KEY INSTRUMENTS: Bugle, Cajon, Clarinet, Drum, Guitar, Piano
Marinera is a graceful courtship dance, and accompanying genre of music, that originated on the Peruvian coast. In Marinera, dancers reenact the romantic motions of courtship, “courting” each other by circling one another, spinning and promenading, and using handkerchiefs for flair. The dance, which combines elements of the Andean zamacueca with traditional Spanish contradanza and recalls strains of Moorish and Romani rhythms, became formally associated with the Peruvian Navy in the late 19th century.
There seem to be as many variations of Marinera as there are regions of Peru. Practitioners of the three main variations — Marinera Limeña, the Marinera Norteña, and the Marinera Serrana, feature especially prominently at the National Competition of the Marinera which takes place each January during the National Festival of the Marinera in the city of Trujillo — though All Around This World’s favorite variation, by far, is the one in which a “Chalan” (Peruvian “cowboy”) “dances” while riding a very happy horse.