SHOW | HIDE "BOLERO / BALADA" DESCRIPTION...
Bolero is a universal, sentimental ballad style, rooted in Spanish-derived African-influenced fusion from Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and later Mexico. The Cuban bolero emerged in Oriente province around 1810. The Puerto Rican style is more closely related to its Spanish root than the syncopated Cuban form. The visit of an Italian opera company to Cuba in 1842 is still heard in the high, passionate voices of the best exponents of bolero; the Cuban middle classes exported it back to Europe in a slowed-down style which held sway in salons and dance halls for decades, its influence heard in songs by George Gershwin and Xavier Cugat. (Marice Ravel's Boléro in 1927 was an instrumental experiment in orchestral dynamics, inspired by the dance hall but having little to do with the Latin style.) Bachata, originating in the Dominican Republic, is a folkish, romantic descendent of bolero. - John Child