The marinera is a known dance in all the country. This dance is a mix between”Zamacueca” and “Mozamala”, two old afro dances. In 1893, the dance was named “Marinera” in homage to Peru’s naval hero Admiral Miguel Grau.
The dance is very energetic, with elegant movements and a highly complex choreography of coordinated and synchronized sequences. The main theme of the dance is the flirtation between man and woman. Women dance with a flirty smile around their partner moving her long skirt with cadence. While men wear elegant suits and big straw hats, trying to conquer the love of the mate. I would say that this was almost a ritual dance between young lovers.The couple keeps dancing with a handkerchief clutched in one hand, which is also part of the courting ritual, even though the couple never comes into physical contact. Depending of the city, the marinera has variants of clothes and rhythms. For example, in Lima there is “MarineraLimeña” and this is considered a very elegant dance. Instruments used to perform the marineralimeña include the guitar and Cajon, a box-shaped drum.
In contrast to the north of Perú, where couples dance without shoes and more roguish and cheerful manner, accompanied with a full-blown marching band. The variant here is knowed like “MarineraNorteña”.
In the north coast of my country there are two cities where the marinera is very practiced by kids and adults. Chiclayo and Trujillo have an old tradition about this dance. Even in January there is a contest between hundreds of couples in many categories. Here people can see another version of the typical dance that included a horse. Yes, a horse. Incredibly, here the Peruvian Paso horse exists, and this animal dances marinera with a woman. Video on the link: HERE
Last year, I went to a “Marinera contest” organized by USAT University because we were celebrating the faculty’s anniversary. Two of my students won in that time and I recorded their performance.
Video on the link: HERE!
Moments like this, when you enjoy your own folklore, you can feel full of proud. It’s amazing to know about your history, your traditions and your heritage. The importance about this is to inculcate in children a part of their culture. To see kids respecting their heritage, because they are the future and they can spread the heritage through the years.