The Paso doble is a dance and music based on the Spanish bullfight. It is the music played at bullfights at the procession of the bullfighters, between stages, and at the end of each session. The dance is based on the way matadors perform in the ring.
In the dance, the man takes the part of the matador, and the woman takes the part of the man's cape (not the bull!). The man's stance (the way he stands) should be proud, and when he has a free arm it should be held slightly bent, rather as matadors do. The photograph of the ice dancers gives a perfect example of what dancers should aim for in this style.
The paso doble is one of the five International Latin ballroom dances. It gives a very good contrast in style with the four other dances. Although so Spanish in style and origin, the dance techniques were first developed in Paris. Later, in mid 20th century London, the Latin and American dances took on their present form.
The most famous piece of paso doble music is the España Cañí or Spanish Gypsy Dance. A sample of La Gracia de Dios gives an idea of the rhythm.
- Romain, Elizabeth and others 1983. The revised technique of Latin American dancing. 5th ed, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, London.
- A matador is the leading man in a bullfighting team. It is he who kills the bull.
- This means two beats per bar of music.
- Berenguer Gonzalez, Ramón T. "La Gracia de Dios" Pasodoble Mp3[permanent dead link]·Authorized Version