Tonight we went to La Noche Criolla at the club just down the street from us. There was la musica criolla, which is a musical result mixture of Spanish, Quechua, and African influences. You hear it on the Peruvian coast most often. It's beautiful, emotional, moving music. It makes you want to dance, even if you're not a dancer. Eva Ayllon is a very popular Peruvian singer and musician, who specializes in la musica criolla.
We also saw an example of the fabulously romantic Marinera dance, in the style from Piura. Piura is a Peruvian city on the west coast, up near the Ecuadorian border. The Marinera is a beautiful dance, no matter where it is done, but there are various styles. The Marinera trademark is the handkerchief, twirling and flying through the air, clasped between two fingers of the dancing couple. No matter where the influence is from, typically the Marinera is danced with La Dama and El Caballero (the lady and the gentleman). La Dama is usually barefoot, with long and lacy flowing skirts. El Caballero usually wears a broad-brimmed sombrero, white clothing with a colorful cumberbund, portrayed as a horseman. In fact, in Trujillo, the caballero is often dancing while horseback. The Peruvian Paso horse is often used in this dance. Hankies flying, partners never touching but never more than a breath away, the Marinera is a seduction set to music. The Piuran Marinera does not use the horse, lucky for us, and was danced to a slow and romantic Spanish ballad. Something not to be missed.