Spanish/Arabic Fusion style of dancing is my personal "guisado" (Spanish Stew) of many dances that I have learned since I was a child. The diverse mix of steps from Flamenco, Puerto Rican Folkloric and Latin, add Turkish, North African, Egyptian with a dash of ballet, modern and jazz. All these styles in dance are like the many spices & ingredients tasted in the "guisado".. Spanish/Arabic Fusion contains all these elements. It allows for a variety of steps from all the dance forms, which gives the choreography it's many moods......ALTAGRACIA BRUNO


Historically Spanish and Arabic music and dance had been fused for 700 years during the occupation of the Moors in Spain. Columbus' sail to the "New World" in 1492 opened the Caribbean and South America to Spain and introduced new forms of music and dance to Spain. In Puerto Rico one of the islands colonized by the Spaniards, Jibaro music represents the mix of the musical traditions of Spain with its Moorish influences, particularly in the performance of the "Seis". Seis is a form of Jibaro music and dance that came to Puerto Rico from Spain in the 1680's. As a Child and into my teens I remember watching the performance of a Seis Chorreao. One singer would start the song and each of the other singers in the group would improvise his portion of the story in song. The Spaniards stringed instruments evolved into the distinctive Puerto Rican "Cuatro", a small ten stringed guitar. The "Gourd Cuatro" looks like an "Oud".

La Plena is another form of Folkloric music and dance from Puerto Rico, which is only 100 years old. La Plena has West African roots like La Bomba which is the oldest oldest Folkloric dance. The difference between the two is La Plena has Spanish/Moorish roots. Two instruments used in La Plena are the Pandero (originated in Spain, an instrument whose origins are the Moroccan Bendir) and the Cuatro.





FLAMENCO: THE EARLY YEARS & MODERN ERA - Paco Sevilla (Dance Archives - Lincoln Center Dance Library)

PUERTO RICAN FOLKLORIC DANCE - Puerto Rico Folkloric Dance Org. Library of Congress Collection





The Caribbean Rose was the beautiful daughter of a tavern keeper from Puerto Rico circa 1500's. One day, she met and fell in love with a handsome Spanish pirate who would bring her gifts and tales of his adventures. He would teach her songs and dances he learned from his adventures in Arabia and the Spanish colonies. The Caribbean Rose being a talented performer herself would take the music and dances she learned from her handsome pirate and would entertain the clients at the tavern.