La Cumparsita

cumparsita

* It is among the most famous and recognizable tango songs of all time.

* Written by Gerardo Matos Rodriguez in 1917 when he was only 17 years old at that time of in the music room of Club Nacional de Football.

* First played in the coffee house La Giralda, Montevideo, Uruguay.

* The young Gerardo passed the tango he had written anonymously to the orchestra of Roberto Firpo to play for the first time.

* He was a student at the Faculty of Architecture in Montevideo that time.

* 7  years in 1924 in Paris, Gerardo realized that his tango, which he had forgotten about, had become a major hit.

* The tango lyricists Enrique Maroni and Pascual Contursi added words to the tango and renamed it as “Si Supieras” (If you knew/realized).

* La Cumparsita spread to the rest of the world from Paris, where meanwhile there was La Cumparsita-mania already in Argentina as well.

* Gerardo had only composed the first two parts. Firpo had added the third part and a harmony to the first part.

*Gerardo Matos Rodriguez spent  20 years in and out of court trying to regain his rights as author of the most famous tango in the world.He had sold the rights of the tango for 20 pesos when he first composed it. Most likely he was a naive 17 year old kid.

* In the Olympic Games of Sydney 2000, the Argentine team marched to “La Cumparsita”. This originated protests and official claims from the Uruguayan government.

* The song was named cultural and popular anthem of Uruguay by law  in 1997.

The Lyrics in Spanish and in English

 La Cumparsita: The little cumparsa

Cumparsa: Lunfardo word that denotes a group of people that attends the carnival festivals dressed in a similar fashion (usually, but not exclusively, wearing masks.)
The term seems to be a corruption of the italian ‘comparsa’.

Also see: History of La Cumparsita

Published in: on December 12, 2009 at 4:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Finnish Tango

Finnishtango

 Here is the Wikipedia definition: Finnish tango is an established variation of the Argentine tango and one of the most enduring and popular music forms in Finland.

Here is a perspective from another blog post on Finnish tango as a response to this definition :

“Being from, and having lived in, Finland causes many people to ask us about the large tango scene that exists in this tiny country.  Many people who dance Argentine Tango mistakenly believe that Finns are dancing some form of Argentine Tango.  This is somewhat understandable given that Wikipedia says, “Finnish tango is an established variation of the Argentine tango…”  How misleading!  Yes, there is a very large tango scene in Finland, but Finnish Tango is just that:  Finnish Tango.  It is not Argentine Tango and does not resemble Argentine Tango in any way.  In fact, it mostly resembles ballroom tango, as does the music.  At a minimum, the majority of the population can dance Viennese Waltz  (they learn to do so in school) and in general they can all dance tango as well.  At it’s most basic form, Finnish Tango involves moving to the music and not much more.”

For a discussion on the differences between Finnish Tango and Argentine Tango!

The Finnish people organize the world’s oldest tango festival: Tangomarkkinat. It is held early every July in Seinäjoki, Finland.Music for public dancing is not restricted to tango: it includes all the dance rhythms popular in Finland: but tango content must, according to the rules, be at least 40%.It atracts more than 10,000 people annually in a country with a population no more than 5 million people.

Here is a blog just on Finnish Tango by John Ward from United Kingdom: http://www.finnishtango.blogspot.com/

The Satumaa is the quintessential Finnish tango. It was written by Unto Mononen, and published in 1955. The most famous recording is probably the one made by Reijo Taipale in 1962. Satumaa roughly translates to “The Fabled Land” or “The Fairytale Land”.

In 2009, the  famous Tango singer in Finland Arja Koriseva celebrates the 20th anniversary in her singing career.

There is also a movie called Finnish Tango (2008). The movie tells the story of a man, who – on his quest of finding the easy way out – discovers his own humanity. Alex is a passionate but unsuccessful musician. Nothing more, nothing less. After a tragic accident, Alex suddenly finds himself without a band and without a plan, but with a mountain of debt and raging metal players breathing down his neck. Searching for a job, he comes across a theater group of handicapped people. Alex invents a handicap, steals a handicap ID, gets the part and moves in with the group.

