The beautiful part of dancing is how versatile it can be. There are so many ways you can perform a dance, so many different songs and rhythms that maybe we don’t know about. And what happens when you mix a cheerful personality, like the one we Venezuelans have, with dance? You get a hundred of traditional Venezuelan dances, and YAB introduces you four of them next:
One of the most colorful Venezuelan dances is the San Benito dance, also known as Los Giros de San Benito. At the beginning of January, you can see the dancers fill the streets with their songs, shouts, dance moves, and fireworks. It consists of dancing around a huge stick, decorated with ribbons in the colors of the rainbow, weaving and unweaving it with graceful and precious movements. This dance of indigenous roots can last for several hours; men and women spin round and round until the late afternoon.
Each year, in the states of Lara and Falcón, the Venezuelan dances take over during late September. It’s the turn of Las Turas dance; its purpose is to thank nature for the benefits received from the abundant harvest of the past months. This dance consists of forming a round of several couples accompanied by musical rhythms, produced with bamboo stems, skulls or deer horns, and maracas which, from the beginning, have had a magical connotation in indigenous celebrations like this.
Venezuelan dances are not just songs and joy; they’re also about telling stories. Yes! The Pájaro Guarandol dance is a combination of two great arts: poetry and dancing. The dance revolves around this three main characters: The pájaro Guarandol (the Guarandol bird), the hunter, and the sorcerer. The story begins with the hunt for the bird; then its killing, and the resurrection thanks to the sorcerer. This dance takes place from December until the arrival of the carnival. In some areas, they coincide with the religious festivities of Easter, Santos Inocentes, Reyes Magos and Santa Inés.
Lots of Venezuelan dances come from indigenous roots, and El Mare-Mare is one of them. It is performed in honor of the deceased, a visitor or nature. This dance is known for its improvisation with the song lyrics and their different songs, while its dancing remains the same no matter what is playing. The people dance to the rhythm of the maracas, pan flute, and the reed, stepping back and forth with some additional steps.
Venezuelan culture is full of joy, colors, traditions and endless dancing. Our dances, rhythms, and songs are a reminder of where we come from and who we are, and Yo Amo Barquisimeto wants to never forget this, so listen to the YAB’s Dance Month Playlist.
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