Bachata is another dance from the Dominican Republic, with subjects of forlorn emotion, romance, and heartbreak. Bachata is the equivalent of Blues in America, many of the same themes are discussed a similar resolutions such as looking for yourself at the bottom of the bottle. You can easily recognize bachata for its predominant use of the electric guitar which usually plucks out the main rhythm, usually an eight note run. An evolution from the Bolero, bachata has had much success in clubs in recent years.
The dance itself, also originated in the Dominican Republic, is a 4 step beat with a tap or pop on the 4th beat. The motion is from side to side with both a closed and open frame. The premise is to be brushing belt buckles, i.e. the closed position. This can be a slightly more intimate dance, and unfortunately has sometimes received a reputation of being “just grinding”. There are gyrating motions occurring yet the natural movements of your hips should not be confused with or compared to “grind booty dancing™” (yea i trademarked it!). In fact if you are dancing together appropriately your hips should move in unison, i.e. no grinding, which comes from opposing motion. I must admit that at first I thought it was kind of scandalous and would only dance with girls I knew really well or wanted to, if you know what I mean…sweet! But its more than that; it’s a sharing of closeness without having to be sexual. The Puritanical heritage of America has blinded and shunned many of us from the innate passions of humanity. Well, now that I’ve attacked our society, lets examine the footwork.
This music form had a rough beginning from censorship, to denigration, to almost extinction. After the Trujillo dictatorship ended, censorship feel away and bachata poked its head onto the scene. Yet the high society of the time resisted its immersion, feeling bachata was a backwards, country-people, lower art form and branded as unfit and immoral for society. From here bachateros were made to play in the rougher parts of town like brothels and bars, further tarnishing its name. Irregardless it was still popular amongst the countryside even as Merengue became highlighted as the Official Music of the country.
The popularity eventually lead to a collapse of the unofficial censoring. An amalgamation of merengue and bachata furthered the nationalization of the style and brought it more into the limelight. Pioneers like Luis Vargas and Antony Santos were the first generation for pop stars for Bachata. Eventually making its way to New York, bachata has a strong following rivaling that of salsa. Aventura is probably the best known bachata group worldwide, with its single “Obsesion”.
Hector Acosta - "Me Voy"
Hector Acosta left the popular Los Toros Band in 2006 to form his own orchestra, a move that gained him an even larger following. The first album of this venture, 2006's Sigo Siendo Yo, generated the fan favorites "Me Voy" and "Primavera Azul." "Me Voy" featuring Anthony "Romeo' Santos from Aventura, also appeared on 2008's Mitad Mitad.
Aventura - "Mi Corazoncito"
Currently the biggest name in urban bachata, Aventura has had over 20 hits emerge from their six studio albums. "Mi Corazoncito" was the big winner during the 2008 awards season takng home 'best song' at Premio Lo Nuestro, Billboard Latin Music and ASCAP Latin Music awards.
Yoskar Sarante - "No Tengo Suerte En El Amor"
A well-known name among bachateros, Yoskar Sarante is involved with nueva bachata, sometimes called 'bachateo' which is a mix of reggaeton and bachata. Whether a track is Dominican reggaeton, bachata or bachateo, the themes are almost always romantic.
Monchy & Alexandra - "No Es Una Novela"
Dominican Monchy & Alexandra have almost single-handedly (or double-handedly) brought bachata to the top of the charts -- well, at least they were the first because Aventura has taken over the #1 spot. There were a lot of disappointed fans when the duo broke up in 2008. "No Es Una Novela" is arguably their biggest hit but it just never seems to get old, no matter how often its played on the airwaves.
Daniel Moncion - "Decidi"
The songs of Daniel Moncion have been performed by some of the most popular bachateros icluding Frank Reyes, Monchy & Alexandra and Alex Bueno. "Culpable" was the big hit from Moncion's sophmore album Decidi but I like this one better.
Domenic Marte - "Yo Me Equivoca"
Another Dominican/Puerto Rican musician from the East Coast (Lawrence, MA), Dominic Marte composes much of his own music. His 2004 debut album Intimamente earned him an "Artist of the Year' nomination at both the 2005 Premio Lo Nuestro and Billboard Latin Music awards.
Bachata is a style of dance that accompanies the Bachata (music). It has its origins in the Dominican Republic.
The basic dance sequence is a full 8 count in a side-to-side motion although, traditionally it was a back and forth motion. Counts 1 through 3 and 5 through 7, when taken, generate a natural hip motion. Counts 4 and 8, consists of a “pop” movement. The "pop" depending on a person’s style is executed lifting or tapping a foot or using stylish footwork while popping the hip to the side opposite of the natural Cuban hip motion. Bachata music has a slight accent in rhythm at every fourth count, indicating when the “pop” should happen. Note: The “pop” will always be done in the opposite direction of the last step, while the next step will be taken on the same direction of the pop.