Kuratsa

1 January 2017

The Kuratsa is a Filipino traditional Dance of Courtship where the male approaches and courts a lady in a form of a dance. It depicts the courtship between the rooster and the hen. The Kuratsa is highly favored by the Visayan people especially the Waray people of the Eastern Visayas region in the Philippines and highlights every important occasion in the Eastern Visayas communities. The Kuratsa is the dance of courtship from the Visayas region of the Philippines.

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At weddings and fiestas, the Kuratsa serves as the traditional money dance where guests take turns pinning money on the bride and groom’s attire. This symbolizes friends’ and families’ wishes for good luck and prosperity in the couple’s future. The dance is performed in three parts, with three different rhythms. The dancing couple starts the performance with a ballroom waltz. Then the music shifts to a faster beat for the “chasing” scene, in which the female dancer flees and the male pusues her all across the dance floor.

The tempo picks up even more for the final part, in which the chase ends with a furiously flirtatious scene. The female is won over, and the male imitates a flamboyant bird in a mating dance. The Kuratsa is highly favored by the Visayan people especially the Waray people of the Eastern Visayan region in the Philippines. Strictly speaking, only one couple dance it at a time. Believed to be a Mexican import (supposedly from La Cucaracha dance typical to Monterrey region of Mexico)- the Kuratsa is however, very different in the manner of execution than the Mexican counterpart.

Even the “basic” Kuratsa music is not based on Mexican or even Spanish melodies. Philippine dance researchers, however, point either to the “Kigal” and the “Bikal” as the ‘ascendant’ of the Kuratsa. The Kigal (spelled “Quigal” in early Spanish writings on Samar culture and lifeways) is a sort battle-of-sexes couple dance that imitate mating birds. The Kigal is in fact called by another name: Binanug or Kiglun (Kigalun? ) that’s according to a 17th century Samarnon dictionary by Jesuit missionary to Samar, Fr.

Alcazar. It is interesting that Banug uis the Waray word for the hawk. The Bikal is rather believed to be the fore runner of the Waray Balitaw because of the strict emphasis on “joust” of impromptu songs interspersed with dancing. The bikal is survived by the Ismaylingay and many versions of this art is preserved by aging “magsiriday” in Samar and to a lesser extent Leyte. The Kigal dance step called ‘sabay’ is in fact very similar to the Kuratsa dance step called ‘dagit’ or when more daring the ‘sagparak’.

Dagit means swoop while sagparak is descriptive of a heated ‘bulang’ (cockfight). The block and chase portion of the Kuratsa (called ‘palanat’) is never seen in the Mexican social dance La Cucaracha but is very common among Samar ‘amenudo’ (or couple dances) like the Ismaylingay, Amoracion, Alimukon, Kuradang and Pantomina. Popular versions of this dance exist in Samar can be classified as the Kuratsa Menor (the usual favorite) and the many versions of the daring Kuratsa Mayor.

New genres of Kuratsa evolved as a result of necessity, like-as the name implies- Kuratsa kanan Kadam-an and a very funny Kuratsa nga Pinayungan appropriate for rainy days. KURATSA dance step (Tacloban, Leyte) Introduction. Partners join inside hands, free hands down at the sides. Starting with the R foot, take three steps forward (cts 1,2,3). Put feet together and bow to partner or audience (ct 1)….. [2M] Dancers separate about six feet apart. The last two counts of the music are not played until the partners are in their proper places

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