Published in: on December 12, 2009 at 6:46 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

The neural basis of human dance: Journal Club

200px-Seinfeld_s8e4

My first blog Kaan’s Dervish Lodge is on brain research, and this blog you are at is on dancing. So it is fusion time!

I will do “Journal Club” in my blogs once in a while. It is something done at research programs/labs/ (Departments).

One presents a recent and relavant article. This post is about the article you see below. It was published at the prestigious journal (23rd out of 219 journals according to the data of 2008) Cerebral Cortex.

Cereb Cortex. 2006 Aug;16(8):1157-67. Epublication: 2005 Oct 12.

The neural basis of human dance.

Steven Brown1,2, Michael J. Martinez1 and Lawrence M. Parsons1,3

1 Research Imaging Center, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA, 2 Present address: Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada, 3 Present address: Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

Address correspondence to Lawrence Parsons, Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TP, UK. Email: L.parsons@sheffield.ac.uk

Abstract of the article

Human dance was investigated with positron emission tomography to identify its systems-level organization. Three core aspects of dance were examined: entrainment, meter and patterned movement. Amateur dancers performed small-scale, cyclically repeated tango steps on an inclined surface to the beat of tango music, without visual guidance. Entrainment of dance steps to music, compared to self-pacing of movement, was supported by anterior cerebellar vermis. Movement to a regular, metric rhythm, compared to movement to an irregular rhythm, implicated the right putamen in the voluntary control of metric motion. Spatial navigation of leg movement during dance, when controlling for muscle contraction, activated the medial superior parietal lobule, reflecting proprioceptive and somatosensory contributions to spatial cognition in dance. Finally, additional cortical, subcortical and cerebellar regions were active at the systems level. Consistent with recent work on simpler, rhythmic, motor-sensory behaviors, these data reveal the interacting network of brain areas active during spatially patterned, bipedal, rhythmic movements that are integrated in dance.

Key Words: complex sensorimotor coordination • dance • entrainment • music • neuroimaging

 

Free access to the full article as a pdf file

Free access to the full article as an HTML file

 

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 6:44 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Sultans of the dance: Fire of Anatolia

MU970067BD546_250

The Fire of Anatolia (Sultans of the Dance) or Anadolu Ateşi is a Turkish dance group consisting of 120 dancers, several choreographers and other technical staff. The group has performed in more than 60 countries from the USA to China and Japan, in front of an audience of approximately 10 million people altogether. Fire of Anatolia holds two Guinness records, one for fastest dance performance with 241 steps per minute and another for largest audience, 400 000 people in Ereğli, in the Black Sea region of the country. The head of the group is Mustafa Erdoğan.

 The group had its first performances in 2001 and started a world tour a year later, already under the name Fire of Anatolia. They later used the name “Sultans of the dance” as well  for the reason of ease of being rememberedI think.

Anatolia or Asia Minor, is the land where Turkey is now. Actually it is the part including the entire country except the part in Europe, and the part of Istanbul belonging to Europe. Anatolia has been the center of many civilizations such as such as the Hittites, Phrygians, and Lydians, and Achaemenid, Greek, Armenian, Roman, Byzantine, Anatolian Seljuk and Ottoman states. It was a long dream of the producer Erdogan and it is a great idea and a dream come true for all our earthlings to come up with a dance group expressing the rhytm of this old land of the earth.

The programs they currently perform are named Fire of Anatolia and Dawool, the latter of which is “built on rhythm. It begins with a religious scene, then a romantic duet and continues with drum sessions.

“We wanted to reflect Istanbul with it, its multiculturalism, the mixture of cultures and religions”  says Oktay Keresteci, the ballet coreographer.

The Fire of Anatolia also known as Sultans of the Dance are performing at Eurovision 2004 Song Contest Turkey. It starts with belly dance and ends with a folk dance which called “horon” from the black sea region of Turkey.

Another performance

 

Rehersal: 218 steps per minute. Later on, they will do the 241 steps per minute and have the Guiness World Record. 

