Tito Puente Fuels/Fueled-By Dancers SOB's NYC 9/13/99.
Tito Puente, the Cha-Cha-Cha and Mambo master, played at the
S.O.B.'s nightclub in New York on September 13th, 1999 where the Mambo is alive,
(making his characteristic muecas) with his orchestra.
To see photographs of the event "click here".
There were a couple of
women, Daria Sanchez and Nancy Cruz, that were dancing "on clave". It was
clear that they were there to see Tito, and had worked there way up through the crowed
of dancers until they were right in front of the stage.
Out of the two of them there was this one girl. Daria. She is Mexican but does not speak Spanish.
She was on clave ... rock solid ... on clave.
She was dancing such that her retreating or receptive/feminine step was on the "tressillo"
side (3 note side) of the clave, the syncopated bar.
She was marking the time on her two charge forward. She knew routines to Tito’s music.
Long routines, with a choral effect because she kept
bringing it back to a syncopated Cha-Cha-Cha step that flowed out of her as if it
was of her own invention. She was playing with Tito, and Tito
was playing to her. This built up the energy of the room like a pressure cooker.
A line of dancers got on clave with her. Tito gave a performance
of his Hottest capabilities fueled in part by the group of dancers that had formed
in front of the stage. The "descarga" continued until the end of
the first set as Tito added extended improvisational sections to his most known
records. This caught the dancers somewhat of guard. They were
in interplay with the band; picking up, settling into, and never loosing the clave.
The band was on to them. You could get on the time with them;
they were silent human syncopated metronomes.