Sensual Bachata Is a Repackaged Version of LambaZouk

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by Sabrosura, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura Maestro 'Sonero' Lavoe

    Making a new thread for the sensual bachata discussion we started in the Cuban traditional vs modern dance. Here is Josue's (the La Epoca guy) video and commentary on the topic.

    ""Bachata-Sensual" is a repackaged version of Lamba-Zouk "decorated by commercialized Bachata, in the opinion of many dancers.
    Hola!!! Thank you for watching this video. Everyone is my audience - and many dancers have something to say - whether it's in agreement or in disagreement with the teachings presented. Most important - be respectful. I am NOT criticizing any dancers - I have nothing negative to say about anyone. There is no arrogance or condescending tones in my message - and absolutely no insults are intended. Just spreading some education.
    It's true: "Bachata-Sensual" is a repackaged version of Lamba-Zouk decorated by commercialized Bachata. Those who dance "Bachata" often notice that dancers dancing "Bachata-Sensual" are usually not moving their feet much and if they're moving their feet - they're not doing the Bachata steps. So, the question is often asked, "Where is the Bachata in Bachata-Sensual?"
    For example, if a dancer does a fusion of Mambo and Tango - and it's 20% Mambo and 80% Tango - is it appropriate that he titles his style "Mambo?" In my opinion - no.
    If Bachata-Sensual has between 5% to 20% of Bachata steps - then is it appropriate to call it Bachata?"
    If Bachata as it's danced in the DR and in New York can already be sensual as it is - then is it appropriate to call a dance that has only 5-20% of actual Bachata AND is already sensual - by the title "Bachata-Sensual?"
    This is the point of this video.
    To be clear: In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with fusions. Who can measure the "purity" of any dance, anyway? If you dance Kizomba - you may borrow from Semba? If you dance Salsa On2 - you may borrow from Casino or even from Palladium Mambo. If you dance BachaTango - of course you may have already been dancing Bachata or 'Zoukchata' and therefore you're already doing a fusion. Many of the songs under the 'Salsa' umbrella especially nowadays feature jazzists on the horns section - that's a fusion of Afro-Cuban with Jazz. Fusions are totally ok! The issue however is using an appropriate title that shows respect to the roots - this is the point of this video.
    Any dance can be sensual. Mambo by Dancer A can be with the purist of intentions but Mambo by Dancer B can be sensual. Kizomba by Dancer A can be a family-experience since Kizomba is a family-dance - he's dancing with his mother - but then later that night he can go to a festival and that same Dancer A might be dancing with his girl-friend and throw in some sensuality. Bachata can be danced with one's father or brother of course with no sensuality and yet it can be made sensual if the girl dancing it goes dancing with someone of interest. ANY dance can be sensual - every dance becomes what we want it to be.
    "Bachata-Sensual" is an attractive style of dance for dancers - and there are many talented dancers out there. The issue, however, is about using a proper title for what is commercially known as "Bachata-Sensual."
    The same exists in "Salsa" and Kizomba. For example, some dancers have an agenda to tell their students that "Salsa On2" is called "Mambo" which shows no respect for the pioneers of Mambo who danced actual Mambo. ANd what about Kizomba? There are dancers who prefer dancing Kizomba and then there are dancers who prefer to dance Urban-Kiz. The styles are very different - none is "better" than the other - but the "commercialized titles" is an issue all-around.
    Zouk dance is mainly from the Caribbean (Martinique, Guadeloupe, and in Haiti where it's also called Kompa) .. although the Zouk danced in Brazil is also quite alive. The Lambada is mainly from Brazil .. so the fusion of the two is called Lamba-Zouk. This title is appropriate, in my opinion.
    Bachata is from the Dominican Republic - and it's danced in New York and across the US, although here in Europe - it's quite different.
    There are some dancers who call "Bachata-Sensual" by the title "Bachata-Zouk" which again is at least a great attempt, in my opinion, to show respect for the roots of the fusion of "Bachata" with "Lamba-Zouk."
    Another example in the titles is "BachaTango" which attempts to show respect in the title for "Bachata" and "Tango" even though it's mostly Lamba-Zouk fused with commercialized Tango.
    Yes, I realize that the example of "BachaTango" in this video is of a couple who are not known to dance BachaTango BUT since many dancers who dance BachaTango also dance 'Bachata-Sensual' - it means that those figures they used can and have been interpreted in both styles. It's ok to do fusions: Merengue and Salsa can influence each other's figures, Lamba-Zouk and Bachata and 'Zoukchata' or 'Bachazouk' (Bachata-Sensual) are already sharing figures
    Two very sweet ladies from Romania - Ioana and Alaina - contacted me recently which prompted me to finally put this video together. They called me on FaceBook video-chat and said that they were trying to dance Bachata in the Dominican Republic but "we can't dance with them because they're not dancing Bachata" - and I smiled and responded, "Actually - they ARE dancing Bachata - but YOU are not because YOU are dancing what has been taught to you as 'Bachata-Sensual' which is a commercialized, diluted version of 'Bachata'"... - I sent them the videos herein - and they immediately saw the similarities.
    Perpahs Bachazouk would be a good name for what's being called "Bachata-Sensual" because they're using mostly Lamba-Zouk movements to Bachata or Popchata (Bachata with pop songs) music .. so yes .. Lamba-Zouk would be ideal, in my opinion, although I think it would be best to hear from the Lamba-Zouk crowd to hear what their suggestions are.
    By the way .. if you wonder why I replaced the original songs in the videos - the reason is if I put in the original songs from each video - then the audio experience would detract from the visual .. meaning .. I put ALL the dnacers to the same BachaTango to make it easier to see how the figures are so similar.
    Disclaimer #1: The style "Bachata-Sensual" is wonderful - and there are many talented dancers out there. The issue, however, is that perhaps more respect could be shown to the roots of Bachata and the many dancers who dance Bachata by coming up with an appropriate title for what "Bachata-Sensual" is because what is NOT is actual Bachata, in my opinion AND in the opinion of many, many others.
    Disclaimer #2 for Bachata aficionados: Yeeeees I used Korke & Judith in the BachaTango example to prove an extra point: in the original YouTube video - you'll see that the song they used is BachaTango (which is the same audio I put it) - BUT THEY danced a Bachata-Sensual to a BachaTango song .. do you see my point? They are promoted as the creators of "Bachata-Sensual" but yet the song they danced to was a BachaTango. As a Bachata aficionados shared with me even today personally, "Instructors can choose to respect the music or not" which I interpret as "the music may NOT determine their dancing" - which shows a disconnect between music and dancing, for them. I have NOTHING against Korke & Judith personally - and certainly I'm not trying to embarrass them - but it brings up a good point: how are the students supposed to distinguish between Bachata-Sensual from BachaTango from Bachata when the dancers who are known as the creators of the Bachata-Sensual style are not dancing to a Bachata-Sensual song but instead danced and demonstrated for students to a BachaTango??"
    cachondea, Offbeat and elanimal like this.
  2. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    How the hell can Josue talk about showing 'no respect for the pioneers of Mambo who danced actual Mambo' when he is the person responsible for the poor quality travesty that is La Epoca?
  3. kbitten

