Today, 29 April, we celebrate the World Dance Day, an art that is strongly present in all communities around the world, becoming a universal phenomenon, regardless of political, ethical or cultural differences.
Among the Azorean communities spread around the world, dance, represented by the well-known Regional Folklore, has always been an element present throughout time and seen as a manifestation of entertainment or ceremony. Folklore translates the traditions, beliefs and values of a people, in this case, the Azorean people, which are rooted in the follies, dances, remaining throughout time and passing from generation to generation.
The origin of Azorean folklore groups dates to the 15th century, thanks to the action of the first settlers of these islands who, mostly from the Portuguese mainland, brought with them some of the customs of their origins, such as music, dances and other forms of entertainment. These traditional dances were a way for the popular classes to entertain themselves, where social gatherings, such as a pig slaughter and other agricultural work (grape picking, leaf shedding, tea picking) among other religious or profane festivities were moments of entertainment where the popular dances and balls were not forgotten.
The folklore groups that we know today in the Azores are precisely an ethnographic representation of the society of these islands, mainly of the popular classes, from their clothing to their music and dances, whose aim is to revive the customs and values of the society and times of yesteryear. In this context, Azorean folklore has also been taken to the Diaspora by emigrants. Today there are many folkloric groups of Azorean origin spread throughout the USA, Canada, Brazil and even Uruguay and Venezuela (which despite being a small community maintains the strong and important Azorean presence in this South American country), keeping alive the traditions and values of the Azores archipelago and highly appreciated by Azorean emigrants and their descendants in the Portuguese communities.