A fast ballroom dance. It was made popular in New York and England about 1910 by the dancers Vernon and Irene Castle (one variant was called the ‘Castle walk’). Danced to a fast march in 2/4 or 6/8 time, at about 60 bars per minute, it consisted of a simple walking step for eight counts with a pivot on the first. By World War I it had spread throughout North America and western Europe. It adopted elements of ragtime (particularly danced to Irving Berlin's Alexander's Ragtime Band, 1911), and from about 1912 was gradually absorbed into the various ‘trot’ dances.
V. and I.Castle: Modern Dancing (New York, 1914/R)
P.J.S.Richardson: A History of English Ballroom Dancing (1910–45) (London, 1946)
Ongala, Remmy [Ramadhani Ongala Mtoro, Dr Remmy]
(b Kindu, Belgian Congo [now Democratic Republic of Congo], 1947). Tanzanian composer, guitarist and singer. In 1969 Ongala moved to Uganda; he later moved to Kenya to join the band Orchestra Makassy, before settling in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. After the dissolution of Orchestra Makassy in the early 1980s, he joined and later became the leader of the Orchestra Super Matimila. The socially oriented lyrics of Ongala’s songs and the guitar-driven sound of Orchestra Super Matimila appealed to promoters of WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) in the late 1980s, and Ongala’s exposure to international audiences and his recording sessions in Europe confirmed for him a major role in the international development and promotion of African urban musics. His music typically includes three guitars, saxophones, bass, drums, and lead and backup vocals, and his style reflects influences of earlier Congolese musical genres blended with indigenous rhythms and guitar playing styles of East Africa; he credits Franco as an early influence. Ongala, often referred to as ‘the Voice of Tanzania’, communicates to and for the poor and disaffected, as is reflected in the political and social commentary of many of his songs’ lyrics, most of which are in KiSwahili. Ongala refers to his music as ubongo, intelligent or ‘brain’ music; his songs force people to reflect on the issue of inequality and the need for increased AIDS awareness.
Songs for the Poor Man, perf. R. Ongala and Orchestra Super Matimila, Real World 91315-2 (1989); reissued as Real World 2305-2 (1993)
Mambo, perf. R. Ongala and Orchestra Super Matimila, Real World 2320-2 (1992)
Sema, perf. R. Ongala and Orchestra Super Matimila, WOMAD WSCD0002 (1996)
GREGORY F. BARZ
(b Tokyo, 18 Feb 1933). American composer and performance artist of Japanese descent. She attended Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied music and philosophy. She married Ichiyanagi in 1956. In the early 1960s the couple's Manhattan apartment became the site of many performance events; several of the artists who performed there were later associated with Fluxus. Dubbed ‘the high priestess of the happening’, Ono was a pioneer in the conceptual art movement. She once claimed that ‘the only sound that exists … is the sound of the mind’. Her conceptual scores, described by Maciunas as ‘Neo-Haiku Theater’, often consist of only brief instructions. Earth Piece (1963), for example, instructs the performer to ‘listen to the sound of the earth turning’. In Cut Piece (1964), Ono invited the audience to cut up her dress. A specialist in extended vocal techniques, her first performance in sound (1961) featured screams, sighs, moans, gasps and multi-phonics. After her marriage to John Lennon in 1969, the couple performed with the Plastic Ono Band, fusing rock and avant-garde styles.