MundoAndino Home : Bolivia Guide at Mundo Andino


Caporales is a traditional Bolivian dance originated in the Department of La Paz, Bolivia, and was created and presented to the public for the first time in 1969 by the Estrada brothers who were inspired in the Afro-Bolivian Saya character of the Caporal, a dance that belongs to the region of the Yungas, Bolivia The dance however has a prominent religious aspect. One supposedly dances for The Virgin of Socavon (patroness of miners) and promises to dance for three years of one's life.

Caporal or caporales today is a typical Bolivian folkloric dance very popular in the national festivities, Carnaval in particular. There are many groups in the US such that dance this like Alma Boliviana, Sansimon USA de Virginia,Sangre Boliviana and much more. A male caporal dress would depict an old Spanish military guard. Wearing heeled boots bearing large bells known as "cascabeles", a male dancer carries a hat in his left hand and a whip in his right(sometimes). Even some girls could dance as a guy some may refer them as "chinas" or "machas". A female caporal dress consists of a minidress with matching panties, skin-color pantyhose, fancy high heelshoes, and a round top hat pinned to her hair. The style and colours of the dress are maintained the same for both the men and women of a certain group, but can vary drastically between groups. Men and women usually dance separately in a progressive march style dance. Caporales is a dance where you jump a lot and is very active in a way.

The dance is often mistaken for the Afro-Bolivian Saya, a confusion partly due to popular Caporales song texts like the ones composed by the popular Bolivian group "Los Kjarkas", this group makes many Bolivian songs. Also this is due to an international ballet version of Saya Caporal being danced as "Modern Saya" (see Afro-Bolivian Saya). However, there is a connection with the Saya: when the Caporales dance was created in the late 1960s by the Estrada Pacheco family they claimed to have been inspired by the performance of some afro-Bolivian dancers from the Yungas region. First the dance didn't have a proper music - the dancers adapted Huaynos and Kullawadas before the first Caporales songs were composed. The rhythm is different from the Saya as well as the whole dance which gradually became on of the most popular dances in Bolivia, especially appreciated by young people of the middle and upper class who form huge Caporales groups for Carnival, Gran Poder and other "entradas".

External links

videos and photos

Didn't find what you were looking for.
Need more information for your travel research or homework?
Ask your questions at the forum about Bolivian culture or help others to find answers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Caporales

Disclaimer - Privacy Policy - 2009