Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chile - Cueca

Cueca, Chilean folklore dance. TROVA Group.

Sent by Noelle, a postcrosser from Santiago, Chile.

This is from Wikipedia : Cueca (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkweka]) is a family of musical styles and associated dances from Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina. In Chile, the cueca holds the status of national dance, where it was officially selected on September 18, 1979.

While its origins are not clearly defined, it is considered to have Spanish and African influences, among others. The most widespread version of its origins relates it with the zamacueca which arose in Peru as a variation of Spanish Fandango dancing with criollo and African influences. The dance is then thought to have passed to Chile and Bolivia, where its name was shortened and where it continued to evolve. Due to the dance's popularity in the region, the Peruvian evolution of the zamacueca was nicknamed "la chilena", "the Chilean", due to similarities between the dances. Later, after the Pacific War, the term marinera, in honor of Peru's naval combatants and hostile attitude towards Chile was used in place of "la chilena." The Marinera, Zamba and the Cueca have different styles that distinct them from each other and their "root" which is the zamacueca.

Another theory is that Cueca originated in the early 19th century bordellos of South America, as a pas de deux facilitating partner finding.

The usual interpretation of this courting dance is zoomorphic: it tries to reenact the courting ritual of a rooster and a hen. The male displays a quite enthusiastic and at times even aggressive attitude while attempting to court the female, but the dance often finishes with the man kneeling on one knee, with the woman placing her foot triumphantly on his raised knee.

The clothing worn during the cueca dance is very traditional Chilean clothes. The men in the dance wear the huaso's hat, shirts, flannel poncho, riding pants and boots, short jacket, riding boots, and spurs. Women wore flowered dresses with an apron. ( The dance of the cueca is done with a sense of the rooster and the chicken. The man approaches the woman and offers his arm, then the women accompanies him and they walk around the room. They then face each other and hold their handkerchief in the air, and being to dance. They never touch, but still maintain contact through facial expressions and movements. The white handkerchief must be waved; this writer has seen Chileans using paper handkerchieves from a box rather than dance the cueca without one.(

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