Bits and Pieces Discovering the World

Fandango Fronterizo 2014

Fandango Poster

It is often said, “we did not cross the border; the border crossed us.”  No matter how many borders are created, while they may keep us physically in or out, borders will never be high enough or wide enough to stop the migration of music, culture, and love.  This was a beautiful celebration of unity and solidarity, and for that moment, folks from both sides of the border were able to share in a dream –  that human beings, one day, shall be able to roam the earth freely, without the threat of injustice, violence, and hate.  Ironically, this fence, created to separate and alienate has served to strengthen the bonds of friendship and empower a vision of sacred community.  Jaraneros from all over the United States came to this celebration to break down the walls of “other.”  At the root of the music, dance, and verses is the promise of unity.

“Fandango is the ultimate expression of the Son Jarocho, music from the Southern part of the state of Veracruz. It is a traditional festival in which one lives to enjoy the atmosphere created by music,verse and dance. Everyone gathers around a wooden platform bordered by musicians that heat the air to the rhythm of Sones, dancers on their heels tapping to the beat and singers calling out enthusiastic and passionate verses; the stage is the epicenter of the celebration. Everyone can participate in the fandango, however, it has a “protocol” which is mainly about respect between dancers, versadores and musicians. For example, in communities with experienced or older musicians, they lead the fandango. Settling behind them are the less experienced musicians. Likewise, to allow respectful listening to what is being expressed by the versador, the person singing the verses, the musicians and dancers who are on the platform decrease the intensity of the strumming of instruments and the tap.   The dancers who are waiting to climb onto the platform, should do it at the end of the verse so as not to interrupt and versadores should let the dancers elaborate a bit and not sing one verse after another without pause.  Within the repertoire  are “sones de a monton” that are danced only by women, “Sones de pareja” danced by couples and some others in which two couples dance or a few women and one man.  The Sones can last as long as people continue to celebrate in  high spirits and there are folks to play the jarana and dance.  Fandangos generally last  until one drops.”  (

Click on pictures to view as slide show.





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