Thursday, May 9, 2013

I Truly Fell in Love With It

Mother's Day is a huge deal here. Some say that it's celebrated even more than Christmas. Unfortunately, the day has become an opportunity for mothers to cook and clean all day while everyone else drinks and parties... Hardly a day of celebrating maternal love. In honor of the occasion and in an attempt to change this mindset, the CEO Betania threw a big party/variety show today. During the show prizes were awarded to a number of the mothers, students sang songs, and performed traditional dances. My favorite part about this elaborately decorated and organized event was one of the performances: the Marinera.

Luckily, I've already had the pleasure of witnessing this dance, but it was today that I truly fell in love with it. The dance is performed by two people: a man and a woman. She wears a long flowing skirt, a "peasant top," and a flower in her hair while he dons simple pants, a white long-sleeved shirt, and a straw hat. Neither one wears shoes but each holds a white kerchief. They are dressed as traditional country folk, and -to me- the dance mimics this traditional country life.

Before they begin, they stand facing one other, her head held high while his is tucked downward, his hat covering his face. She holds her dress out to frame them both, and the music swells. It is always to a beautiful orchestral arrangement to which they have this physical conversation. Throughout the dance they use a huge amount of floor space for the two of them, occasionally moving apart but always returning to pose and again frame one another. Their feet never stop moving in intricate patterns and movements. He constantly removes his hat while she swishes her skirt back and forth. The clothing is important, it is part of the dance.

Proud, strong and beautiful this dance is an example of a rich and vibrant culture that is still celebrated today.

Con amor y cariño,

PS prayers and positive vibes to my aunt Rita as she had surgery today. Love ya Aunty!

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