Saturday, Sept. 19 is National Dance Day, and we’re celebrating by showcasing the top shore excursions around the world that feature song and dance that are synonymous with the country.
“Flamenco with Dinner”
Flamenco is commonly associated with the Andalusian Roma (gypsies) of southern Spain. In Barcelona, guests can take part in the “Flamenco with Dinner” shore excursion and experience an exciting performance of Spanish Flamenco dance that showcases this artform that is comprised of three elements: the song (el cante), the dance (el baile) and the guitar (el toque). Among the gypsies of Andalusia it was used as an expression of poverty, oppression and personal grief. Over time, Flamenco has also become a means of expressing happiness, as it incorporates elements of Spanish music in lighter forms (alegrias, bulerias, fandangos). Guests also get to indulge in a seafood paella dinner at a leading Andalusian restaurant.
ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
“Evening Ballet Performance at the Magnificent Mariinsky Theater”
Ballet is the national honor of Russian and one of the main hallmarks of Russian culture. The first ballet school was opened in St. Petersburg in 1738. After a few decades, another school was opened in Moscow. Thus started the rivalry of the two ballet traditions – of St. Petersburg and Moscow, the two theatres – the Mariinsky and the Bolshoy – that has continued ever after. On this tour, guests will have a marvelous opportunity to experience a live performance at the famous and spectacular Mariinsky Theater — renowned for its opera and ballet companies. Many of the stage masterpieces of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov debuted here. The repertoire is always changing, but you’ll be treated to a performance of one of the Classics — Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle or Sleeping Beauty, or you might see a selection of scenes from a variety of shows.
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
“Tango: A Night of Passion & Desire”
The tango evolved about 1880 in dance halls and perhaps brothels in the lower-class districts of Buenos Aires, where the Spanish tango, a light-spirited variety of flamenco, merged with the milonga, a fast, sensual, and disreputable Argentine dance. On this tour, a choice of marvelously entertaining tango shows has been arranged exclusively for guests of Holland America Line. Visit one of the most iconic tango theaters in Buenos Aires for a spectacular presentation of the acclaimed, popular and sensuous tango. The dance is performed by exceptional professionals, who will leave you breathless with their skills, timing, passion and stamina. You’ll be amazed by the intensity and precision of the dancers and live orchestra as they take you on exquisitely choreographed journey through the ages of Argentina’s most celebrated dance.
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
“Ginga Tropical Exclusive Samba Show”
Perhaps one of the most popular music and dance styles ever to emerge from Brazil, samba evolved in Rio de Janeiro by the early 20th century and grew to become the quintessential music and dance form associated with Rio’s carnaval. On the “Ginga Tropical Exclusive Samba Show” tour, guests take a seat at the Leblon Theatre for a private show exclusive to Holland America Line guests. Ginga Tropical is a 90-minute entertainment extravaganza that showcases Brazil’s vibrant history and culture through traditional music and dance. Talented performers dance the lambada, samba and bossa nova dressed in outrageous Carnival-style costumes. The show is a fascinating fusion combination of diverse folklore, drumming and Capoeira martial art.
“An Evening of Irish Song & Dance”
Irish dancing is traditional Gaelic or Celtic dance forms that originated in Ireland. Irish dance is performed traditionally with intricate foot work and is most known for the dancers performing with a stiff upper body. Unlike other dance forms, Irish dancers do not move their arms or hands so that footwork is accented. Musical instruments like the Irish Bodhran (drum), fiddle, concertina, accordian, Uiliean pipes, Celtic harp, tin whistles and banjo form the background of Irish dance music.
On the “An Evening of Irish Song and Dance” shore excursion, step inside Taylor’s Three Rock traditional pub — a rambling farmhouse bar with the largest thatched roof in Ireland. Guests will have a rip-roaring evening of traditional Irish song and dance accompanied by a great selection of quality Irish food to delight your palate. The panoramic view and rural setting of Taylor’s Three Rock makes this one of the most idyllic pubs in Dublin.
What’s your favorite form of dance? Do you like the passion of the tango, beauty of ballet or excitement of Irish dancing? Tell us in the comments!