If you are both a dance and travel lover, then one of the must do things during your travels is to take in the local cultural dances. The traditional dances of a country or region tell us a lot about the musical and cultural heritage of the place. They also reflect the life and ethnic history of the people. These cultural dances, developed by the people and handed down over generations can be religious or ritual, folk, historical or modern. Most cultural dances are performed at dance social gatherings or festivals with the accompaniment of traditional music of the region. Here are some of the well-known cultural dances around the world.
The Portuguese Corridinho is considered to be a popular form of the dance named Algarve. It is also known to be a peasant dance. It is usually performed by 6 couples wearing colourful more detailed costumes and uses more of the Portuguese colours of green and red in the design. The girls wear long skirts and tie a scarf for their hair and the boys wear a hat.
This cultural dance is known for its exquisite and rhythmic stomping like footwork. It is usually danced to a fast beat of hand-clapping, guitars and accordions and involves singing. The pairs form two circles, girls on the inside and boys on the outside changing direction within the circles.
You also see people enjoying this dance in the past Portuguese empire states like Goa, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, a small part of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Macau (China).
The tango was born out of the socio-cultural setting of Buenos Aires in the 1880s when the city took in millions of lower class immigrants: workers, artisans, sailors, and textile workers. The tango has been called a “dance of sorrow”, it represents frustrated love and human fatality, although originally the dance was not so deep and serious.
The steps are sexual and aggressive, the music portrays longing and despair. This cultural dance was supposed to be a representation of the interaction between a pimp and a prostitute or featured a duel between two men for a women’s attention. These duels always resulted in the symbolic death of one man, and the triumphant man claiming the woman as his reward.
By the 1940s, the tango reaches its peak of popularity, danced and performed in Buenos Aires cabarets, dance salons, social and sports clubs, and restaurants. In more recent years, the tango has migrated to France, England, and North America and many other parts of the world.
Chinese Fan Dance
The traditional Chinese fan dance is considered to be an ancient form of folk dance. It is has been a part of China’s heritage for over two thousand years. Younger Chinese generations learn classic tales and lore of China’s past through the dance. One can often see fan dancers at festivals, theatre performances, and other exhibition-style events. Fans are used as props, complimenting brightly-coloured costumes for an eye-catching spectacle of movement.
Most Chinese believe that fan dancing also serves as a physical exercise, as well as an exercise in discipline for its participants. The choreography that comes along with fan dancing requires physical fitness and the ability to memorize routines. The Chinese fan dance developed as a way to share stories, preserve the culture and to communicate feelings and emotions without words. This was vitally important to the Chinese, as the dances were created even before written symbols.
See Also: Celebrate the Mid – Autumn Festival of China
Historically, the fan dance has been portrayed in two forms – civilian and military. Most people who attend a fan dance performance see the civilian form. It is detailed and graceful and resembles a ballet in its pace and form. Fans and other props such as feathered banners are used to increase the beauty of the dancing. In the military-based fan dancing, the military personnel use their weapons simulating the same coordinated group movements, but in a more rigid and authoritative style. It is mostly performed for military exercises and exhibitions.
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