History of Bachata
Bachata is a musical genre that was born in the 1960s in the Dominican Republic, from its origins in the Bolero that had spread in the Latin American world since the 1920s.
Synonymous with festivities, entertainments and festivities, the Bachata was played everywhere, on any shady square or in the inner courtyards of the houses, replacing the maracas of the bolero with the güira, a Dominican metal instrument close to the güiro and that emits a particular sound by scraping it.
Origins of Bachata
The first mentions of Bachata go back to 1922 and 1927. The first refers to the idle inhabitants of the village of Sabaneta, and the second defines the bachata as celebrations where the popular musician of Bolero was the king of the party.
Very much appreciated by the most popular classes of the Dominican Republic, Bachata is considered in its beginnings as a musical genre associated with the poor, vulgar, even immoral and indecent. In the 1930s, Bachata was played in bars, brothels and other places of perdition.
Of rural origin, the Bachata does not take long to prevail in the cities of the Dominican Republic as Santiago de los Caballeros where several musicians like Ramón Wagner, Jim Sánchez or Morito Sánchez make themselves known.
Like the Tango in Argentina, the Bachata is an expression of the melancholy and nostalgia of the emigrants, expressing the love and disenchantment of a population that leaves the villages to concentrate in the urban areas of the island. It is for this reason that Bachata will be called “bitter music”.
The evolution of Bachata
Bachata’s first known album, we owe it to José Manuel Calderón who recorded on May 30, 1962 a disc containing two songs: “Borracho de Amor” and “Condena” (that will be of mine).
It is this Dominican singer who will truly launch the Bachata by innovating compared to the traditional musicians of the island, replacing the maracas by the güira and using several stringed instruments, wind and piano.
His success, José Manuel Calderón owes to the lyrics of his songs and the timbre of his voice different from other “bachateros”, approaching that of the Mexican singer Pedro Infante.
Other Dominican singers will also participate in the popularization of Bachata as Rafael Encarnación or Luis Segura, artists whose songs will be broadcast thanks to the creation of Radio Guarachita in 1964.
It is this radio that will be at the base of the appearance of the new generation of Bachata singers such as Melida Rodríguez, Leonardo Paniagua or Luis Segura, the latter allowing this musical genre to “get rid” of its reputation as popular music. thanks to the song “Pena” recorded in 1982.
Bachata will also make a leap forward in the 1980s with the appearance of singers like Victor Victor and Juan Luis Guerra who will merge this style with the romantic stroll.
In 1990, the Dominican Juan Luis Guerra will launch his album entitled “Bachata rosa” which will beat sales records in the Dominican Republic but also worldwide with more than 9 million copies, to promote this genre of music in Spain but also in Germany, the Netherlands, Mexico, the United States and many other countries.
After this romantic stage of Bachata with songs with erotic and sexual connotations, other artists bring him a more abstract style like Luis Días which will add sounds coming from rock and jazz.
Today, the most famous singers of the Bachata are Blas Duran, Antony Santos, Raulín Rodriguez, Luis Vargas, Frank Reyes, Elvis Martinez, Zacarias Ferreira, Ivy Queen, Prince Royce or Anthony Romeo Santos, the duets Monchy & Alexandra and Xtreme, or the Aventura group.
The group Aventura was formed in 1994 in the Bronx, in New York, between four young people of Dominican and Puerto Rican origin. In 2002, he launches their second album “We Broke the Rules” which one of their songs will go around the world: “Obsesión”. This song written by Anthony Santos will become number 1 in France in 2004 for 7 weeks and will get a platinum record in this country, ranking also in the first place of the hit parade of Austria, Germany, Belgium, Italy and from Switzerland.
On February 22, 2011, the Aventura group won several awards at the Viña dela Mar Festival in Chile. But despite the success, the group decides and officially announces to separate in April of the same year.
To dance the Bachata just learn the basic movements that consist of a series of steps from front to back and to the sides. Step right with a sway while your partner does the same on his left, bring his left foot to his right foot while your partner will do the opposite, then reproduce the same movement before starting again on the other side .
Simple in theory, you will have to practice some time before you can dance Bachata like the Dominicans. The ideal would probably be to make a trip to the Dominican Republic to practice this very sensual dance with locals.
But if you want to arrive in this island with some basic notions of these movements, the best is still to watch how we dance Bachata in the video below.