The Panamanian punto (Spanish: punto panameño or el punto) is a Hispanic musical genre which includes melodic and choreographic form. It has composition created specifically for dance, typically performed by a single couple as a demonstration of skill, precision and grace. Unlike the tamborito and the Panamanian cumbia, it is performed as an intermission between other dances or music at a party or event.
ChoreographyTraditionally, one male and one female participant perform the dance.
The dance begins with the male kneeling with his left knee on the floor. Once the music begins to play, he takes the hands of the female dancer, who circles around him to the beat of the music.
The male and female back away from each other, often emoting longing and passion. The male then initiates the dance with the following steps, repeating in order two or three times: # El Paseo () – The male and the female walk around in a wide circle. # El Zapateo – Face to face, the dancers show off their skill and dexterity during a change of music. # El Escobillao – The couple separate widely, often with a short backward-running movement. # El Seguidilla – The couple move closer and rotate with finesse in the center of the circle until a musical change indicates a return to the paseo.
The musical accompaniment includes:
Drums were not original to the genre and trumpets, common in traditional Spanish music, may also be added.
The punto's characteristic time corresponds, in terms of classical rhythms, to an iambic dipodia. The melodic cantilena of the punto alternates two and three, with the trio predominating; the accompanying formula is invariable of ternary subdivision.
This is a partial list of the regional variants of the punto: