During the afternoons, Cartagena’s Historical Center turns into one amazing show for all of those who gather around it. Whether because of the colorful brush strokes that are drawn in the sky at sunset, or its colonial atmosphere, or because of the talent display by urban artists, such as the dance groups that take the squares and parks and turn them into stages where the public enjoys with the traditions and folklore from the Caribbean.
Cumbia, Puya, Mapalé, Fandango, Porro, bagpipe rhythms, as well as some other representative dances, start performing as soon as the sun starts to hide on the horizon. The Plaza de La Paz and The Park de Bolívar become the perfect place for dancers to show the best moves of different local dances, while tourists, most of them foreign, enjoy with every step.
The percussion instruments set the rhythm and the festive atmosphere. Bagpipes and different types of drums, among others, go along with every turn, gesture and pirouette performed by the dancers. The flashing outfit, perfectly combined with the dance, draws attention and become the perfect complement for this show. People from different ages gather around these artists, and celebrate them with photos, videos and a warmth applause.
But these dance shows go beyond a spectacle for visitors. These dancers, which share their talent around the Historical Center and Getsemaní, are also ambassadors of an ancient legacy that has been transmitted through generations.
If you have to choose one of the dances among the others, the Mapalé is the flagship dance of Cartagena. Inspired by a fish of quick moves, similar to those used to dance this rhythm, it probably was born as a labor dance done by fishermen at the end of their journey, which shows a clear example of ancient customs that teach how their ancestors used to live.
For more than 18 years, these groups of folkloric dancers have met with the desire to teach one of the greatest wonders that Colombia has to share, its culture.
Folk dances are a living expression of Cartagena's past, and the prove of the influence and cultural shock from different parts of the world. Cartagena de Indias is a city full of mixtures that have given way to its current traditions.
From Tuesday to Saturday, you can enjoy all the happiness of the dancers, and let your body be filled by traditional rhythms. Without a doubt, you will enjoy one of the best experiences of your life once you visit Cartagena de Indias.