Joropo

The word Joropo encompasses a tradition which includes village fiestas, poetry, singing, music and dance in a form of popular expression which is constantly evolving. Improvised creativity flourish on existing structures and defined patterns of style. Its origins date from ancient Iberian music from the XVII and XVIII Centuries, such as the multiple fandango, the folias, peteneras, jotas and Andalusian malagueñas. These roots have been flavored with the influence of eight centuries of Arabic occupation and then transformed in America by the mixing of African and indigenous elements under the burning sun of the Orinoco Basin and the infinite largeness of its horizons and savannas. The roots of joropo include music from sailors and troubadors who came in the galleons from Spain, taking root in South American soil and developing into a powerful and vigorous tradition. European influences originated in Venezuela and Colombia It's a fundamental  genre belonging to its typical music or música criolla (creole music). It is also the most popular "folk rhythm": the well-known song "Alma Llanera" is a joropo, considered the unofficial national anthem of Venezuela.

The joropo adopted and still uses the hand turn, the movement of the feet, and waltz turns. First, the partners dance a type of waltz holding each other tightly. Then they stand facing each other and make small steps forward and backward as if sweeping the floor. Lastly they hold each other's arms, and the woman does sweeping steps while the man stomps his feet along with the music’s rhythm.

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