 Another performance of  this Northern Turkey’s dance “horon”

 Sultans of the dance’s performance in Eurovision 2004 @ Istanbul

Full version captured from a German TV

I will put more videos very soon.

turkey

This post is dedicated to hospitable, genereous and emotional people of my home land Turkey who belong to the cultures of  Mediterranean, Balkan, Caucasian, Middle East, and Europe.

 

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 6:40 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Commitment with the body and the soul

kaandancinginberlin

  Me dancing at a street party in Berlin, June 2009.

Dancing is a commitment with your body and your soul.

Do not forget your soul @ home

When you go out to dancing, if you are doing so just for the sake of dancing, you do not forget your soul at home. You may just want to satisfy your  limbic system,  evolutionarly the oldest part in the brain. Limbic system  is about the “id“. It is the place what makes us close to our animal friends. You may want to use dancing to satisfy your id. 

 Or you just want to get rid off this super-ego and pamper your ego. All might be ok, though it is open to a deep debate.

You should respect

Without any exception everyone likes being liked, being appreciated. It is a Saturday night. You are a bit tipsy dancing at the stage. It is all about entertainment. Entertaining yourself and having a good time. Why would be anything wrong with that? It was a long, stressful week after all. Everyone deserves that. But you should respect “dancing”. It is a lot of things. It is a way of expressing yourself. Like a signature. It is a way of discharging all your negative energy. I just love watching people, individuals or couples dancing at the stage from/with their hearts. What they need is to be respected. You should respect them and dancing. If you are there, at the bar, at the stage a- just to be there, b- just to look cool with your beer in your hand, c- to watch  the “bodies” while dancing is related/connected to body and the soul, do not forget to respect dancing. Because otherwise it will be uncool.

Dancing is entertainment but is also art

Maybe I am just an old guy who overrates a Saturday fun, dancing at a dance bar having some beer. Maybe it is my humble culture shock ,has been for the last 6 years.  In the winter of 2004 I was in Iowa City, as a post-doc working at a psychiatry lab. In Iowa City half of the population is composed of the college/university students. There is one street, one big bar for dancing. That bar becomes a “meat market” on Saturday nights. I loved the music there so there I was dancing at the stage. One should respect dancing. There was this line  of men watching the dancing people with beer in their hands poking their friends. Are they not here ? In Canada. They are. In Turkey. Everywhere. Why do not you stay at home and watch bodies on TV? Why are you here?  Some dance. They do not care anything else.  Some show off. That is it. Some are going from one girl to another. Trying. Using “dancing” for their id. Some for their “ego”.

Dance is just dancing

Opus used to sing when I was a young boy “Life is live” in mid-80s. And dance is dance. Respect!

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 6:00 am  Comments (2)  

Dancing in the dark

Dancing in the dark

Bruce Sprinsgteen was my hero. One of the heroes of my youth. Mid-80s. No cell phone. People used to find each other personaly to communicate. I had a Commodore 64 as a computer which had a 64 KB memory. This song “Dancing in the dark” was talking about “teenagehood” I was thinking that time. I was a teenager,too. A teenager was the one who was dancing in the dark. Not knowing who he was. I was self-aware. A teenager is the person who has to show himself to the society. He has to prove, be accepted. Mistakes always happen when you are a teenager and you are always afraid of making one. You try to understand the “system” and are rebellious, and are afraid that the “system” will judge of you will be or are.

So, as a teenager you’d better dance in the dark. To my teenagehood…and to 80s.

Bruce Springsteen — Dancing In The Dark lyrics

I get up in the evening, and I ain’t got nothing to say
I come home in the moring, I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain’t nothing but tired, man I’m just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help
(Chorus)
You can’t start a fire, you can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire even if we’re just dancing in the dark

Message keeps getting clearer, radio’s on and I’m moving round the place
I check myself out in the mirror I wanna change my clothes my hair my face
Man I ain’t getting nowhere just sitting in a dump like this
There’s something happening somewhere baby I just know that there is

(Chorus)

You sit around getting older there’s a joke here somewhere and it’s on me
I’ll shake this world off my shoulders come baby this laughs on me
Stay on the streets of this town and they’ll be carving you up alright
They say you got to stay hungry hey baby I’m just about starving tonight
I’m dying for some action I’m sick of sitting ’round here trying to write
this book
I need a love reaction come on now baby give me just one look

(Chorus)

Hey baby!

