“quien no tiene de inga tiene de mandinga”
Would you like to dance or listen to any peruvian music? Your best chance to do so is on october 31st when most coastal cities celebrate the Día de la Canción Criolla or the Creole Song Day. Thus, whether you happen to be around Lima, Piura, Trujillo, Chiclayo, or Ica you would hear the sound of guitars and the “cajón peruano”. These musical instruments give rhythm to marinera, tondero, festejo, landó, and zamacueca which are five samples of the creole music. Couples dance with frantic movements of their arms and legs. They entice each other with their zapateo or tapping of the floor.
The traditional place for “criollos” to gather and start the “jarana” or rave is known as peña. However, nowadays the feast can even be held at plazas and parks.
The Dia de la Canción Criolla is especially celebrated at coastal cities even though música criolla means half-breed music which is made throughout Perú. Coastal music is livelier than highland’s which is a little bit sad. The marinera is also performed in highlands cities, however. In addition to that, the way in which people dance marinera varies according to the region. Thus, we have marinera norteña which comprises northern coastal departments such as Piura, La Libertad and Lambayeque, marinera limeña as well as marinera puneña and ayacuchana, among others.
On the other hand, the influence of african slaves is remarkable in dances such as festejo and landó. All these dances depict a flirt between the man and his partner with sensual twists of their hips and waists.
Valses are also danced this day especiall by the elderly. Young people prefer to dance the so-called música negra or coloured music especially in the city of Chincha in the department of Ica as well as in Cañete, a city south of Lima. In the highlands are popular the huayno, the saya and the danza de las tijeras or scissors dance.
In Lima, events will start on the 30th. That day there is going to be a concert or “serenata” at the Parque de la Muralla or the Park of the Wall at 4pm. Another meeting will be in the main square at Surco, a district south of downtown.
On the 31st, most people will head for the district of Barranco where there are many peñas such as De Rompe y Raja, Del Carajo, and La Candelaria.
The Día de la Canción Criolla is held since 1944 and year after year is gaining much more acceptance even though many children, teenagers and even middle-age people prefer to celebrate Halloween the same night.
Even though dancing música criolla is not that easy, this would be the best chance to enjoy a night full of peruvian music. You may be ended up the night repeating with other peruvian dancers: Vamos para Chincha familia! (let us go to Chincha, family!) .
“Murieron los negros viejos
pero entre la caña seca
se escucha su zamacueca
y el panalivio muy lejos.
Y se escuchan los festejos
que cantó en su juventud.
De Cañete a Tombuctú,
de Chancay a Mozambique
llevan sus claros repiques
ritmos negros del Perú”.
Nicomedes Santa Cruz
(peruvian author 1925 - 1992)
Phone number: 0051-84232520