Paso Doble

April 17th, 2010

In Spanish the name ‘Paso Doble’ means ‘Two Step’, which refers to the marching nature of the steps. The Paso Doble was one of many Spanish folk dances associated with various aspects of Spanish life. In particular, the Paso Doble is based on the bullfight. It portrays the Torero (the male dancer) and his cape (his partner), and is danced to the characteristic march music used for procession at the beginning of a corrida and during the bullfighters’ entrance (paseo) or during the passes (faena) just before the kill. The lady plays the part of the matador’s cape, but can also represent a flamenco dancer in some figures. Bullfights date back to ancient Crete, but only in the 1700s where they were held in Spain. The dance itself became popular amongst the upper classes of Paris in the 1930’s, and acquired a set of French names for many of the steps and began to take on the characteristics we are familiar with today.
The competitive version of the Paso Doble is often choreographed to the piece ‘Espana Cani’ (the Spanish Gypsy Dance), which has three crescendos in the music. These highlights are usually matched in the choreography by dramatic poses, adding to the spectacular nature of the dance. Accordingly, most other ballroom Paso Doble tunes are written with similar breaks at the same point in the music. Because of its inherently choreographed tradition, ballroom Paso Doble is mainly only danced competitively, almost never socially — or at least not without dancing some sort of previously learned routine. However, in Spain, France, and some parts of Germany to the west of the Rhine, it can be found danced socially as a lead (not pre-choreographed) dance.
Marie-Louise and Garreth enjoy exploring the unique characterisation of this dance giving them chance to explore moving their bodies in a stylized way so different to the other Latin American dances. Their Paso Doble is beautiful, dramatic and authentically proud.

Comments are closed.