COLOMBIA: dancing like a woman


This series was shot during the National Bambuco Gay Pageant celebrated in July 2013 in Bogota. During the contest, young drag queens challenge each other wearing traditional Colombian clothes and dancing the bambuco, a regional, folkloric, 'religious related' dance of the Andes, characterized by the elegance of its movements and precious dresses.  

The theme of bambuco is love. The process of falling in love and courting in the rural society is expressed through the dance. The movements of man are discreet, serene, cheerful and masculine; the woman is shy but dances with joy and finesse. Man and woman are stimulated by viewers who scream with excitement increasing every time the tension, agility and speed of the movements, making the loving game more attractive and interesting, both for those who dance it as to those who observe it. 

Generally, in the bambuco man leads woman, but at the National Bambuco Gay Pageant women are drag queens. Most of them come from Huila, a region in Southern Colombia, where the folk dance originated and where there is a big tradition around the bambuco that children learn at school and from their relatives at home. As kids, these drag queens would have learned the male movements but as adults, they perform the female role. 

This series won the 'Arts & Culture' category of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards: 

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