Corridinho is a Portuguese dance with its probable origins in mazurka and polka from oriental Europe, this folklore style is mostly danced in the south of continental Portugal, in the provinces of Algarve, Alentejo and Ribatejo, where it matches the soul of the lifestyle. It was normally danced after the work on weekends and also on cornhusking nights (in which boys would be able to hug the girls per each king corn (brown corn) they would find, while normal flirting would be from underneath their windows). A few decades ago, there were about 60 folklore groups in Algarve. Today, only about 12 survive, mostly dancing the corridinho for tourists visiting that beautiful region.
With the introduction of the accordion, in late 19th century, the musicians were able to create and recreate the melodies of the ball dances and, from there, the corridinho music was born. Some also say the corridinho music comes from fado corrido, a form of fado. Accompanied by the triangle, a group of accordions challenge the dancers on a upbeat dance of revelry. Luís Palmeiro, from Rancho Folclórico de Tavira, remembers that sometimes the boys would pay the musicians for a stop in the music once in a while, so that they could touch more the girls - “typical naughty Algarve style”, he adds. As the music developed to more rhythmic songs, the dance developed towards harder steps.
Danced in a circle, with the couples always together, girls inside and boys outside. As the circle turns, the couples turn on their sides. At a certain moment, when the music accentuates, the feet get more vigorous producing more noise as they tap in the ground. After that, the 2/4 division becomes more waltz like and the couples dance turning in the same spot, always embraced. Some details vary from place to place in the region. It was a participation and presentation dance, people would join it but also stay on the side and appreciate it’s beauty and fun.
In the video, you can watch part of our process of learning the corridinho dance mixed with footage by A Dança Portuguesa a Gostar Dela Própria of Grupo Folclórico de Faro. Unfortunately, as we had to structure our time, we couldn't give as much attention to this dance as we wished. All we had was a few days of grasping it, by learning from videos.
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