    kbitten Clave Commander

    I could do a way better video showing the similarities of the brasilian zouk ( not the lambazouk) and bachata sensual.

    compare this demo or the one he posted

    with these:

    Today a saw a girl, aparently his student, commenting in a zouk teacher timeline when he posted the video and the comment made perfect sense to me . She said : why people wanna learn that? is just a simplified and easier way to dance zouk"
    the teacher said : yeah, it's boring for us. Then someone said : let's call it "zouk for dummies"
    and we all laugh kkkk

    btw, the girls who complained about not dancing bachata in DR could not dance zouk here too cause the technique went a little further! rs They are probably lost in the purgatory, the places where fusion dances are until they reach a codified level accepted or disappear...
  4. timberamayor

    timberamayor Maestro 'El Diferente' Canales

    My God that's Swedish she's singing. How funny. Who knew Sweden would be a hotbed of "sensual bachata" muisc LOL
    Hmmm I guess I find it odd to see people dancing to pop songs. Seems like latin/Caribbean dances usually develop to match specific rhythms but these have nothing too do with anything latin. You can dance salsa to pop too...ah well.

    EDIT: OK so I googled Zouk and it said the musik style is pop from France. OK I guess it will never be my thing then.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
    mlemonl and Sabrosura like this.
  5. elanimal

    elanimal Tumbao

    I think there's little to dispute in the Josué video or the points that we've brought up. To get to the meat of it, would it 'hurt' Daniel and Desiree and their likes to appropriately call their dance Bachazouk or Zoukchata? Or should they just straight up call it Zouk? They do do their demos to music that is clearly not Dominican bachata. I'm also aware that DJs in my city are opting to play these kind of songs, and occasionally Bachatango songs, over Dominican style songs now. I tend to sit them out because that's not what I know how to do. In that sense their 'Bachata' denomination has helped them infiltrate clubs that never played zouk or that style of music, but now that it's under an accepted umbrella of 'bachata' music, I hear it more often. Whether intentional or not, it's changed the experience at Latin clubs.

