Meaning of Bolero


The term bolero can be used in multiple ways. Its most common use is associated with a genre of rhythm slow that emerged in Cuba in the middle of the nineteenth century.

According to DigoPaul, the bolero, which can be danced, is characterized by the melancholy of its lyrics and by its two-by-four beat. In its first stage, its songs were performed in clubs and bars, although later it became established in its romantic style and became very popular as music for the development of serenades.

José Vivanco Sánchez, alias “Pepe”, is considered one of the pioneers of the bolero. Chavela Vargas, Javier Solís, Alfredo Sadel and Lucho Gatica are other great exponents of the first stage of this genre.

Although from 1960 the bolero lost popularity, at the end of the 20th century it began to recover it thanks to singers such as Luis Miguel, Cristian Castro and Alejandro Fernández and composers such as Armando Manzanero.

It should be noted that, in its historical development, the bolero gave rise to several subgenres, such as the ranchero bolero (which is combined with the ranchera music of Mexico) and the bolero son (influenced by the son of Cuba).

Given the slowness of its rhythm, the bolero is ideal for couples who do not have much skill to dance or to enjoy it at parties or intimate evenings. Learning the basic steps is not difficult although, since it is about music, it requires memorization, coordination and, once everything is internalized, constant practice until a good performance is achieved.

There are many courses, both free and paid, in which it is possible to learn to dance bolero in large groups, something that can seem overwhelming to the most shy but is very beneficial to break the ice and finally get carried away by the music. One of the main characteristics of this dance is that the feet must almost always remain glued to the ground, that is, it does not require the execution of acrobatics or jumps, and the cader always moves to the beat.

The list of steps of the bolero is extensive, although learning the basics is enough to start enjoying this dance; the others are: square, basic in diagonals, small turn, balanced forward, balanced backward, pair turns, forward, straight balanced, girl’s cross, crossed, small drop, reverse dance and reverse balanced.

In the basic step, for example, the movements of each member of the couple must be mirrored, so if one of them moves one foot forward, the other must move the opposite one back. This dance gives rise to a large number of variations, which can be learned or improvised, depending on the degree of skill and creativity.

In Spain, the bolero is a dance of moderate tempo and ternary beat that can be danced alone, as a couple or in groups of couples. This dance is considered as an evolution of the sequence.

The Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini, considered one of the greatest of all time along with such names as Mozart and Beethoven, published a series of works in 1835, including a tilted ” Bolero “, sung in Today by acclaimed Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli. The book in which we can find the score is called ” Les soirées musicals “, which we can translate as “The musical evenings”, and has the subtitle ” Huit Ariettes et Quatre Duos Italiens “, “Eight arietas and four Italian duets”.

Beyond music, the term bolero allows one to refer according to the geographical region to a lying subject, a shoe shine, a kind of hat, a toy and a garment.