Roots video links

A few videoclips of different dance styles referred to at Chapter 1.3 on Roots, influences, evolution plus any other interesting historical videos. All are via links to Youtube.

La vencedora, a Columbian demo of a European court dance style which also includes versions of Paseala, Enchufla (p’arriba) and Tumbau Francesa.

This video of the Ballet Folklorico de Camaguey Contradanza illustrates folkloric dancing including moves which seem to be the origins of Paseala, Tumbau Francesa and, in Rueda linea formation, Fuente and Tunnel.

Variations of ‘Tumbau Francesa’ (French drum) dances brought to Cuba from Haiti at the end of the 18th Century. The driving rhythms of the drums characterise the dance. African-influenced dances of the slaves melded with elements from the European court dances of their coffee-plantation-owning masters.

More Tumbau Francesa dance style, performed by Ballet Folklorico Cutumba de Santiago (Cuba). This is ‘Rueda linea’, complete wth the distinctive moves of Tunnel and Fuente.

Danzon, is still the national dance of Cuba and gave rise in turn to Son.

This unusual black and white silent film dating from 1914 from the Prelinger archives shows people dancing in a similar way to Rueda, passing partners with one person calling. From the period and speed it may have been to some kind of Jazz music? One guy smokes all the way through which looks very hazardous for his partners.

African-derived Rumba, Guaguanco style. Spot the influences on Casino style.

Son was exported from Cuba, its name (confusingly) changed, and converted into what eventually became international ballroom Rumba. In original form, a restained dance in keeping with its origins in Danzon as in this example from Boogalu productions.

Show style Son can be more elaborate, but is still restrained compared with later dances like Mambo and Casino. The quality of this video is poor but the dancing is exceptional; Juan Carlos Pachego (now based in Peterborough) in superb form dancing with Kerry Ribchester.

I really like this video of two women at a 1940s reenactment dancing slow jive style.

In this video of Mambo in Cuba, you can see the original Mambo steps, and a very short example of ‘Mambo a la calle’ (street Mambo), possibly the origin or an influence on the Echevarria move, although the original move includes kicks.

Mambo was too fast for many. Added syncopation and slower tempo led to the Cha cha cha. This is Cuban Cha cha cha, very different from the international ballroom style. Another poor quality video, but worthwhile as there is a lot of interest. This appears to be a younger Juan Carlos Pachego.

And then there was Rock n Roll. Most videoclips on Youtube are showstyle Rock and Roll, but this example courtesy of members of the Townsville Rock n Roll Club is more typical and restrained.

Not quite Rueda, but period film of a group dancing to Son music, taken from a Cuban documentary from 1960 called ‘Rhythms of Cuba’ made at a time when Rueda was in its infancy.


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