How to dance chacarera
TANGO-DJ.AT » Chacarera
Chacarera is one of the most famous folklore dances of Argentina. Unlike tango, chacarera can be danced by most people in Argentina, especially in the countryside. People dance it a lot during fiestas and also as a break at many milongas. It is fun to dance and very easy to learn. It only takes one workshop of 1.5 hours to master chacarera!
Chacarera is danced in couples but without embrace following a given choreography. All couples line up facing each other. The basic idea of chacarera is courtshipping each other in order to find together in the end. The rhythm of chacarera is a 6/8 beat which can be counted as a 3/4 beat as known from the vals beat. Whereas the speed and rhythm of the chacarera can vary a lot, the structure is always the same. A chacarera consists of two identically parts.
Chacareras start with an introduction sequence. During the introduction sequence dancers start clapping their hands. This is done by the following rhythm where the * marks the moment for clapping:
two beats of six eighth notes:
1/8*(1) 2/8 3/8*(2) 4/8* 5/8(3) 6/8*
1/8*(1) 2/8 3/8*(2) 4/8* 5/8(3) 6/8*
* marks the clapping, the numbers in brackets are counting the vals-beat rhythm for dancing.
During the workshop we will listen to the rhythm, and it will be explained and practiced.. You will understand the rhythm of the music and know when to clap and where to dance. (It's much easier than it sounds here ;)
After the introduction sequence you may hear "Adentro" in most chacareras indicating the start of dancing. From then on you follow a given choreography, an illustration of which you see on the top of the page. There is only one tricky little moment to watch out for. Depending on the chacarera song being played, the figure "vuelta entera" has to be danced in 6 or 8 beats. Normally it's possible to hear this already during introduction sequence. But since the introduction might be cut or difficult to hear you will have to figure that out by yourself. In Europe sometimes the DJ, a teacher or an experienced dancer might tell it in advance. Otherwise it's not difficult to recognize it by the melody of the music ending within 6 or 8 beats. Since everybody is dancing the same choreography you can always simply copy your partner or other dancers near by. After the first part of the chacarera, the whole routine is repeated, starting with the introduction sequence, clapping and the choreography.
Even if you have never thought of dancing chacarera - give it a try! It is not at all as showy as it seems to be, since you are supposed to courtship your dance partner and be with him all the time until finding each other in the end.
c) Bernhard Gehberger 2010
A variation of the chacarera described above is the chacarera doble. Regularly danced in Argentina you will hardly hear it in Europe. Basically the same as the normal chacarera, but with some differences in the choreography where some figures are repeated. Again you have to distinguish between a 6 and 8 beat variation. Illustration of the choreography.
Chacarera II Workshop by Paula Galimany & Bernhard Gehberger
Warmup - 5 February 2012
Zapateo insights for Chacarera - Auckland Tango
This is a duplication of the earlier article on Chacarera; updated to provide some YouTube clips on zapateo footwork, posture and timing. SEE FURTHER OCTOBER 2016 UPDATE FOLLOWING WORKSHOP BY SEBASTIAN ARRUA.
A useful description of Chacarera from tangowords.com via a Facebook post by Manuel Garber and shared by Hilda Yuan:
There is only one simple step to dance chacarera and that is a 1-2-3 very similar to the VALS (Left foot steps forward, right foot advances and change weight, then right foot steps forward, left foot advances and change of weight)
There are different types of Chacarera music, but the most common consists of 7 sections of 8 beats each (intro / verse / interlude / verse / interlude / verse / chorus). The first is an intro, so it is not danced. The other 6 have choreographed figures. So there are only 4 figures to learn because 2 of them get repeated.
Eight beats in which the dancers are clapping. as one of the musicians calls out “PRIMERA!” or “SE VA LA PRIMERA!” meaning “It’s the first!”, or “lets go with the first part”. Once the musical introduction ends, a call of “ADENTRO!” is made, which simply means “IN!” or “lets get in”, Which initiates the dancing.
– AVANCE Y RETROCESO (Forward and Backward) – 4 bars – Two steps forward and two steps back, arms almost fully extended overhead.
– GIRO (Small Turn) – 4 bars – Two steps forward, reaching almost to the center, and then turn around and return with two steps.
– VUELTA ENTERA (Full Turn) – 8 bars – Four steps forward to the opposite side, and again 4 steps to the original position, always facing each other and leaving the center free.
– ZAPATEO Y ZARANDEO (Stomping and Swaying) – 8 bars – In this figure, the couple performs a different choreography. The male stomp, while the woman sways holding her skirt with both hands so it looks like a reversed fan, doing 2 diamond shaped figures of 4 beats each.
