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Corridinho: Dance in the Algarvian Way!

Written on : 14 September 2020
By : Disha Pegu

The dances of the world continue to fascinate us. The folk dances of different countries and cultures are always so intriguing and beautiful to watch. Every culture is incredibly rich in colourful and beautiful folk dances and we love to explore them and inform you about many different cultural aspects of diverse societies. Today, let's go to the beautiful Algarve, on the southern coast of Portugal, and discover the traditional dance of this region, known as Corridinho.   

Corridinho: Dance in the Algarvian Way!

For the background, it is believed that this dance originated in Eastern Europe and that it was brought to Algarve by a person of Spanish origin named Lorenzo Alvarez Garcia in the 19th century. Popular stories tell that Lorenzo Alvarez Garcia wanted to court a Portuguese lady and performed this dance to woo her. The instrument played in a performance of Corridinho is the accordion, which also arrived in Portugal at the same time as the dance was becoming increasingly popular.   

The Corridinho is always a couple dance, which means that it is always performed as a couple. The performing couples form two adjacent circles where the inner circle is formed by the women and the outer circle by the men. The couples hold on to each other and the dance is very similar to the Polka or Mazurka from Eastern Europe. But of course, Corridinho has its own set of steps and its own choreography. Initially the steps were much simpler, but over time the dance has evolved, and much more complicated steps and movements have been incorporated.   

It is the repeated and circular movements that the pairs of dancers perform with vigour and rhythm that intrigue the audience. During the performance, each couple has time to perform solo, with their own choreography. The music intensifies as the performance progresses, as do the steps and choreography of the dance. There are also several other variants of Corridinho that involve elaborate choreography, but the basic configuration is the same when it comes to dancing as a couple in a circular form. 

Corridinho: Dance in the Algarvian Way!

There are no rigid rules about dress and costumes during a corridinho, but women usually wear long dresses or skirts, and men wear suits and hats, but when a corridinho is performed for a special occasion, the dancers then wear traditional attire. Portugal has an extraordinarily rich heritage and culture which is well represented in its traditions, music, gastronomy, and folk dances such as the corridinho.  

Corridinho is performed in most festivals in the Algarve and throughout Portugal. And, curiously enough, this form of dance is also performed in former Portuguese colonies such as Goa in India, Ceylon in Sri Lanka, and parts of China. In Portugal itself, each region has its own form of dance, such as Vira, Chula, fandango, Tirana, etc. and all of them are couple dances. Some of these dances are more popular in the north of Portugal and others in the south, such as the Corridinho. Some dances such as the fandango have similarities with dances such as the Spanish flamenco.  
Folkloric dances from all over the world are traditions that have been preserved for centuries and are known to be part of human culture, although the origins of how the dances began in human civilization are still being researched. Nevertheless, we all cherish the reasons to celebrate all that brings us joy in the community in the form of dance, music, and frolic, and this is how we could see dances around the world that bring societies together.