Salsa > Why Does Merengue Get a Bad Rap?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by pygmalion, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I've tried it. Close contact? You're not kidding. :shock: I actually like it, as long as the guy doesn't mistake dancing for love or lust. LOL. There's nothing like a little hip action. Or a lot. Hmm.
  2. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    I love reggaeton :D ! Eventhough I tend to get myself in trouble with the close contact (as I do in reggae) :oops: :roll: :lol: !

    There was a thread somewhere in 'Salsa', where people whine about reggaeton though........(the title of the thread had 'hip-hop' in it)

    Eventhough I am a die-hard salsera, I love the variety of Latin music/dance. It's great fun to let your hair down at least once in a while (more if you choose to do so 8) )!
  3. golddancer

    golddancer New Member

    Re: Merengue's Bad Rap...

    ok I have limited knowledge what is clave? Explain please.
  4. Suaveson

    Suaveson New Member

    You and Chinita are right! It does take 2 consenting adults to dance reggaeton :together:
  5. Suaveson

    Suaveson New Member

    Re: Merengue's Bad Rap...

    The clave is the backbone to salsa music and the dancers way to keep in step/rythm

    Man, where are Rythms and Boriken when you need them.....
    probably all crashed out from a night on the dance floor....

    Read this link
    it will help you understand La Clave.
  6. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    partly, i think its due to salseros wanting a more complex intricate rythme to move on, more variety of instruments and the wide range of play u get from salsa music.. it is more possible for them to get a little bored with the simpler merengue especially that most DJs (i've seen) dont promote merengue like salsa, they usually have a certain number of merengues that they will repetitively played time and again and with time it becomes obselete to the salseros ears..

    however, may be even more so, eventhough merengue can be characterized as a simpler beat of music.. in its fast form it can be mucho more challenging to dance to than salsa because in its high speed form, i've seen very few who can perform with the required energy and body isolation control / power it takes to take this dance to levels unimaginable or rarely seen in common salsa clubs..

    it is my opinion that it requires much higher dance ability and improvisation / playfullness to pull a staggering merengue high speed dance on the floor, and that dance partners have to be quite evolved on the dance scale to truely take this dance to its high amazing level.. it can be truely a mix of all popular dances and then some.. the space one has to play the beat is endless and i think only truely fascinating dancers thrive on it.. :D
  7. I was out dancing a couple weeks ago, and I heard some salsa songs that incorporated reggaeton. I was surprised at how well it worked.

    I'm not comfortable dancing "grinding" type dances (although I'm not sure why I find it any different than dancing a bachata in a close position, except that somehow the bachata feels more "formalized," and the grinding just seems too close to the real thing).

    I've heard very negative things about reggaeton's lyrical content and social uses, however, from a (young) Puerto Rican (who still lives in Puerto Rico). He says that the lyrics tend to be even more misognynistic and violence-oriented than typical gangsta rap. He did say that the stuff that crosses over to a U.S. audience (I don't know about Australia) tends to be the best artistically, and the least potentially offensive lyrically.

    I have heard good things about Tego Calderon, in particular.
  8. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Dunno. My Spanish isn't good enough to understand lyrics yet......I imagine it wouldn't be any more inspiring than catchy merengue/R&B though :roll: ....!

    BTW, we got no bachata at clubs. You can hear it at house parties etc, but my local Latinos tend to do Bolero to it........
  9. golddancer

    golddancer New Member

    Re: Merengue's Bad Rap...

    I knew clave was an instrument but it role really is clear now. I will share with my local salsaneros.
  10. MadamSamba

    MadamSamba Member

    Wow, four pages of answers, Pygmalion! That should indicate just how controversial this topic is. I think it's been covered pretty much in the past responses, but personally I love merengue. I couldn't do it all night and salsa is my first love, but a good merengue (not a pretend one) can be pure poetry!

