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La rumba

La Rumba

La rumba

In an hour's drive east of Havana is the port city of Matanzas, where at the end of the 19th century was the rumba. Come to Cuba with Africans transported to the island to work as slaves, the rumba was created by flamboyant and rowdy drum combination of congolese origin and influences of Spanish flamenco. Afterwards it became one of the most important afro-Cuban dances and music of Cuba.

The rhythms of rumba have given rise to three different forms of dance. The Yambú is the oldest and slow, now little ballad. The Guaguancó is a sensual dance to be performed in pairs. Columbia, the quickest and atletico is danced individually by a dancer.

Around the mid-20th century, the rumba merged with son and creating the precursor of salsa. For many, the rumba is much more than a dance and a musical genre; expresses the collective soul of the Creole nature of the island itself.

Classic rumba is divided into three types:

  • Yambù. In which there is no physical contact between Lady and Knight. The Lady draws in amorous man through very sensual figures based on a slow pace. Metaphorically represents the dance of old man courting a younger Lady, the pace is slower than the other types.
  • Guaguancò. Consisting of a dance based on the courtship and simulating making love and based on rhythms faster than Yambù. At that stage the rider performs several link feints, circling around the woman, trying to stretch his hands towards her private parts. The Queen, in turn, draws back from such explicit courting and try to dodge the rider's hands. Nevertheless, in order to propitiate fertility continues to seduce the Knight with fast undulating movements of the pelvis. The sudden pretend with which the dancer undermines the woman, named "Vacuna" which in Spanish means "vaccine". The male then, is how you would prick the woman's dead as she appears carrying her skirt near the parliamentary parties. Instead of going to the woman and the man using a tissue to make it more showy gestures.
  • Columbia. Is a kind of typical rural Cuban rumba very widespread in the region of Matanzas, where they dance only males in order to demonstrate their "power" and their "Manhood" fast rhythms. Even, in some cases, you get to try the knives: any dancer binds her ankles knives sharp and dance according to an increasing pace. Are also used bottles, flames and whatnot, and the dancers may even be bandaged, always as proof of manhood.

At the beginning, masculine behaviors were deemed too dangerous by the bourgeoisie and the feminine ones too licentious, for this the rumba had difficulties emerge, staying confined for a long time in the suburbs.

She then gave birth to two different styles, one that favors the romantic part of rumba (Yambù), the other more aggressive and based on Guaguancò and Columbia. The first gave birth to the style rumba/beguine, while the latter gave birth to Caribbean style from which you come, then, to mambo and salsa cubana. Finally, by columbia mixed the bomb, you reach the puertorican salsa.

About Stefano Bognolo

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