The typical Spanish dances are characterized by varying according to each Autonomous Community and by being one of the most important cultural manifestations representing each city. Among them, flamenco and sevillanas are a Spanish brand known anywhere in the world.
Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.
The Aurresku, called in Basque ohorezko aurreskua, is a typical dance of the Basque Country, community located in the north of Spain.
This dance is a kind of reverence that is usually performed at special events, such as weddings, tributes and other public events, especially in the Euskal Herria region.
This dance features a chistulari, who is the musician who plays the chitu and drum, And a dancer, which is the dancer. If it is a mass event, there may be several dancers, always men, who carry a beret or hat in their hand.
On a historical level, in the great festivals of Guipúzcoa and Vizcaya the deputies also joined and the tradition was to bring out the mayor's wife or daughter as a couple.
El ball pla (in Spanish, literally, plain dance) is a common dance in Catalonia dating from the seventeenth century, although its heyday took place during the nineteenth century.
It is danced in pairs and is characterized by smooth movements in which the feet slide very smoothly across the floor, without making any kind of jump. It is divided into three different parts:
- Beginning: each couple takes a kind of walk to the rhythm of the tune, that is, the music that accompanies this dance.
- fall: it stands out for a sudden change of rhythm, since the members of the pair move away and constantly approach each other, change places and move both arms and legs, always looking at each other.
- Ristol: the dance ends with this part, which leads to the next couple.
The bolero, in its origins, was an evolution of the followed. The Spanish bolero differs from the Cuban bolero in that the first is ternary rhythm, while the second is binary time signature.
The structure of a bolero is divided into three parts that are called couplets (sometimes also removals), which are repeated several times throughout the performance.
After each repetition, there is a pause called good standing, in which the dancer remains static in place for a few seconds.
As for the music that accompanies it, usually the following instruments are never lacking:
- Classic guitar
In the Balearic Islands, for example, bagpipes are also used, called there xeremias. In the video below you can see a demonstration of what a Spanish bolero is:
The chotis is a ballroom dance that came to the Iberian Peninsula from Bohemia (Czech Republic) in the year 1850, when it was danced in the Royal Palace of Madrid on primera time.
It is danced in pairs (man and woman) and the woman goes around the man with crossed steps or taking steps backwards and forwards, while the man always looks ahead and makes small turns in a space that is limited to a tile .
Etymologically, the term schottische is an adaptation of the German term schottisch, Meaning Scottish. This is because the chotis is actually derived from an original Scottish (UK) dance, once mostly danced by Scottish peasants.
To this day, the chotis is considered a madrilenian dance, since it is commonly interpreted in the festivals and festivals of San Isidro that take place in the Spanish capital.
Asturian dances stand out for their music, in which the bagpipes and drums are unmistakable. They have become a hallmark and a whole tradition in this area of northern Spain.
The corri-corri stands out, which is an original dance of Cabrales (Asturias) and is characterized because it is danced by a single man and several women, who can be from six to nine.
Accompanying this dance is the music created by the boudoir, who are accompanied by instruments such as the drum, the tambourine and the pandoiros, while others sing a romance.
It is tradition that these women carry in both hands a branch of laurel, lemon verbena or jelechu. Although its origin is uncertain, some authors believe that it may have a religious nuance, while others believe that it was originally a funerary rite.
Dance or dance by Ibio
The baila or dance of Ibio is a traditional dance of Cantabria, an autonomous community located in the north of Spain. This dance reflects the Cantabrian tradition almost entirely through music and dance.
It is very similar to dance of the spears of the municipality of Ruiloba (Cantabria). Actually, it is of Celtic origin and was originally a kind of warrior hymn.
To this day, it is very common to perform this dance in the festivities of San Pantaleón, which are held every July 27 in the town of Ibio (Mazcuerras, Cantabria), hence its name. In this video you can see what a Ibio dance looks like:
In 1931, it was modified by the founder of Cantabrian Voices, Matilde de la Torre, for the party of the English Folk Dance Society and, on that day, the success of the performance was such that since then it has been interpreted in the way it was done at that time.
The Prima Dance is also typical of Asturias and is characterized by being a collective dance in which anyone can join at any time.
In addition, it is danced in a circle formed by the participants holding hands, which widens and narrows as it is rotated in an anti-clockwise direction.
It is also characterized by not being accompanied by any instrument, which means that it is choral, that is, one of the dancers provides the voice while the rest do the chorus.
Basque dances, Basque dantzak In Basque, they are a set of dances that represent the culture of the Basque Country (Spain) and always represent a social act of great interest both for tourists and for the inhabitants of this autonomous community.
Basque dances are, in reality, acts of reverence or greeting and are closely related to both religious and civic acts. A Basque dance dancer receives the generic name of dancer.
In general, each town in the Basque Country has its own dance, which is performed during the main festivals of each town:
- In Vizcaya the kaxarranka, xemeingo dance or dantzari dance
- In Álava and Guipúzcoa, dances like the contrapas, the dance of the arches or asky dance, or the witch dance or sorgin dance
Likewise, in Navarra there is a wide range of dances, the most popular being the axuri beltza, the apple dance or sagar dance, the Dance of the Era or the Dances of the Ribera Navarra.
The fandango is an original dance from Spain that currently has crossed borders and has gained popularity in other countries, such as Mexico, specifically in the state of Veracruz.
It is a dance with a ternary rhythm in which you cannot miss the castanets, which makes this dance slightly similar to the jota.
