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Monday, 22 June 2009 00:00
For the first time, pageant queens from countries other than Colombia and Venezuela will be present at the 41st Joropo International Tournament and the 16th Joropo International Pageant. The event will be held from June 23 to 29 in Villavicencio, a city distant 98 km east of Bogotá.
The joropo is the traditional dance of the Eastern Plains of Colombia, in which the pride, the gallantry, and the everyday life of the region’s peasants are exhibited.
Its basic instruments are the harp, the cuatro (a cordophone), and the maracas, or capachos. Tap dancing predominates in the joropo dance, apparently a heritage from Andalusian Flamenco dancing. The Joropo International Tournament is precisely the ideal occasion for paying homage the life and activities of the Eastern Plains.
Aside from showing off their physical attributes, the candidates will put to the test their abilities for joropo dancing, as well as their dexterity for playing the typical instruments of this musical genre. It is said that the joropo bears a resemblance to the jarabe tapatío, from Mexico, a country that will also send a queen to represent it.
Traditional events will also take place in the framework of these feasts; among them, the ninth version of the Joropódromo and the Trabajo del Llano, the latter consisting of a series of activities related to the everyday life of the Plains field hands; for instance, branding cattle, riding a wild colt, milking a tricky cow, and chasing a native hen. Teams of men and women from several Colombian regions will participate in this event.
On their part, and as is usual, members of the jury of the Joropo International Tournament will continue to give out prizes to the best unpublished Plains song, the best dancers, and the most virtuoso players of the harp, the cuatro and the maracas.