With a history attached to the countryside and rural neighborhoods of the Dominican Republic during the 1960s, bachata dance and music is a well-known form of expression. While the underlying themes of bachata dance and the accompanying melody typically surround a romantic subject, other emotions like sadness and heartache also become a part of this type of dance, which is also referred to as "bitter."
The creation of bachata dance was the brainchild of servants, who were the first to embrace this form of movement. The music was generally played after returning home from a hard day at work. Dancers performed to music created with the use of everyday items that were commonly found in the backyard, including garbage cans and fences. In some parts of the Dominican Republic, the term 'bachata' actually means trash, while others view the term to suggest a celebration or party. Another theory regarding the history behind bachata dance and music is that it came from the Italian Ballata, a formally popular music that once thrived many centuries ago in Italy.
Throughout the years, bachata dance and music held close ties to the pan Latin- American style called bolero, which was also romantic in nature. Later, merengue and salsa served as an influence for bachata dance, which infused a faster pace and the use of various guitar styles. As a rule of thumb, male singers provide the lyrical accompaniment of the dance with early icons including Jose Manuel Calderon, Ramon Cordero, and Rafeal Encarnacion. Today, an electric guitar is used to supply dancers with music that is full of rhythm. Overall, the use of electric instruments are much easier to groove to than earlier styles.
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