The fame that the fandango was acquiring between the end of the XNUMXth century and the beginning of the XNUMXth century caused it to spread to various Spanish communities, namely: Asturias, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha, Murcia, Valencia, the Basque Country, etc.
Also in Andalusia, where this dance was intermingled with flamenco dance, thus giving rise to what is known today as aflamencaos fandangos. Below you can see a video that shows an example of Andalusian fandango:
Of all the Andalusian dances, flamenco is the best known internationally. It is also danced in the communities of Murcia and Extremadura.
Regarding its history, the first flamenco dances date back to the 2010th century and its origin is largely due to the gypsy ethnic group. Since XNUMX, flamenco dance is considered by UNESCO as Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Behind flamenco dance there coexist unique norms and traditions that have given rise to its own language from which terms such as expression derive Olé! o duende, which the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) defines as mysterious and ineffable charm.
The instruments necessary to play flamenco music are the voice, the clapping and the Spanish guitar. A flamenco guitarist receives the name of player and who dances is called flamenco dancer o flamenco dancer.
The jota is a Spanish dance that, at present, is danced in most communities in the geography of Spain, among which it has varied according to the customs of each region. The origin of the jota dates back to the end of the XNUMXth century, although its period of splendor did not arrive until the XNUMXth century.
The most popular are the Aragonese jotas, as well as the Castilian jota, the one from León, the Valencian, the one from La Rioja and the one from Navarra. In Cantabria, it is known by the name of mountaineer.
The jotas are a dance that is accompanied by voice and in which the dancers wear a castanets in each hand, in addition to a characteristic regional costume.
Apart from castanets, the dance is accompanied by guitars, lutes, bandurrias, accordions and tambourines. In the communities of northern Spain, the typical instruments are incorporated; thus, in the Cantabrian, Galician and Asturian jota bagpipes, tambourines, drums, etc. are used.
The doll or muiñeira in Galician it is an especially popular dance in Galicia, but also in Asturias and Castilla y León. Actually, the doll is nothing more than a Galician jota and, in fact, many refer to this dance with this name.
MuiÃ ± eira In Spanish, it means mill, because it is due to the long working hours that peasants once spent in the mills (muinos in Galician).
The music that accompanies this dance is characterized by being interpreted with bagpipes, tambourines, tambourines, drums, tambourines, bass drums, charrascos and shells. It is danced in pairs and with arms raised, at the same time that it is accompanied by stunned or screams that encourage the dance.
The pasodoble is a dance whose origin is located in the military parades. The origin of the pasodoble as a dance dates back to the first half of the XNUMXth century, when the stage tune was used and it was usually performed at special events.
Nowadays, pasodobles are usually performed in the Moors and Christians festival, typical in the towns of the Spanish Levante. It is danced in pairs and is considered a ballroom dancing simple, since the steps are quite free. The basic rule is that both bodies remain in parallel.
There is a repertoire of Spanish songs that have become traditional in every celebration in which this dance is to be performed, such as Suspiros from Spain, Spain Cañí, The Wildcat, Andalusian Sky, The Grace of God, Paquito the chocolatier, etc.
The dance of the pericote, whose name derives from the term parakeet, which refers to women who used to dress as men to perform this dance. It is an original dance from the town of Cue (Asturias), where people accompany him with various songs and giraldillas.
The common costume worn by those who practice it is that of Porruan, for men, and flatland, for women.
It is also traditional in the region of Liébana (Cantabria) and the council of Llanes (Asturias) where the ancient pericote is danced, which arose from interpretations of less than 50 years ago and which is traditional of the festival of La Guía de Llanes, which takes place every September 8.
In the following video you can see a performance of this dance held at the festival of La Guía de Llanes in 2014:
The sardana is a dance originating in Catalonia and that it has also spread to Andorra. It is a collective dance in which the participants hold hands and stand in a circle made up of women and men.
The dancers alternate so that between a man there is a woman on each side, that is, the circle follows the pattern of woman-man-woman-man, and so on.
The sardanas are divided into about seven or ten throws, during which he alternates between short and long steps. The music that accompanies this dance is played with a cobla, which is a band made up of twelve wind instruments with double bass.
Seguidillas from La Mancha
The folklore of Castilla-La Mancha is characterized by being very rich, since it has labor songs, lullabies, children, romances, round, Christmas songs, etc. The most popular dance in this Spanish community are the Seguidillas, which were born approximately in the XV century.
It became very popular in the time of Cervantes and they usually appear in the vast majority of plays of the XNUMXth century. At present, the dance of the Seguidilla has spread throughout Spain, so there are Andalusian Seguidillas as well.
In Castilla-La Mancha they are called streak of manchegas. This dance is characterized by being very energetic, since it is an indispensable condition move the whole body (both arms and feet).
Here is a video in which you can see an example of how the Seguidillas of La Mancha are danced:
Sevillanas are also another of the quintessential Andalusian dances. It is especially popular during the April Fair de Sevilla and in the Pilgrimage of El Rocío (Huelva), although it has become popular throughout Western Andalusia.
They date from a time before the Catholic Monarchs, in which his name was Castilian streamers. However, with the passage of time the flamenco component was introduced and ended up receiving the name of sevillanas.
There are numerous dance academies around the world in which this dance is taught, since it is known on any continent. They are usually danced in pairs to the sound of the four couplets into which it is divided, for which the fundamental instrument is a Spanish guitar.
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