Cueca Chilena | Chilean Cueca

Bandera Chilena, Chilean Flag, Cueca Chilena

Chilean Flag

The origins of the Cueca is hotly disputed. Some People say that its origins lie in Africa either brought over by slaves, or created on the Latin American continent by Africans, and that possibly it may have it’s roots in Andalucia Spain via the Fandango as well as via Peru’s ZamaCueca which is very different to the Cueca Chilena. La Cueca is also said to take its unique dance steps from that of the Courtship between the Cockeral and the Hen. Which ever theory you subscribe to , it remain’s a powerful form of expression, culture and identity.

Cueca is the national dance of Chile and it is danced all over Chile in particular the country side and without doubt on national holidays such as the 18th of Septemeber, which is Chilean Independence day, and on this day it is when el vino tinto, Pisco Sour, Piscola and La Cueca Chileno comes into it’s own. Cueca is also danced in Peru, Bolivia and parts of Argentina and it’s style’s vary from Country to Country and region to region.

The Cueca has been Chile’s national dance since 1979 when Pinochet, like so many other dictators from all over the world try and manipulate the potent nationalist symbols of their day and turned in this case La Cueca into his own political agenda, just as Franco did in Spain with Real Madrid as did Videla of Argentina with the World Cup in 1978 and many others which we will not go into as this is about the Chilean Cueca.

Cueca is expressed in various ways and in different regions of the country. Just as there are different dialects and accents within a country there are different forms of the dance called la Cueca. There is for example the northern Cueca, the Cueca chilota, the fierce cueca or the Cueca Chora, the urban cueca , the traditional cueca, danced in the central zone, and the Cueca Sola which is danced by those who have loved ones that have disappeared under Chile’s U.S backed Pinochet dicatatorship. La Cueca sola is danced alone therfore using it as a form of protest, dancing the cueca solitary in front of government buildings and police stations, often wearing pictures of their loved (disappeared) ones. Sting wrote a song on behalf of these women called They Dance Alone (Cueca Solo).

Cueca Triste | Pascula Ilabaca | Vimeo

Compositora, pianista, acordeonista y cantante, a los 25 años la porteña Pascuala Ilabaca estremece los escenarios musicales de Chile con su voz dulce, que se pasea por ritmos hindúes, tangos, cuecas, cumbias o trotes andinos.

Dice Pascuala “Violeta Parra es mi santa patrona. No entiendo por qué en Chile dudamos de nuestra identidad en circunstancias de que es tan evidente de que está en Violeta Parra. En ella está todo: la queja, la crudeza, la simpleza, el análisis, la depresión y también la pasión y la creación.”

En una visita que hizo a México nos regaló un día para grabar con ella y la trupé de Son pa’ llevar la aprovechamos al máximo, aquí les dejamos está bella canción, “Cueca triste” de su disco Diablo Rojo Diablo Verde, un rítmo tradicional chileno que esperamos les guste.

However you feel about Cueca, whatever historic theory you do subscribe to you will find that the dance and it’s music is a source of great pride to all Chilean’s across the political divide.

Whilst searching through YouTube we found a very good video about la Cueca Chilena by Reporter Mark Corcoran with Mario Rojas as well as others.

Below are a few examples of Cueca Styles.

Cueca del Norte Cueca from the North

Cueca del norte uses no lyrics and is danced during religious festivals and carnivals. The instruments used to perform Cueca del Norte are the zampoñas (pan Pipes) and brass (trumpets and tubas).

Cueca from the Central Region

This type of Cueca is the sound most associated with the genre in Chile. The instruments used to perform this particular style of Cueca are the guitar, accordion, guitarrón, and percussion.

Urban Cueca (Cueca Brava, Chora)

La Cueca Brava or Chora was born in the 1860’s and it came from the less refind part of society played and dance in places such as bars, prisons and house of ill repute.

Some people believe the Cueca Clip below to not be “real Cueca” for some it’s  becuase it looks like it may have been infused with a little Tango and that would make a this a Cueca Portenya, which if true, so bloody what! it looks great. Some prudes also deny it becuse this particular style, Cueca Brava/Chora is too suggestive which means they probably don’t like anyform of dance apart form maybe the waltz. It could also be because they are not in a traditional Huaso outfit. Huaso is the Chilean word for Gaucho or Cowboy. In the end none of the reason’s above are reason to dislike this YouTube clip. For us at Latino Music UK and we stress we are no experts, this is! a form of Cueca and probably the best couple we have seen dance it. Remember above all else Dance and Music are forms of expression and this couple express La Cueca Chilena superbly.

Cueca Chora | Cueca Brava | Cueca Chilena | YouTube

Cueca Chilota

The main difference with the traditional Cueca is the absence of the initial cuarteta. The verses of the seguidilla are repeated, in the style of the Cueca larga (until four or five verses are completed). There is a greater emphasis placed on the interpretation of the lyrics by the vocalist rather than on the music or the dance.

Cueca Chilota | YouTube

Cueca Rock

As with many traditional styles of music, La Cueca has not escaped the modern influence of fusion with other styles of music and or instrumentation such as Rock Music and adding electric guitars as well as a full on drum kit.

Asalto | Porfiados de la Cueca | YouTube

Famous Cueca Players/Bands

  • Mario Rojas
  • Los Porfiados de la Cueca
  • Fernando González Marabolí
  • Los Afuerinos
  • Las Capitalinas
  • Álvaro Henríquez
  • Héctor Pávez
  • Los Provincianos
  • Dúo Rey-Silva
  • Silvia Infanta y Los Baqueanos
  • Cuncumén
  • Violeta Parra
  • Los Santiaguinos

Cueca Playlist’s

Check out our Cueca Playlist on Spotify

Check out our Cueca Playlist on Vimeo

Check out our Cueca Playlist on YouTube

Incoming search terms:


2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *