The mambo is a genre of music and dance that arose in Cuban territory. The term has Antillean origin, although its roots must be traced in African languages.
Born from the combination of elements of the are and from danzón, it is considered that Antonio Arcaño and Orestes Lopez were the pioneers of the mambo, while Damaso Pérez Prado devised the dance. Over the years, the popularity of the mambo grew in Cuba and then it came to other countries, like USA and Mexico.
At a general level, the mambo combines features of the african music with jazz and various Latin American rhythms. In each measure it includes a time of silence, which corresponds to the pause that the dancers take to highlight the syncopation.
Said Perez Prado, born in 1917 and died in 1989, is known as “The king of the mambo” for the diffusion it gave to gender Worldwide. The song “Mambo No. 5” was one of his main successes: the song even had a very famous version that he performed Lou bega on 1999. Tito Puente (1923–2000) is another of the musicians who stand out for their contributions to the mambo.
In case of Mambo No. 5 It is not uncommon in terms of the name, since in the past it was very common to name the parts of this genus with a cardinal number. On the other hand, it was also customary to baptize them with women’s names, as is the case with acquaintances Patricia and Roberta.
With regard to the dance itself, one must dance in couple and his choreography stands out for being difficult and strong. The synchronization between the two dancers and the coordination of the movements is essential, especially given the great speed at which they must be performed. Another aspect necessary to master the mambo is agility, a factor that can make the difference between a beginner and a professional capable of dazzling their audience.
As mentioned above, the rhythm of the mambo is syncopated. This means that the accentuation of the melody notes does not always match the structure basic measure: syncopation makes it possible to accentuate weak or semi-strong notes, as well as include rests to give rise to the so-called setback.
The bars of the mambo have a time of silence in which the dancers must pause. This takes place on the fourth beat. During the basic rhythm, a leg should be left flexed while the other is extended, carried forward or to the side.
The force of the mambo’s movements give it a identity very particular that is associated with its African roots. It is a combination of considerable flexion of the joints with a very pronounced expressiveness.
Throughout their evolution, the mambo dancers developed three well-defined types: the single, the double and the triple. The latter gave rise to the birth of the Cha Cha Cha, a dance well known even today, especially in Latin America.
As well as other Latin American dances, many people allow themselves to be conquered by their steps and their music and decide to take classes despite not having great natural aptitudes. The benefits of learning to dance are many, both physically, emotionally and culturallyAs it keeps us in shape, helps us release stress and allows us to make new friends.
On Argentina, on the other hand, mambo is a term from slang which refers to a imbroglio, a confusion or a conflict. For instance: “I’m with a barbarian mambo at work”, “I have a lot of mambos in my head and I don’t know what to do”, “Cut her off with the mambo and come home tonight so we can eat some pizzas and chat for a while”.