Do you know the Paso Doble is a Spanish Dance from France? But how is this possible? We will take you to the all-long tale from France to Spain and know how Paso Doble came into existence.
About Pasodoble Dance
Paso Doble or Pasodoble is a lively dance style to the duple meter march-like pasodoble music. Infantry soldiers used this brisk military march from Spain. Due to its speed, troops could move at 120 steps per minute. This military march gave rise to modern Spanish dance, synchronised with music, including voice and instruments and instrumental music often played during a bullfight.
History of Pasodoble Dance in Spain
Though Pasodoble is a Spanish dance form that originated in southern France, it is modelled after the Spanish bullfight’s sound, drama, and movement.
Paso doble, unlike Paso a Dos, means “Dance for two,” in Spanish, it means “two steps.” The term “Two Step” describes the marching motion of the steps, which may be numbered as “1, 2” for “Left, Right,” as in March.
In the 1930s, Paso Doble became popular amongst the upper classes of Paris and acquired a set of French names for many steps. Its popularity is still limited amongst English-speaking societies. This dance is played regularly as a social dance in some places like Spain, France, Vietnam, Australia, and Germany.
The competition version of the Paso Doble is danced in a bullfight nature. In that, the chest is kept high, the shoulders wide and down, and the head kept back but inclined slightly forward and down.
Pasodoble is based on music played at bullfights during the bullfighters’ entrance and the passes just before the kill. The core person of Pasodoble plays the part of the matador. The follower plays the role of the matador’s cape but may also represent the bull or a Flamenco dancer in some dance postures.
Pasodoble dance is often choreographed to the tune ‘Espana Cani,’ which has three crescendos in the music. Dramatic poses are typically used to complement these poses in the choreography, heightening the dance’s spectacular quality.
Paso Doble is a progressive Latin-American dance, as in some of the notes. The interesting part of the Pasodoble dance is that most forward steps have heel leads.
Paso Doble is the fourth dance in the Latin-American program. The song on which it is performed has breaks in fixed positions (two breaks at syllabus levels, three breaks, and a longer song at Open levels). Traditionally, Paso Doble routines are choreographed to match these breaks and the musical phrases. Accordingly, most other ballroom Paso Doble tunes are written with similar breaks (those without are avoided in most competitions).
Costumes Used in Pasodoble Dance in Spain
The costumes for the Pasodoble dance in Spain are different for Men and Women. The male and female outfits must complete each other in color and style. Traditional Paso Doble outfits for the male consist of matador pants and a suitable bolero jacket, and the outfit is completed with a tie on a white shirt. At the same time, the traditional female outfit is usually red, representing the cape, and consists of a long and wide skirt. Contemporary Paso Doble outfits depend on the music as long as they retain the Spanish influence and change accordingly. The female dancer needs to wear high-heeled shoes. The popular accessories for the Pasodoble dance include fans, long black gloves, matador hats and even masks, and black lace for the women.
Characteristics of Pasodoble Dance:
Several characteristics define the paso doble, including:
- Influences: Flamenco dance is one of the dances that strongly influenced the Paso doble. While performing, the paso doble and flamenco dancers stamp their feet in rhythmic patterns.
- Music: Spanish composer Pascual Marquina Narro’s 1923 composition “España Cañi”— a slow-building song built on a 2/4 marching rhythm—is most often associated with paso doble. “España Cañi’s” structure is featured for many variations of paso doble songs, including modern paso doble songs.
- Steps: Paso doble steps represent a bullfight, with the male partner, the matador, in the lead while the female partner follows. The heads and chest are held high during the Paso Doble, making the dancers’ movements more sharp and confident. The dance also features seven steps like “huit” or “sur place” that occur during breaks or “highlights” in the song, and these names are in French. In competitive ballroom dancing, the number of highlights varies according to whether the competition is at an open level or syllabus level. This allows for improvisation at the open level and restricts the dancers to specific movements at the syllabus level.
Come out and join the fun! Learn the steps of the Pasodoble and let your feet do the talking!
Check out this video of Pasodoble Dance: