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The Cueca Comeback
A risqué version of Chile’s national dance is attracting a younger crowd, and several Santiago clubs are hopping on the bandwagon.
The fan base of people young and old, from every walk of life, is growing daily. “I dance cueca because I like it. The music fires you up and makes you move,” says 30-year-old Juan Enrique Larraín. As Silvia Guajardo, former director of the cultural department at the Banco del Estado de Chile, explains, “Cueca is a very powerful blend of poetry, celebration and dance; it’s complete. It means finding something that is already in you.” Of course, there are many different kinds of cueca – there’s cueca chora, cueca brava, cueca urbana and cueca porteña. The cueca chora – the “daring” cueca – is the most popular. This lessformal version of the traditional dance features energetic rhythms and urban themes. It was born in the ports of Valparaíso and San Antonio and artsy neighborhoods in Santiago, fathered by musicians Roberto Parra and Hernán “Nano” Núñez. Today, there are several places to dance cueca in Santiago, like La Chimenea, El Huaso Enrique and Club Matadero. The epicenter of the cueca craze is the Club Social y Deportivo Comercio Atlético, where the group Los Chinganeros plays every Friday. If you’re looking for something more upscale, Ópera Catedral in Barrio Bellas Artes has a new show every Tuesday.
La ChimeneaPríncipe de Gales 90, Santiago Downtown Tel. 56-2-697-0131 www.lachimenea.cl
El HuasoEnrique Maipú 462, Santiago Centro / Downtown Tel. 56-2-681-5257 www.elhuasoenrique.cl
Club MataderoSanta Rosa 2260, 2° piso / 2nd floor, Santiago Centro / Downtown www.clubmatadero.blogspot.com
Club Social y Deportivo Comercio Atl éticoSan Diego 1130 & Avenida Matta, Santiago Centro / Downtown
Ópera Catedral José Miguel de la Barra & Merced, Bellas ArtesTel. 56-2-664-3048 www.operacatedral.cl
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