    I guess this is what's frustrating to Dominicans like the one in the original video blasting Daniel and Desiree. It goes beyond just 'dancing what you want.' I read a comment from a girl in that video defending D&D, saying that in fact Dominicans should be glad that D&D have achieved their success and helped bring Bachata to a wider audience. But the thing is, it hasn't, because they're not dancing bachata, and they're dancing to Swedish pop songs. It hasn't brought Bachata to a wider audience at all, if now this thing is taking away from listening and dancing to real Bachata artists like Joan Soriano and Luis Segura, whose place is now occupied by decidedly non-Dominican Beyonce remixes and the like.

    If anything there is now an open market for a good zouk teacher to open up a studio in Boston.
  6. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    I may not be the worlds authority on Bachata, but, that aberration of Bachata (?) had little or no bearing on its antecedent..

    And, the"Tango" fusion , was pretty bad .It also baffles me , as to WHY one would choose music that, does not reflect the essence of the subject matter.
    kbitten likes this.
  7. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    To get more students ?
  8. wol

    wol Sonero

    Like I said, I learned to like sensual bachata. Yes, name is not great, but it describes, what it is - sensual fusion using bachata timing and modified basic. As for not including zouk in a name - there must be a marketing reason for that. For example, I hate how it looks when danced and strongly decided not to learn it. Include zouk in a name and I would not go to learn it. Like I skipped classes named "bachatango". Of course, sensual bachata lessons included zouk and tango elements in simplified form and I like them now and use them in a dance, but name the dance "bachazouk" and I would skip it like "bachatango" classes ...
    kbitten likes this.
  9. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    That, was a rhetorical question...
    manzanadulce likes this.
  10. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura Maestro 'Sonero' Lavoe

    I just came up with a new line for when a guy starts to try to "sensual bachata manhandle" me -- I usually stop and say "Sorry, I dance traditional bachata", from now on I'm going to say: "Sorry, I don't dance Zouk" :D
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
  11. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    You just need the right guy, like for casino I suppose
    Anyway brazilian zouk isn't fusion of carribean zouk and lambada, they just named it after the music they used for lambada replacement dance
    Smejmoon and kbitten like this.
  12. kbitten

    kbitten Clave Commander

    Yes Vit is right! We have never used any steps of the original dance called zouk! They developed completely separated, not the case of this bachata sensual which is clearly a mix!

    I told you the teachers here made a reunion when people from caribean islands start to be bothered about the name! They All agreed they were right to be that way and then wanted to called lambazouk, cause the original dance was lambada but they used zouk songs in some time of the construction but now they dance to mixed pop/ kizomba/dj songs kkk! A lot of teachers disagreed cause they didn't see their 'style' as lambazouk, which for us is clear the difference! They were the ones travelling to europe to teach and decided to say it's brasilian zouk! About that time the dance was already way bigger than the original so nobody call it that way, people just say zouk! Sad for the original zouk dancers and that's why I see their claim and the DR as legitimate!

    I dont know the origin of this bachata sensual but here a lot of styles were named simply by ego problems, that's why some didn't accepted the lambazouk name! :rolleyes: I saw no similiarity with tango too, have no idea why they named bachatango!
    Smejmoon and vit like this.
  13. kbitten

    kbitten Clave Commander

    The lady in white dress in josue video , romina, is a lambazouk dancer! In fact she is the only one that is not brasilian that I think it's really nice!

    Here she is is dancing lambazouk, way different from the videos I posted but the closest version to lambada as I learned when I was a kid!

    Slowdance likes this.
  14. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    ALL "new " dances are created, essentially, for financial reasons ( with a tad of ego )..
  15. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura Maestro 'Sonero' Lavoe

    Here's Carlos Cinta (a traditional bachata instructor):

    "Congress dancers are defending their friends....dominicans are defending their culture. All this "fusion" has created "CON-fusion". The real situation is being forgotten because everybody's wall is up in defense of their friends (and my friends too).


    In da real world THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS 'DOMINICAN BACHATA'...'SENSUAL'....'MODERN' there is only......"BACHATA". (If u don't believe me ask any musician or regular Latino person NOT CONNECTED TO THE CONGRESS DANCE SCENE)

    And why does it seem like it's dominicans vs the congress community...oh maybe because it's THEIR culture THEIR music THEIR dance that's being exploited n changed n mutated by majority of every one else. If it was called something different. ..I guarantee u wouldn't hear a word from them. It's ok to not like what they are saying or how they say it...but do you truly understand WHY they r saying it.

    Stop being offended by WHAT they say and focus on WHY they r saying it."
    manzanadulce, Offbeat, lidiap and 3 others like this.
  16. granrey

    granrey Sonero

    Im dominican and I personally have no problem with bachata evolving and or fusing with other rythms.