    A lot of salseros/salseras steer away from it, as though it's the dumb cousin. That's probably because, in theory, it's just a counting dance, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 (or four, depending on where you're from) and you can't really do much wrong in a basic merengue, but as I said, a good merengue can be a joy to dance and there's something really rewarding about following a great merengue leader because it can be such a complex dance...that's my two cents worth! :lol:
  11. dessaix

    dessaix New Member

    I dont know the "right way" to dance merengue just the 1,2 1,2 in a circle spin to stop and fast counter clock wise turn (if they have names i dont know em) and just mix it with salsa styles.

    I personally like to dance both but for me, merengue is much funner to dance and to listen. 8)
  12. brujo

    brujo New Member

    Could be a cultural thing, too.

    The US, Canada, and all the 'gringo' cultures are essencially non-musical countries. While Cuba and the Dominican Republic have music playing even inside the bathrooms. Because of this, the people have an amazing appreciation for the music and it touches them in a way that it is hard for many people outside of these cultures can understand.

    So when Dominicans dance merengue or bachata, it is all about the passion of the dance, about expressing their emotions atuned to the music. You could grab two sticks, click them together for six minutes and they will dance passionately for the same six minutes. They shake their whole bodies, connected by their hips.

    The merengue and bachata I see outside of the Dominican Republic is more 'interpreted', it has gone through the puritan filter of the white culture, just like salsa in NY tends to be more technical compared to the raw emotion of Cuban Casino within the country. The outside style might be exciting and fun, but it doesn't fit the music as well, so people start putting salsa moves into the mix, and it starts to lose the feeling and connection until it becomes yet another form of ballroom dancing.
  13. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    .............and that is as real as it gets 8) . We used to have these sessions regularly, with my local Colombians. After our salsa club finally kicked us out at the end of the night, they moved the congas into the street & picked up anything that made sounds, then we jammed/grooved til the sun came up :D ..........

    *gotta get it happening again*
  14. Phoenix Salsa

    Phoenix Salsa New Member

    Typically when I go to a Salsa club, I often see dancers doing the Merengue turns with the same speed as in Salsa(in 3 counts). I was taught to dance Merengue as an eight count dance, while counting the turns down to take 6-8 counts say for a simple right turn for the lady. The feet and the waist are constantly moving to the beat of the song, while maintaining a slower pace with all our moves.
    Almost like one is containing this fast exposive music(as reflected by your lower body) to a romantic pace with your upper body and your dance turns.

    Faster is not always best, in regards to Merengue.
    Agree or disagree?
  15. I like dancing double-time to merengue. I don't know whether that's good or not.
  16. pelao

    pelao New Member

    you mean like instead of going moving: right, left, right, left; you instead go right, right, left left, right right, left left (all in the hips, 'meneandose').

    This is actually done wit a lot of merengues. Like merengue tipico/perico ripiao or bachatarengue/bachata ripia.
  17. No, by double time I mean dancing it twice as fast as the beat.

    It's funny though, I used to do something like you describe, because I thought I had been taught it that way somewhere along the way, but I could never figure out whether I had actually learned that from someone or made it up.
  18. pelao

    pelao New Member

    wow, i've never seen anyone speed up the actual dance. cause the one i described is usually used on the faster songs, but in the [sub]genres i've seen (merengue tipico and bachatarengue).

    i'm actually listening to some right now, and you couldn't possibly speed up the dance. If you or anyone likes merengue that much, i can probably hook some of you guys up with some merengue tipico to see if you guys like it - it definitely aint like the big band merengue.
  19. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Welcome Phonix Salsa...
    As far as dancing merengue fast or slow, it really depends on the song. Some songs really call for a faster speed. Some, the romantic or more Mr. Guerra like, feel best to me danced slow. But again I don't enjoy any type of fast dancing.
  20. salsarhythms

    salsarhythms New Member

    I know it was asked what I meant about "old-school" merengue, and
    it would have to be guys like:

    Victor Roque "Y Su Gran Manzana"

    Sergio Vargas

    Fernandito Villalona

    Juan Luis Guerra "Y 4/40"

    Wilfrido Vargas (Side Note: his songs started to get ridiculous in his
    later years...)

    Conjunto Quisqueya

    Those are some, but like I said it's all their older stuff that I really

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