Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dances: Mexican Institute of Sound and "La Kebradita"

"Come on baby, let's do The Twist." One of the first songs I think I remember in my life was The Twist. As I did a little reflecting on today's random song, which is named after a dance called La Quebradita, I started tallying up some songs in my head. I was amazed at how many I could think of that were named after dances. The Twist, obviously but then there were others. I can remember the Loco-Motion, the Hustle, the Electric Slide, the Boot Scootin' Boogie, the Watusi, the Time Warp, and the Macarena, to name a few. There are a lot. Just listen to the song The Land of 1000 Dances and you can hear Wilson Pickett go through a whole list of them. It seems like we like to sing about dancing and styles of dances almost as much as we like to sing about love, or women.

And what is La Quebradita? It is a dance that requires a lot of strength to perform. It's name refers to a "little break," in which the male partner lowers his female partner almost to the floor and then jerks her back up. However, there is a lot more going on there. The dance is very fast, and the examples I've seen make it look like the male partner whips the female partner around on her feet, with lots of acrobatics such as throwing her in the air and catching her. Sometimes she is thrown into spins, sometimes into flips. It's not an old person's dance by any means.

In La Kebradita, the Mexican Institute of Sound slows the beat down a bit. The Mexican Institute of Sound is Mexico City-based producer and DJ Camilo Lara's electronic music project. Fusing Mexican folk music with modern sounds, MIS is part of a growing movement in Mexican music. Lara started with mixing music for holiday mix tapes, and after getting enthusiastic receptions for his creations, began making musical collages under the moniker Mexican Institute of Sound while relying on samples of Mexican classical music. He has released four albums, with a fifth due next year. La Kebradita is from his 2007 CD Piñata.