This is a graceful couple dance with the dancers apart and independent with a swaying movement. Throughout the choreography, the gentleman genteelly expresses his admiration for the woman with smooth and expressive movements of his handkerchief. The final approach and the coronation symbolize his success in wooing her. Because the dance’s name is also a generic word for short dances (Little Dance), there is sometimes confusion. El Gato is called “El Bailecito” in some parts of Argentina. Even so, this particular dance has its own history and specific choreography. It arrived in Argentina via Bolivia, entering in the northwest of the country in the middle of the 18th century. It spread to the provinces of Catamarca, Tucumán, Santiago del Estero, and Córdoba. Its origins are obscure but it is supposed that it is from one of the dances brought by Spain to the New World in the colonial years.
Presented by Pampa Cortés in 2013. View pdf here.