    However, I can say bachata typically had no turns or figures. It was pretty much danced chest to chest very tight. The male right leg was in between the woman's legs. If a girl decided to dance a bachata with you, the oddds were that she was your gf or she really liked you.

    It actually susprises me how this music that almost dissapeared in dominican republic in the 1980's. It has become popular outside the country.

    Bachata used to be played in one radio station only called "radio guarachita" and if i remember correclty it was an AM radio station and music was sold on cassetes mostly.

    The music was almost underground as bachata singers also had some songs (not necessarily bachata, mostly merengue) that had too much double meanings (sexual) for main stream. So, it had a bad stigma.

    My step dad played it often at home from cassettes but my mom hated it.

    I still remember a song that said : "I bet you cant turn off my little light bulb" he was refering to his male part.

    Also bachata had some songs about love problems and that imo did the breaktrough since it kind of replaced boleros and baladas plus it could be played with a very tiny band.

    Anyhow, merengue had similar problems before but the dictator gave a huge support to the rhythm and it became popular thx to him.

    It makes me wonder if other rythms would have survived like : "mangulina" which used to be popular but had an stigma of being farmer/country music similar to bachata.
    LarsM, cachondea, Slowdance and 3 others like this.
  17. Jag75

    Jag75 Shine Officer

    I love bachata romantica take it or leave it.

    If it's fun - what's the deal anyway. So many "experts" pretend to be authorities on any dance style, as though it should never evolve.

    The whole point of Bachata "back in the day" was because it was sexy and caliente. The modern version expands on that. If people can't deal with that that's their own problem, really, not mine.

    My preference by far is salsa over bachata, zouk, kizomba, merengue etc. Having said that I still regard bachata as a fun dance, more a way to unwind as it's not as cerebral as salsa, and if danced with a fun partner it becomes a fun dance.

    To be honest Sabrosura, whilst I know you want to start a discussion and it's probably for the better as everyone will get each other's perspectives - I'm not a fan of people like Josue pretending they are experts simply because they are narrow minded.
    Smejmoon and wol like this.
  18. elanimal

    elanimal Tumbao

    That's a good video by Carlos Cinta. He hit a few important points, including the fact that in a whole night of bachata at a Congress, he'll hear 6 or 7 legit Dominican bachatas. I say just call it something else. It's no longer bachata if neither the music OR the dance correspond to the original. He also says Congress organizers are hiring third-rate 'Dominican bachata' teachers. It's not a priority. I for one am glad Boston is bringing Jorjet and Alex and Desiree, who are about as legit as they come.

    Interesting @granrey. What artists do you think brought bachata to the rest of the world? Would it be wrong to say it was Juan Luis Guerra who made it global? Is it then kind of strange that I rarely hear JLG anymore?

    That's the thing man. Bachata was already 'romantic' before Prince Royce and Romeo Santos came in the picture, and before D&D started doing workshops calling their zouk fusion and dancing to a Beyonce cover 'Bachata Sensual.' Again, the name doesn't match the dance OR the music.

    Again, as everyone has said, it's not a bad style in itself. Just look at the views, in spite of being a subpar vertical video from a damn cell phone. People are drawn to it without a doubt and it should continue to be taught! But... bachata is already romantic. Note the name of this next video, which is mighty ironic because Carlos Cinta himself says 'Sensual Bachata is not my expertise.' Now we know, obviously, his video with the rubber ducky mic in the pool is tongue in cheek. But he should have made it clear that he IS indeed every bit the expert of sensual bachata, just what has come to represent sensual bachata is not bachata at all.

    *It's not a great video because the timing is a bit off, but you catch my drift*

    Final video. This ain't 'Sensual Bachata?' It isn't. It's just 'Bachata' plain and simple. D&D absolutely should call it something else.

    There's also a racial element to all this, I hate to admit. It's abundantly clear they're appropriating the word 'Bachata' for $$$, when they're not dancing bachata or to bachata music. It is absolutely not fair that a good-looking Spanish couple can piggyback on Caribbean culture for monetary gain. The irony is too rich. Think about that.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
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  19. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Extrapolating that thought, would it then be fair to say that, EVERY non latino, who teaches any of the latin dances, are doing exactly the same, in many cases , by not using appropriate music for teaching and dance ? .

    I would to a point, agree , but unfortunately , the open market place sets up its "stall" , to please all comers . Being a traditionalist , I gave up the fight , many moons ago , except with my own little corner in the dance world .. !
    Slowdance and Poundpapi like this.
  20. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    To be fair to everyone I watched the video with sound off. And I saw brasilian zouk, bachata and salsa there for sure. If I recall correctly guys do fusion dance to bachata like music. But they're doing it good, so dancers like it.
    kbitten and wol like this.

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