Madrid, Madrid, Madrid,
pedazo de la España en que nací
por algo te hizo Dios
la cuna del requiebro y del chotis


There is no open-air dance in which you cannot enjoy a chotis and chulapos dancing to the music produced by a barrel organ. The Madrid chotis sounds in any verbena that boasts of the capital. However, its maximum expression comes with the fiestas of San Isidro, where the chulapos and chulapas dance. How? To the music of a Street organ!

The chotis is danced in pairs and the music comes from a barrel organ. Face to face, the couple begins the dance. Turning around the man, the woman is wearing a Manila shawl. The man, who turns on himself, is exhibited with a parpusa (type of cap) on his head. In this way, almost all the magic of dancing is concentrated in the feet. Caught in one hand, the chulapo carries the other in his vest pocket. As indicated by the music, the couple will take three steps backwards and three steps forward. When finished, the initial turns are made again.

The chotis was very popular throughout Europe during the nineteenth century. He became so popular that he came to the Americas. There are different variants of this dance in Brazilian, Austrian, Scandinavian, French and Italian folklore, among others. The chotis arrived in Madrid in 1850, and came to stay. This peculiar dance in which the woman commands and the man is carried away is apparently very simple but complex to execute as tradition dictates: on a single floor tile.

That the woman takes the reins is not the only one of its peculiarities, although it can be of which the Madrilenians, and especially the Madrilenians, feel prouder. The theme of the lyrics of the chotis also face the other regional dances of our country. While jacks, dolls, sardanas … mainly deal with issues related to the rural world, the chotis speaks of a modern urban world. Therefore, its lyrics that tell the life of the modern city in which Madrid was becoming in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are still valid today, a fact that facilitates the identification of the people of Madrid with our city and our dance.

We do not know what was before if the chotis or the cockiness of the locals, but if the latter you could get to bother anda y que te ondulen y si te sofoca, tómala con Seltz.





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