September 12, 2021
On the 11 of September 2021, Chrome Street held its annual celebration where the community came together to support local talents and not-for-profit associations. The music can be heard from at least two blocks away. From the moment you set foot in the park, the atmosphere is light and relaxed. Each booth displays unique things from ethical slow fashion, psychic readings, traditional food to community associations calling people to action to protect the community’s integrity.
People practiced social distancing and wore their masks, but their happiness was still clearly visible as they shared a lovely afternoon with their friends and children. Kids were running around the grass playing, their faces painted and big smiles on display. People of all shapes and sizes gathered around the centre stage to admire and cheer on the local talents presenting.
On this occasion, the Colombian Dance Group had the amazing opportunity of presenting a set of traditional Colombian dances in front of the crowd. These included the Joropo and the Currulao.
Joropo is known for its ‘stumping’ and is considered a tough dance to carry out unless you have had a lot of practice combined with swift and agile feet as it consists of performing strong and rhythmic steps at a very quick tempo. This dance is traditionally performed in couples. Imagine having to be super fast with your feet and then on top of that being in tempo with someone else.
The Currulao derives its style and moves from sacramental rites that originated in Africa. This too, is usually performed in pairs that move together in a quick and vigorous way. In this dance, the male tries to seduce his partner with his strong and sturdy moves whereas the female dances in a calm and composed manner. The dance is filled with circle pattern movements and rotations between the couple and the other pairs of dancers. During this performance, the dancers wore white traditional outfits.
After the presentation, I had the opportunity of chatting with one of the male dancers, Pedro Garcia. He is a relatively new member of the dance group and told me about his passion for dancing and the joy that it brought him to be able to present and share traditional Colombian dances like these in front of a diverse audience.
“I am fascinated and very happy I get to represent our country, Colombia, in Australia. I am proud to share our culture while being so far from home.”
“I love dancing, it’s a passion I’ve always had since I was in school, I danced Joropo, and then here I had the opportunity of meeting this group through a friend and I am very happy.”
And just before the sunset, the talents made their way through the park in a colourful and lively parade where they displayed their joy and pride in being part of this community. It was truly a beautiful and wholesome moment to watch.