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    Land of winds > Rhythms and styles > Rhythm | Issue 20 (Jul.-Aug. 2014)
    By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza

Incan Fox


Incan Fox

The Incan fox or fox-trot is a rhythm which, as its name implies, arose in the Central Andes from the American foxtrot. The foxtrot developed in the first decades of the 20th century, it is a couple's dance similar in its look to the waltz, which was originally danced to a ragtime (syncopated or "ragged" time). From the late teens through the 1940s the foxtrot became widely popular both in the United States and abroad, spreading rapidly across Latin America. In those years, in Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela record companies began to launch local adaptations, slower and merged with traditional musical patterns of the Andes. These innovations allowed lyric voices (e.g. the famous soprano Yma Sumac) to sing that repertoire. Due to the melancholy that surrounded both the lyrics and the melodies (the former often linked to an indigenous past that at the time was regarded as "romantic"), the new rhythm was named "Incan fox".

The rhythm gained popularity in the 1930s, and many records issued during these years were Incan foxtrots and other crossovers, for example Incan shimmy. However, in the 1940s and 1950s, the "invasion" of music from the States was a cause of growing concern in the ranks of the traditionalist musicians, and these innovations lost their appeal.

The fruits of this fashion ended up being incorporated into the traditional repertoire: this is the case of the Peruvian foxs "Vírgenes del sol", "Llanto de las princesas", "Canto de las ñustas/Ollantay", "Pumacahua", "Manco Capac" and "Cuando el indio llora", the Ecuadorian foxs "La bocina", "Cantina" and "El chinchinal", and the Colombian fox "Enigma", the latter often played by chirimías (bands of flutes and drums).


Audio. "Enigma" (Incan Fox) by chirimía Los Gavilanes de Popayán (Colombia).


Video. "Vírgenes del Sol", by Yma Sumac and Conjunto Folklórico de Moisés Vivanco.
Video. "Llanto de las princesas", by Conjunto Ancashino Atusparia.
Video. "Canto de las ñustas" (or "Ollantay"), by Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo.
Video. "Pumacahua", by Víctor Cruz.
Video. "Manco Capac", by Benigno Ballón Farfán.
Video. "Cuando el indio llora", by Jorge Huirse y su Orquesta.
Video. "La bocina".
Video. "Cantina", of Ruperto Romero, by Dúo Carrión-Niemes.
Video. "El chinchinal", by Los Auténtico de Otavalo.


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