– VUELTA ENTERA (Full Turn) repeat of FIGURE-2
– ZAPATEO Y ZARANDEO (Stomping and Swaying) repeat of FIGURE-3
– MEDIA VUELTA (Half Turn) – 4 bars – Four steps forward to the opposite side.
– GIRO Y CORONACION (Turn and Crowning) – 4 bars – Two steps towards the center, a quick turn on the spot and the man “crowns” the woman symbolically by closing his arms above her head.
Just before FIGURE-6, a call of “AHORA!” is made (it sounds like “AURA!”) which means “NOW!” and its a reminder that this is the last figure and now is the time to crown your girl.
After this “PRIMERA” section, the whole set of 6 figures is repeated a second time with a call of “SEGUNDA” or “SE VA LA SEGUNDA” (meaning “lets go with the second part”), keeping in mind that the dancers switched sides.
After the second set a musician will call out “SE ACABA” which means “its ending”, to indicate that 2 sets of figures is enough!. (the whole thing took only 3 minutes)
POSTER’S FOOTNOTE ON CHACARERA TIMING:
As per the opening sentence above, there is only one simple step to dance chacarera and that is a 1-2-3 very similar to the VALS. However the timing and rhythm can be hard to grasp initially, particularly in the transition from the fast (almost samba-like) pairs of two claps in the introduction to the dancing before the slightly slower vals steps commence. If you really want to understand how this works:
(1) Recognise the beats in each bar or phrase as six half beats
(2) Identify the first of the six half beats in a bar or phrase
(3) Clap | 1 x 3 4 x 6 | 1 x 3 4 x 6 | etc
(4) Vals | 1 x 3 x 5 x | 1 x 3 x 5 x | etc
23 October 2016 update:
Following a great chacarera workshop today led by Sebastian Arrua the mystery of the timing of the footwork for the basic version of the zapateo became less mysterious.
A simplified description of the zapateo basic cycled over two sets of six half beats is:
1 R Stamp | 2 pause | 3 L Heel kick fwd | 4 L Ball of Foot | 5 R Ball of Foot | 6 L Heel kick fwd |
1 L Stamp | 2 pause | 3 R Heel kick fwd | 4 R Ball of Foot | 5 L Ball of Foot | 6 R Heel kick fwd | etc
The timing can be recognised as effectively the same as the “Clap” timing shown above. That is:
(5) Zapateo | R x L L R L | L x R R L R | etc
The even-more-simple basic zapateo suggested by Sebastian was:
(5) Zapateo | R x L L x L | L x R R x R | etc
|Chacarera.||[Jul. 15th, 2014| 09:25 pm ] |
I couldn't get past this wonderful post with a new, hitherto unknown to me, but such a nice and uncomplicated dance. Let it be in my dance piggy bank.
Argentine tango is known to many, even if they think that tango is certainly a rose in the teeth and passion is such that I can't sleep. But not everyone knows about the folk Peisan chakarera . It's time to fix it.
- Surprise! - says Ksyusha. - Today we will have a lesson on chacarera, which will be held by Polina Sycheva, respected in the tango community.
To-ma-te un-cho... To-ma-te un-cho... Men with desperately stern and concentrated faces are tapping in the corners of the hall. To-ma-te un-cho... To-ma-te un-cho...
- Sarandeo. Girls, arm movements in sarandeo are swings with a wide skirt, which you kind of hold by the edges.
- Diamond! Hiro! - Loudly commands General Polina. - Vuelta, vuelta! Zapateo and Sarandeo!
Damn! - I mentally pick up these stupid skirts and rush back. Grabbing a partner and hugging him in a fast rhythm (to catch up with those who started hugging earlier), I say: "Oh, I forgot, but I mixed it up."
And here is the dance learning guide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZCKm7O3jw4. It is not necessary to know Spanish. Everything is clear there :) Ulyanovsk
On Sunday, December 22, the Kvartal Creative Space will host an open lesson on the Argentinean Chacarera.
It won't take long to learn one of the simplest and most fun dances in Argentina, of which there are over a hundred.
Argentinean Chacarera has absorbed many different rhythms and cultures, which is why it is so well received by everyone. Simple choreography does not require dance training. Ideas are clear and organic to our mentality. Come dance by yourself and take your friends with you.
Any comfortable casual wear will do. You can dance both barefoot and in comfortable shoes. Get a replacement.
Admission is free.
Registration for the lesson in private messages.
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