The Gari-Slide � 
By: Jos� Francisco �vila

� 2014 by Jos� Francisco �vila, All Rights Reserved


According to the candidature form for Proclamation of masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity, Garifuna dance is just as varied as the types of songs and music. Adding to the variety of Garifuna dances, is the The Gari-Slide�, a line dance set to Andy Palacio's song Lidan Aba, authored and choreographed by Mariano Martinez.


Jose Francisco Avila 

 The Gari-Slide is the latest improvisation in Garifuna dance and represents the latest development in Garifuna dance. It is a line dance, which  is a choreographed dance with a repeated sequence of steps in which a group of people dance in one or more lines or rows without regard for the gender of the individuals, all facing the same direction, and executing the steps at the same time. Line dancers are not in physical contact with each other. Think the Garifuna version of the  "Electric Slide"!




During the final preparations for the 2011 Yellow White Black Gala, I was trying to figure a way to generate the momentum that was generated during the 2010 Yellow White Black Gala by Mariano Martinez' presentation of the Gunchei Garifuna Dance.
On Monday,  October 24, 2011 While on the New York City subway, on the way to the Garifuna Coalition's office, I was listening to Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collectives' Album "Watina" and  became fascinated by the song "Lidan Aban" and played it over and over  all the way though the 45 minute train ride. 
At some point, I decided that this would be a great song to feature at the gala. When I arrived at the office I shared  the idea with Mrs. Sulma Arzu-Brown, Executive director of the Garifuna Coalition and explained my idea to her and mentioned that I was going to surprise her at the gala but decided instead to share the idea, so we could work it together.  I played the song for her and she was  moved by it and we both agreed that I would e mail the song to choreographer Mariano martinez, who would be recognized at the gala,  so he could develop a Choreography around it.  I turned on my computer and sent the file as promised to Sulma and Mariano. 
Following a sequence of email exchange, Mariano created the Garifuna-slide, with the first rehearsal held on Wednesday, November 9 at 7 pm at Sulma's residence in the Bronx and the second on Wednesday, November 16 and its debut at the 2012 Yellow White Black Garifuna Settlement Day Fundraising Gala on Saturday, November 19, 2011 at the Eastwood Manor's Crystal Room
The choreography was Registered with the United States Copyright Office under Number PA0001818042 with date of 2012-01-04.
Among the objectives of the Proclamation of Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity is development of an inventory of Garifuna art forms (such as songs, music, dances and related customs etc.) The Gari-Slide will go into history as New York's Garifuna-American contribution to such an inventory. 


Photos courtesy of :Teofilo Colon Jr. 2011 All Rights Reserved.