultural co-isolation, the Puerto Rico dancers in Latin Harlem then started to dominat NE the social dance scene. Their emphasis on the ONE beat was evident, even as early as the 1950. Yet the Cuban Hispanic population of Cuba emphasis was on TWO, and in large part of the Afro - Cuban emphsis is ONE, there was confusion-to say the least. None-the-less, and in contacting the Escuekla Nacional de Arte, University of Havana, the picture became very clear.

With the rise of urbanization in Cuba, primarily with an increase in tourism and legal gambling, and at times light industrial growth, the various migrations from the rural regions of this mountain covered island, with it's various valleys, where several villages grew , dance was always extremely diverse. Very few on the Island knew until they started to meet at these rising urban centers.

Thus the more Afro - centric your ethnicity was the more you focused upon Son Montuno ( ONES ).

And the more Hispanic your ethnicity was, the more you focused upon Mambo ( TWOs ).

In Latin Harlem though, the more your people came fro Puerto Rico the more you focused on Guanarcha /Gunaca ( several spellings ) ( The More Conga it Looked ).

In deeper probe one constantly came across the quick promotional stunts, self glamorization-where alot of egos were evident, and the drive to to establish oneself as " The " expert within ones market service area. The money corroded the very roots in which America came to enjoy Latin dance. There stands Cuba distant, and isolated, with all the require explanation and real knowledge it is more than willing to share. Moreover, this process is ongoing.

What this blogsite is developed for, is to impart on you the reader, about the word diversity. From which you will able to find you own Niche in Latin dance.


Mr. Roger M. Christian


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