The fandango, a party that was born in the Caribbean

26/04/2021

Although there is a great fandango tradition in Mexico, with diverse expressions such as the fandango from Veracruz, the fandango from Isthmus, the fandango of Artesa, the fandango of Tixtla, the fandango of the Sierra Norte de Puebla, the huasteco huapango, and the p'urhépecha phandánguita, among many others, it is a phenomenon that, with certain characteristics, is performed in different parts of the world.

Although it was thought that fandango was a dance of Spanish or Arab origin, in reality, it is a Caribbean phenomenon, which arose as a result of crossbreeding, between African influences and the popular culture of the Caribbean. The fandango is a type of party that takes place around a drum, where the drum acts as an idiophone instrument, which generates the sound of the dancer's heel hitting the wood.

In general, the fandango is considered a party, a chaotic event or as it would be called nowadays "un buen reventón", but it was in the XVIII century when this word became fashionable in Spain to name a lot of things of both African slaves and sailors crossing the Atlantic. In fact, the popularity of the fandango reached such a degree that some composers even included parts of fandangos in their works, as Mozart did in The Marriage of Figaro, which were a scandal and were banned in their representations on the stage of cultured art.

Therefore, the fandango as a party around a stage is an American phenomenon, since the only thing that comes from Spain are the string instruments such as the guitar and the word zapateado and the high heels. The region of Huelva, in Andalusia, is considered the cradle of the fandango. However, in the Spanish motherland fandangos are songs and dances with difficult foot movements and very similar to the jota, not the fiesta style known in Mexico.

The fandango: everyone's party, whose raison d'être is the fiesta, the celebration, whose origins date back to colonial times, and currently has notable expressions in several regions, such as the Isthmus, the Gulf of Mexico, the Huasteca, the West (Guerrero, Michoacán, Jalisco, Colima, and Nayarit) and Veracruz.

Also in Portugal, there are fandangos, but they are very similar to the Spanish ones since they are considered "dances from Spain", while in Brazil there is the fandango caiçara which is performed in the Paraná region and has characteristics more similar to those of Mexico. This type of festivities that take place around a sound stage have nothing to do with Spain and are an American phenomenon since the fandango is a party, not a musical genre.

In several regions of the country, the fandango is cultivated, a word derived from the Bantu language which means a break of order with a ritual character. The fandango is a collective experience - a party that breaks the daily order to make life around a stage where a healthy and familiar coexistence takes place.

By Mexicanist, Source Diario de Queretaro