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The bandstand in the center of the square slowly fills with the evening's musicians, who carry with them their trumpets, trombones, and timbals. Chairs are arranged in a circle around the bandstand, Just looking to hang out enjoy the Veracruz they are taken by couples who have come to dance. Taking a seat means you must dance; non-dancers stand behind the chairs.
The average age is about 50, but for the most part the dancers are, as they so respectfully say in Spanish, of la tercera edad. The movements are small, the smaller the better; a good dancer will always emphasize style over speed. Why this elaborately formal dance would take root in an utterly informal city like Veracruz is a question with no simple answer. After all, sultry, unhurried Veracruz is best known for its raucous February Carnival one of the world's biggest. Here, where the Old World has always collided with the New, cultural influences have washed up only to wash out to sea again.
The dance was born that day, though its roots date back to the 17th-century quadrillesbrought by French colonists to Haiti. With the Haitian revolution under way in the 's, many colonists fled to Cuba, slaves in tow, and took their dances with them. It quickly reached Veracruz, and the jarochos, as Veracruzanos are called, jumped at it, putting their own spin on the Cuban version.
Unlike the Cuban dancers, who move as if glued together, Veracruzanos keep a small distance between partners. The woman's fan is also a Mexican addition. The impact of Cuban music is enormous in Veracruz, and one Just looking to hang out enjoy the Veracruz or another can be heard everywhere you go. You'll even hear hip-shaking rumbas blaring inside the municipal fish market, where among thefresh seafood you can eat a perfect snapper a la veracruzana in a sauce of tomato, onion, chiles, capers, and green olives in one of the many food stalls.
Most days, Nayo can be found in hisoffice above the fish market, from which he broadcasts his eccentric, ad hoc radio show. This comes from living in a seaport. Seamen depend on their imaginations to get through a long voyage, and when they arrive they are full of fantasies. That's who we are, too. This romantic image is no doubt what appealed to many of the first enthusiasts, who came from Veracruz's underclass. But over the years that changed, and lots of people took it up. Now in Veracruz we have something like fifteen different artistic dance troupes, mostly older dancers, who study, practice, and perform together.
Now, twice a week, some 45 members between the ages of 16 and 25 practice their steps and learn new routines; they have performed before audiences throughout Mexico as well as in Cuba and Japan. And everybody, it seems, is who you'll see in the crowded zocalo on Saturday night. Even though the band has finally wrapped up its set and the musicians have packed up their gear, the die-hard dancers aren't quitting. By 10 p. Arnulfo Luna, another regular, puts it a different way. Next Saturday night, his group is to put on a performance in the zocalo, so tonight he and his colleagues are out practicing their routine.
Parque Zamora Wednesdays p. Rayon and Avda.
Independencia Plazuela de la Campana Wednesdays p. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 9 p. Centro Cultural Atarazanas callejon Julio S. Charming rooms, gardens, a pool, and a spa.
The ideal spot for a light meal. Order a torito a milk, sugar, and cane alcohol cocktailand enjoy just-caught grilled fish.
Isla Paraiso de Mandinga; no phone. Home Trip Ideas Dancing in Veracruz. Dancing in Veracruz. By Deborah Kirk May 11, Save Pin FB More. All rights reserved. Close this dialog window View image.Just looking to hang out enjoy the Veracruz
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