Published in: on November 5, 2009 at 4:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Riverdance: the Irish fire

16_the_riverdance1

Riverdance is a theatrical show consisting of traditional Irish step dancing, notable for its rapid leg movements while body and arms are kept largely stationary. The group has now 3 different casts; The Boyne Cast, the Corrib Cast and the Bann Cast. Each of the cast tours in different parts of the world.

Riverdance was first performed during the interval of the Eurovision Song Contest on April 30, 1994. The original seven-minute version of the show at this contest was transmitted to an estimated 300 million viewers worldwide. The interest and the outcome was incredible. At Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest it was voted the most popular interval act in the history of the contest.

Here is their first performance in Dublin, 1994 .

An audio recording of Riverdance entered the Irish singles charts at #1 on May 5 1994, and remained there throughout the summer (keeping Wet Wet Wet‘s phenomenally successful Love Is All Around off the top), eventually totalling a record 18 weeks at #1.

Riverdance is produced and directed by husband and wife team John McColgan and Moya Doherty, controlled through their production company Abhann Productions, based in Dublin.

Riverdance has been seen live by over 21 million people in over 300 venues worldwide, throughout 32 countries across 4 continents.

Today, November 4, Riverdance will be performing at the Baton Rouge, LA – River Center Theatre (2-4 November 2009) in North America. They will head off to San Antonio next.

A video from their Irish step dancing

They also have flamenco on the show

Flag_of_Ireland This post is dedicated to my dear Irish neigbours Barbara & Malcolm, and my dear good friend Deniz Gezerler who loves Riverdance.
Published in: on November 4, 2009 at 4:39 am  Leave a Comment  

How to Flamenco

flamenco-how-to

If you are interested in any updates in the future, please visit Kaan’s Dancing Stage

Graphic: How to Flamenco Flamenco with diagrams – the picture @ the top of the posting

Flamenco and the Compás How to count the rhytms

Castanets in flamenco How to play castanets in flamenco

How to Dance Flamenco in 4 tips

Learning the art of flamenco dancing by Lia Grainger  An article on learning flamenco

 

Videos

How to Flamenco Dance: Video Series     22 video series with a text summarizing the series

 Flamenco Dance Steps : Flamenco Dance Arm Position

Arm position for flamenco dancing is an important stylistic difference between flamenco and other Spanish dances. Learn more about arm position in flamenco dancing with tips from a dance instructor and choreographer in this free dance lesson video.  Expert: Andrea Del Conte

Flamenco Dance Steps : Flamenco Dance Hand & Arm Combinations

In flamenco dancing, hand and arm movement combinations are an important part of the dancers flair and beauty. Expert: Andrea Del Conte

Flamenco Dance Steps : Standard Flamenco Dance Arm Movements

 In flamenco dancing the standard arm movements move the arms up and down the torso and head. Expert: Andrea Del Conte

Flamenco Dance Steps : Flamenco Dance Foot Sounds

In flamenco dancing there are several types of foot sounds that can be made by the dance shoes. Expert: Andrea Del Conte

How to Flamenco Dance : Flamenco Dance Step Combo Moves

Low audio quality with subtitles

Expert: Yvette Parrish

Flamenco Dance Steps : Flamenco Dance Demonstration

Expert: Andrea Del Conte

Dancing the Flamenco : Flamenco Dancing: Speeding Up Dance Steps

Speed is an important part of dancing the flamenco. Expert: Paola Escobar

Dancing the Flamenco : Flamenco Dancing: Basic Footwork

The basic flamenco dance step uses heels to keep rhythm. Expert: Paola Escobar

Dancing the Flamenco : Flamenco Dancing: Plantas-Tacon Steps

Add complexity to flamenco dance routines with the planta-tacon steps. Expert: Paola Escobar

