Mambo (dance)

Mambo (dance)

Mambo .

In the late 1940s, Perez Prado came up with the dance for the mambo music and became the first person to market his music as "mambo". After Havana, Prado moved his music to Mexico, where his music and the dance was adopted. The original mambo dance was characterized by freedom and complicated foot-steps. Some Mexican entertainers became well known dancers like Tongolele, Adalberto Martínez, Rosa Carmina, Tin Tan and Lilia Prado. Most of these accompanied Prado in live presentations or were seen in Mexican films.

The original form of the dance and music are alive and well in Cuba and in taught in dance studios in Mexico City. An example of authentic Mambo dance can be seen in the film 'The Motorcycle Diaries'.


Mambo on 2

The Mambo dance that was invented by Perez Prado and was popular in the 1940s and 50s Cuba, Mexico City, and New York is completely different to the modern dance that New Yorkers now call 'Mambo', which is also known as Salsa "on 2". The original mambo dance contains no breaking steps or basic steps at all. The Cuban dance wasn't accepted by many professional dance teachers. Cuban dancers would describe mambo as "feeling the music" in which sound and movement were merged through the body.[1] Professional dance teachers in the US saw this approach to dancing as "extreme," "undisciplined," and thus, deemed it necessary to standardize the dance to present it as a sell-able commodity for the social or ballroom market[1] The modern dance from New York was popularized in the 70s by Eddie Torres and his contemporaries who were 1st or 2nd generation Puerto Rican immigrants. This style is not danced to Mambo music, for which it is poorly suited, but instead to Salsa music.

The Eddie Torres version of Mambo (or Salsa On 2) was actually developed by dropping the chase from cha cha, when the music became too fast to diligently carry out the chase as a technique. Since the forward break is on 6 it would suggest that the cha cha from which the dance was derived was 1) counted in 4s not 8s and 2) was started with the back break and not the foward break. So, arguably, it is actually On 6 (if you take the beat the forward break is on as the datum). Note, all aspects of the moves are shifted more than one beat which also gives the hint it is missnamed.

Ballroom version of Mambo forward breaks On 2, with a pause/chill on the 1 beat. This makes more sense as all aspects of the moves are then shifted up only one beat (this is a ballroom dancer's opinion and is hence biased).

See also


  1. ^ a b Garcia, D. F. (27 November 2007). "Going Primitive to the Movements and Sounds of Mambo". The Musical Quarterly 89 (4): 505–523. doi:10.1093/musqtl/gdm006. 

External links

  • Baile mi rey, a movie that portrays Mambo and swing dancing in Mexico City. [1]
  • Mambo Videos

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mambo (music) — Mambo Stylistic origins Mainly Danzón with arrangements of son montuno and swing Cultural origins 1940s Cubans in Havana, drawing on Haitian Cuban influences Typical instruments conga, cajon, bongo, timbales, clave …   Wikipedia

  • Mambo — Not to be confused with the mamba snake. Mambo may refer to: mambo jambo In art and entertainment: Mambo (music), a Cuban musical form Mambo (dance), a dance corresponding to mambo music Mambo section, a section in some types of Afro Caribbean… …   Wikipedia

  • mambo — mÉ‘mbəʊ / mæmbəʊ n. fast ballroom dance which originated in Latin America; music for the mambo dance v. dance the mambo …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Mambo! — Original Greek cover Single by Helena Paparizou from the album Protereotita: Euro Edition + Mambo!, Iparhi Logos, The Game of Love …   Wikipedia

  • Mambo a Go Go — Mambo a Go Go, is a music video game produced by Konami where players must rhythmically beat conga drums as colored notes fall from the top of the screen. There are 3 drums, each one divided into three sections, giving players a maximum of nine… …   Wikipedia

  • Mambo (film) — Mambo is a film written and directed in 1952 to 1953 Robert Rossen and released in 1955. A mambo craze spread through the USA in the 1950s, and Rossen aimed to repairing his finances after almost two years without work since his 1951 House Un… …   Wikipedia

  • Mambo No. 5 — is a mambo and jive dance song originally recorded and composed by Pérez Prado in 1949. The song s popularity was renewed by Lou Bega s sampling of the original, released under the same name on Bega s 1999 debut album A Little Bit of Mambo. It… …   Wikipedia

  • Mambo (album) — Mambo Studio album by Azúcar Moreno Released 1991 …   Wikipedia

  • Mambo No. Sex — Studio album by E Rotic Released 1999 …   Wikipedia

  • Mambo — Technik: Latein Art: Paartanz, Gesellschaftstanz Musik: Mambo, Salsa Taktart: 4/4 Takt Tempo …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”