Perico Ripiao – When Dominicans dance Merengue on a bottle

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I can’t say, that I’m a lucky guy, but this day I was very lucky to have had the opportunity to see something very special at ‘El Conuco’ in Santo Domingo. It was November 26, 2019 and I had dinner in a restaurant in the Dominican capital city. Luckily, it was one of the most typical Dominican restaurants of the city with traditional decoration, staff in folkloric clothing and typical Dominican dishes. But the best thing about all this was this specific day itself. Later I found out, that the November 26 is the ‘National Merengue Day’ and that it’s even an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity‘.

To honor this specific day with its traditional music and dances, the employees of the restaurant wore traditional Dominican clothes and showed some Merengue dances. Not the normal dances you’d expect, but on a bottle. Yes, ON a bottle, not with a bottle!

I remember, that I danced myself already very often WITH a bottle, but never ON a bottle. Most of the times, these bottles I danced with contained alcoholic beverages, that let me dance more than usual. But that specific dance the couple demonstrated was something I didn’t expect to see that evening. Almost as good as dancing on a bottle was the finisher of another dance with several pirouettes for the poor lady:

Dominicans call this dance ‘Perico Ripiao’. I haven’t seen before anyone dancing as wild but controlled as these two people. Thank you, dear coincidence, that I was at the time on the right place and could see it with my own eyes!

Día del Merengue, 28 de Noviembre 2019

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