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Andean dance Andean music
Land of winds > Rhythms and styles > Dance | Issue 06. Jul.-Ago.2011
By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza


Guabina Dance Andean music
The guabina is a music genre and dance of the Andean region of Colombia. The term has been documented as early as the end of the 18th century. It would have been very popular among the potters and the stone masons of Bogotá at Christmas time (when carols were sung and gifs distributed) and as the accompaniment of country dances. During the second half of the 19th century, romantic composers adapted it to more stylized patterns (i.e. “Guabina chiquinquireña” by Alberto Urdaneta) and, based on this model, famous guabinas were dreated along the following century: “Mi guabinita” by Octavio Quiñones, “Sogamoseñita” and “Paisaje boyacense” by Juan C. Goyeneche, “Lagunita de mi pueblo” by Juan Francisco Aguilera, or “Guabina santandereana número 2” by Lelio Olarte.
It is traditionally played on strings (guitar, tiple and requinto) and the alfandoque (also called chucho or guasá, consists in a tube of cane which is shaken like maracas), though at present time modern bands and ensembles have introduced various types of different instruments, from trumpets to electronic keyboards.
The dance choreography is made up of moves and figures similar to the ones performed in other Colombian Andean dances: “pañuelo”, “vuelta”, “abrazo”, “escobillado”... Male dancers’ attire consists of cotton trousers, fique or cabuya sandals (Spanish “alpargatas”), a small straw hat and a bright coloured T-shirt. Female dancers dress in a dark skirt, a white lace underskirt, alpargatas, an embroidered blouse, a short and dark shawl falling from the shoulders and a straw hat. Both of them carry on their backs either a small bejuco basket (like the ones to go to the market) or a small cage made of chusque or bamboo (similar to those used to carry eggs)
As happened with bambuco music, guabina has given birth to various festivals in the country such as the Festival Nacional de la Guabina y el Tiple. Considered one of the most important, it is celebrated in August in the city of Vélez (Santander department).


Guabina, in Wikipedia [es].
Guabina, in [es].
Guabina, in Fundación BAT [es].
Festival de la Guabina y el Tiple (The Guabina and the Tiple Festival), in ColArte [es].

Video 01. “Guabina chiquinquireña” (dance) 01.
Video 02. “Guabina chiquinquireña” (dance) 02.
Video 03. “Guabina chiquinquireña” (dance) 03.
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