Merengue. I am writing this article in defense of a musical genre in my opinion very respectable that here in Italy has suffered in recent years the indifference of many dance schools, teachers, DJs and discos tralasciandolo because it mistakenly thought of "second class", I wonder then you can categorize a music and dance for categories? I think d
no, especially if it's purely source popular cultural expressions.
We make some history pro-merengue.
Did you know that in the early 80 's the sauce had entered a stalemate? The productions, listening and dancing were in crisis. There was the salsa fashion balada o with social commentary lyrics and lacked panache to the genre for bringing back people into dance tracks.
At that point it was just the merengue with Wilfrido Vargas, Johnny Ventura, Las chicas del can and after Juan Luis Guerra to give that energy input.
Thanks to its cheerfulness and freshness people returned to dance with enthusiasm.
Juan Luis Guerra, later historian merenguero was instrumental in its international spread.
His compositions with socially committed lyrics and elaborate arrangements they made known worldwide. Do you remember guest at the Festival of San Remo?.
He, too, though at some point had to backpedal and tap into the genuine roots of merengue Ripiao "Perico" (merengue tipico to Dominican Republic Cibao call zone) with his excellent album "Fogaraté" where performers included great musicians like accordionist Francisco Ulloa.
In those years the start salsero Italy merengue was fairly danced. Then slowly I heard more people say convinced "I don't dance merengue, I don't like it" and I wonder, "but do you know him?" "Have you ever enjoyed the lightness and joy that can give a merengue danced well?".
It looks like there's been a collective embargo against this General considered for beginners.
In most clubs, when a dj puts a merengue the track goes blank and if by chance some couple dances is looked down upon by the "purists" of salsa.
This attitude is simplistic against of all music danceable Caribbean.
Merengue and bachata salsa rhythms being simpler in appearance are conducive to it and can give spontaneity and looseness to people who come to the ball.
If a teacher teaches or teaches it with superficiality in my opinion, denies a slice of musical knowledge is certainly interesting.
Of course with these my statements I don't want to stir up controversy but as columnist of the industry for years, I cannot fail to notice and to point out certain phenomena so obvious.
Now let's talk about the evolution of merengue in recent times. Despite the obscurantism which undergoes in Italy the genre continues with ups and downs, with productions of various quality as all music in General.
Some performers continue to propose some interesting things with new arrangements that mark an evolution of this kind. We quote some as Grupo Mania, José Peña Suazo, Pochy Familia, DL1, Los Nuevos Sabrosos, Mala Fe, Papi Sanchez.
Then there are affermatissimi performers as Elvis Crespo, Eddie Herrera, Ruby Pérez, Olga Tañon, Los Hermanos Rosario and Toño Rosario.
Of course some songs aren't liking of a general audience because they're targeting youth to the similarities with the rap or hip-hop as is happening with raggaeton.
But as it happens with the sauce there are various currents and styles depending on the country of origin and some tracks are more danceable and catchy than others.
Recall for example Elvis Crespo with his rousing "Suavemente" made dance across the world. Meanwhile, he made at least 3 albums with very danceable tracks and of excellent quality.
I don't think it's true that the Italian public doesn't like merengue, I rather think that teachers and clubs have stopped sending it and the dancers think salsa dancing is one thing "to the letter" therefore excludes everything else.
Luckily came the bachata to give some breathing room to dance, but there are already those who distort the nose and began to overload them with a series of figures that preclude closeness and his intrinsic sensuality.
On the other hand also the merengue can to bring out relevant quality a dancer thanks to sinuosity and Cadence that distinguishes it.
The sauce definitely has a place of honour in Latin danceable music but would give constructive openness to these unilateral evenings ranging and giving due importance to all the music of the Caribbean.
Article by Alejandra Vega-Lady vega DJ