Bokero - by gwilmore

Bokero - by gwilmore


Bolero is a fantastic folklore dance with traditional music from Spain and Cuba. Bolero is performed in Spanish and Cuban versions. It was originated in Spain in the late eighteenth century by combining the contradanza and the sevillana styles. At that time, Bolero was called with different names like ‘Escuela Bolera’, ‘Baile de Palillos’ and ‘Goyescas’. It was later transformed into many variations and became the most popular Spanish dance. The entertainers and dancers started to perform in the favorite theaters of all big cities of Spain.

Bolero is a fantastic folklore dance with traditional music from Spain and Cuba. Image by catface3
Bolero is a fantastic folklore dance with traditional music from Spain and Cuba. Image by catface3

In the beginning, Bolero was mainly associated with a couple but when it was accepted as a public enthusiast, it was performed by number of dancers with the induction of more choreographic steps and dancing moves. In the nineteenth century, Bolero also gained popularity in Europe as well.

A couple performing Bolero. Image by gwilmore
A couple performing Bolero. Image by gwilmore

The bolero is a 3/4 dance. It is danced by either a soloist or a couple. It is in a moderately slow tempo and is performed to music which is sung and accompanied by castanets and guitars with lyrics of five to seven syllables in each of four lines per verse.

Bolero - Cuba - Image by Teatros del Canal
Bolero – Cuba – Image by Teatros del Canal

The Cuban bolero tradition originated in Santiago de Cuba in the last quarter of the 19th century. It is entirely different from the Spanish Bolero.  In the 19th century there grew up in Santiago de Cuba a group of itinerant musicians who moved around earning their living by singing and playing the guitar. In Cuba, the bolero is usually written in 2/4 time, elsewhere often 4/4. The tempo for dance is about 120 beats per minute. The Cuban bolero has traveled to Mexico and the rest of Latin America after its conception, where it became part of their repertoires. 


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