Trujillo: Our Hometown is Peru’s Capital of Marinera
By The Berry That Cares On March 13, 2018

Don’t worry, you haven’t been misspelling your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce, marinara, all these years.

Marinera is an elegant dance that is taken quite seriously in Peru, where it is often considered the national dance. In fact, the city of Trujillo, where our berry crops are harvested, is often referred to as the ‘Capital of Marinera.’ It’s here, between the Pacific Ocean and ancient archaeological sites, where the national Marinera Festival takes place every January, full of lively parades and intense competitions dedicated to the traditional dance. And we have a feeling that if our blueberries could dance, they’d be moving to the rhythm of a marinera tune!

X Northern Marinera Contest. Photo: Municipalidad de Miraflores.

Whether or not you’re a dance buff, one can quickly recognize the marinera by noting a handkerchief clutched by the female dancer who, in her other hand, gathers her dress to give it a flirtatious lift. Swift rotations in her wrist will cause the small piece of lifted fabric to flutter like a butterfly, mesmerizing both her partner and the audience.

Sound romantic? It should, as the dance is actually a reenactment of courtship. While the female dons a skirt or dress that sashays side to side with her hip movements, her male counterpart will often be seen sporting a poncho. As their upper body and hips cooly keep to the beat of percussion instruments and string guitars, their intricate footwork seems to express the excitement of a newfound love.

At first, they’ll circle around one another, flirting with the possibility of touching without actually doing so. Then, having grown more comfortable and confident in their romantic conquest, the woman will allow the man to take her hand and lead her around the dance floor, their routine typically coming to an end with the man on a bended knee. It’s as sweet as a perfectly ripe blueberry!

Schools and academies dedicated to this passionate performance are sprinkled throughout the Andean nation, from the highlands to the jungle, resulting in varying styles of marinera depending on where in Peru it is practiced. The origins of the dance however trace back to the coastline of Peru. In fact, the name marinera is in reference to the Marina de Guerra del Perú, the Peruvian Navy.

Today, the whimsical dance knows no boundaries, as the aforementioned Marinera Festival draws competitors from all around the world. Not to mention, thousands of tourists arrive to our city of Trujillo year after year, having fallen in love with the amorous and graceful movements of world class marinera dancers.

Final of the 55th National Marinera Competition. Photo: Prensa Total.

And we’re sure the passionate vibe of this dance has carried over to provide that bold and fearless flavor so characteristic of our Peruvian-grown berries.

There’s nothing more satisfying than grabbing a handful of fresh berries and knowing they come straight off the bush. But a blueberry’s journey from field to table requires more than just a skillful hand. A few factors attribute to our product being as plump and fresh as it is.
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