We are approaching the celebration of the Dominican Republic Day Parade where New York City gets ready for a day of festivities in the streets of Manhattan. As people come from all over to celebrate the Dominican culture, I happen to think of the past summers where the colors of the Dominican flag take over. The strong beats of our music playing along with la güira, tambora, and our patriotic cry, "Hey Hey Hey ...", and some of the soulful folks sing the famous line by Fernando Villalona , "Dominicano soy, de mis raices yo no voy a olvidarme, soy de una raza tan humilde y tan grande...". We are a culture that appreciates and values our roots and those of our parents. With this reflection I can't help to control the urge to celebrate my culture with the famous traditional dance merengue tipico, also known as perico ripiao.
In the Dominican Republic, its not just the Caribbean heat that will make you sweat but the irresistible merengue tipico dance. This type of merengue is one of the three merengue known in the Dominican Republic. A musical genre, that is the oldest style still commonly played. It originated in the "zone rural de el cíbao". Once you start dancing Perico Ripiao you won't want to stop. Well, you can't stop because the songs are typically 6 to 8 minutes long. This type of dance is fast and requires lots of hip movements. It is a complete body workout! You will sweat but you will have a good time dancing, and laughing to the music. As you dance with your partner, he tells you "vamo coño" and pulling you closer as both of you quickly begin to spin trying to stay on the beat. The goal is to sway and get your hips moving in the same direction as your partner.
I was born and raised in New York City and introduced to this genre by my parents who originated from the Dominican Republic. I remember waking up on Saturday mornings with my mother blasting and dancing to Fefita La Grande while she cleaned the apartment. I vividly recall going to parties and listening to this type of music as I watch my parents dance the night away. If you want to experience this culture's vivian vibes, you should come to Que Lo Que. Que Lo Que is an event that takes place in Uptown's famous Dyckman street at La Marina. At Que Lo Que you get to hear many of your parent's favortie songs that they played in most Dominican households. As the music plays, you will hear Giovanny Polanco, El Prodigio, and La Banda Real along with many more. Dancing traditional merengue tipico outside while the breeze from the water and the dim lights, takes you back to "el patio". Que Lo Que is the place to be!
If this is your vibe join Morir Soñando this Saturday at the next Que lo Que event to celebrate our culture, and good vibes.