On our Panamanian spring trip last year, we had the opportunity to attend a folklore dance at a local restaurant. We stayed at the Marriott Executives apartments in Finisterre. After we were denied entry into Nicaragua for lack of yellow fever vaccination, we were forced to stay overnight in Panama City before catching a flight home. We spent the afternoon on a ferry to Taboga Island which I will write about in another post.
The evening before our return home, we made reservations at a local restaurant called Restaurante Tinajas where local folklore dances are held some days of the week. The restaurant was just a couple of minutes walk from our hotel.
Raphael, our guide on that trip had mentioned about this performance. He had planned to take us to a museum that displayed the Panamanian national costumes but we did not have the time. So he suggested visiting this restaurant to get a look at the costumes and appreciate the local culture.
The restaurant itself was very tastefully decorated. The vegetarian food options, as in many Panamanian restaurants, left much to be desired. And it was a bit too pricey for the quality of the food we ate. Perhaps the same couldn’t be said for meat lovers, for the restaurant was full the whole time we were there.
The performance lasted about an hour and we had a wonderful table, perched high to watch it from. The pollera that the women wore became progressively more colorful and detail oriented. The men wore the montuno, in white and black, almost serving as a counterpoint to the aggrandized pollera.
The dancing was energetic, performed to lively music, with grace and a smile. There were four couple who took turns dancing as a group and then in twos and threes.
Take a peek at some of our photos from the evening.