If you were Peruvian, you will understand the chills we feel every time we hear the drums initiate for a Marinera… it is the sign that a “jarana”(traditional party) is about to start.
It brings immediate excitement and joy, and in my case, a desire to dance!
I attended Marinera lessons when I was about 12 years old. I fell in love with it and I still remember my first dress and the accessories my mom made for me. I felt empowered! My journey with Marinera was very short as I moved city with my family. Who would imagine that lots of years later, I will reconnect with it in a country on the other side of the world.
I love watching women dancing Marinera, it is just mesmerasing.
The dance represents a couple’s courtship with handkerchiefs and the man wanting to kiss the woman. The moves are elegant, passionate and energetic. Dresses are beautifully ornated with lace, embroidery, pleats and lots of flair. They can go from very traditional or rural look to sophisticated and elegant; they can be very colourful or black or white. White ones are my favourite. Women dance barefoot. Fresh flowers on the head and gold or silver filigree accessories decorate women’s image. Sometimes you can wear a hat, and you always wear red lips!
Marinera is considered cultural heritage of Perú.