“El Jarabe Tapatío” song from Mariachi Semblanza

El Jarabe Tapatío (the hat dance)

from CD “Las de Cajón”

 

The Mexican Hat Dance

The JarabeTapatio  is one of those musical pieces that go with the dance as a single unit and that are recognized worldwide for their first notes, it is undoubtedly a piece of the mariachi tradition around the world.

This Jarabe Tapatío has a rich history in its content, the history of New Spain and Spanish musical tradition, regional history about the genre and the particular form in which we know it.

According to some references, the “jarabe” as regional genre has its origins in traditional forms of Spanish dance as seguidilla and fandango, incorporating footwork Andalusia element. From these dances were derived zapateadas (footwork), the “huapango mestizo” and dance platform, which are what is known as jarabe in Nayarit, Durango, Colima, Michoacán and Jalisco.

The Jarabe consists of a number of pieces or tunes in different times from slow to fast rhythms, usually in triple time. The most intense parts show a strong resemblance to the Jota Aragonesa. There are various traditional jarabes known in the Mexican Republic: the ranchero, the jarabe from Nayarit, the jarabe pateño (it was even recorded for the Disney film “The Three Caballeros”) and the Mexican Hat Dance is perhaps the most notorious.

The Mexican Hat Dance, as a dance, was born during the revolution of 1870 as a banner of national unity, as it includes the most famous dance styles from various regions in combining some steps as tapping, the drunk or the target, among some others, and was danced for the first time in a theater in 1910, at the Coliseo Theatre in Mexico City.

When we play it in any of our performances, there are always people shouting and they start dancing and stomping. Among Mexicans it is one of those pieces that all children dance at school and we are left with some memory. For Spanish people it stands for Mexican Fiesta … I’ve never seen people simply remaining in place when the first bars sound.

It is also an essential piece in any Mexican regional dances with which we have accompanied great and renowned dancers of our tradition.

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