Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Marinera Norteña--Peru's Dance of Love

"Marinera" is Peru's national dance. It is a dance of courtship that showcases a man and a young woman flirting through movement. I've watched this dance performed hundreds of time at parties and other Peruvian celebrations and each time I'm drawn into story, at the edge of my seat, wondering if they'll find love in the end. It's a very dramatic and powerful dance.

The origins of Marinera, like all things Peruvian, are a mix of Andean, Spanish and African descent. Our dances are replete with symbolic meaning. Some say the flowing of the skirt is meant to echo ocean waves, hence the name "Marinera" (Of the Sea). Personally, I've always likened the man's sharp kicks and rapid travel movements to those of a Peruvian  paso horse and the woman's handkerchief, skirt flipping and forward leg kicking to those of a bird. Don't know about you, but I see a horse chasing after a beautiful dove. Very romantic indeed.

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