Dancing the Flamenco : Flamenco Dancing: Adding Accents to Steps

Accent flamenco footwork with this simple instruction. Expert: Paola Escobar

Dancing the Flamenco : Flamenco Dancing: Alternative Steps

Add variety to a flamenco dance routine by adding alternative steps. Expert: Paola Escobar

Dancing the Flamenco : Flamenco Dancing: New Dance Steps

Adding new flamenco dance steps will improve a flamenco routine. Expert: Paola Escobar

Monica Moncivais performs “Mi Penar” at Tarde Andaluza on June 28 2009, presented by Academia de Arte Flamenco at Jump-Start Theater in San Antonio Texas.
“Mi Penar” – Palo: Caña
Solo by Monica Moncivais
Vocals: Chayito Champion
Guitar: Jose Perello
Choreography: Chiqui Linares

Published in: on November 4, 2009 at 3:06 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

How to Tango

How-to-Dance-Tango

This post is complementary with the “video dance classes project” of mine at the social network Kaan’s Dance Stage. I would recommend you to take a look at it, and if you are looking for updates to this project, rather than in this post, you will find them in my social network, so you might become a member of it, if you want to follow up on this project.

How to Tango  Instructions in 8 steps

How To Tango by Noelle Dattilo A brief set of instructions

Tango Corazon: How to Dance the Argentine Tango by Larry Carroll: Lesson 1 A detailed fundemantal/basic information in 7 Lessons

Tango Corazon: How to Dance the Argentine Tango by Larry Carroll: Lesson 2

Tango Corazon: How to Dance the Argentine Tango by Larry Carroll: Lesson 3

Tango Corazon: How to Dance the Argentine Tango by Larry Carroll: Lesson 4

Tango Corazon: How to Dance the Argentine Tango by Larry Carroll: Lesson 5

Tango Corazon: How to Dance the Argentine Tango by Larry Carroll: Lesson 6

Tango Corazon: How to Dance the Argentine Tango by Larry Carroll: Lesson 7

Tango Corazon: How to Dance the Argentine Tango by Larry Carroll: Afterword

Videos

How to Dance the Tango: Video Series  15 series of videos with a text that summarizes these series

How to Tango

A video, with written text in 9 steps

How To Tango

A short youtube video with foot movements of the woman

Dancing the Argentine Tango : Modern Argentine Tango Steps

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 1/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 2/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 3/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 4/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 5/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 6/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 7/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 8/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 9/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 10/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 11/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 12/20

Las clases de tango en español

Tango classes in Spanish

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 13/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 14/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 15/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 16/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 17/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 18/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 19/20

TANGOCITY: LEARN HOW TO DANCE TANGO IN YOUTUBE LESSON 20/20

 

Published in: on November 4, 2009 at 3:03 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Lotus dance: a celebration of Buddha’s birth

LotusFlower

Lotus. The botanical name for this flower is Nelumbo. Nelumbo is a genus of aquatic plants with large, showy, water lily-like flowers commonly known as lotus or sacred lotus. The Lotus flower is extremely important in Asian spiritual world. This flower  is  a symbol of purity and ‘spontaneous’ generation and hence symbolizes divine birth. 

According to the Lalitavistara, ‘the spirit of the best of men is spotless, like the new lotus in the [muddy] water which does not adhere to it’, and, according to esoteric Buddhism, the heart of the beings is like an unopened lotus: when the virtues of the Buddha develop therein the lotus blossoms. This is why the Buddha sits on a lotus in bloom.

Lotus dance is one of the traditional dances of Vietnam and the original name of the dance in Vietnamese is Mua Hoa Dang. This vibrant and colorful dance originated from the days of Vietnamese feudalism in the early 1600’s. It was traditionally performed only at the “Thai Hoa” Imperial Palace when the Emperor prayed to the Buddha for national peace and prosperity. The dance is called Renge-Mai in Japan. The Buddhists in Asia and around the world perform this dance and the dance symbolizes the opening of a lotus.

Lotus Dance performed by three girls

Another performance @ Vietnam Society London School of Economics, 2005

A performance from Vietnam

 

Published in: on November 3, 2009 at 10:41 am  Leave a Comment