*a Living dance is a 1st Generation dance that is still performed in the country of origin (or immigrant communities) as part of a social event like a wedding where others can participate (not for an audience) by people who learned the dance informally (from friends and relatives by observation and imitation, not in a classroom situation). For more information, click here and here.
According to this not-exactly-scholarly website https://danceask.net/5-most-popular-portuguese-traditional-dances/ there are five currently popular traditional folk dances in Portugal. 1. Vira 2. Chula 3. Corrindho 4. Malhão 5. Fandango. Though each represents a different region, the first four appear to be superficially similar; consisting of couples dancing in circles, arms raised, women rotating to flair full skirts. The Fandango “is another Portuguese traditional dance form which has its origins in Spain. Generally two male performers essentially face one another and dance to the rhythm of music by using “tap dancing” techniques. Although ‘fandango dance’ is not the most popular dance form in the Portuguese culture, it is performed during certain religious events as well as during auspicious occasions such as Christmas.”
Malhão songs have many local variations as in the “Malhão de Cinfães“, “Malhão das Pulgas”, and “Malhão de Águeda“, all recorded by Amália Rodrigues. All have the familiar 4/4 rhythm, with emphasis on beats 1, 3, & 4,. The music usually played for this dance is accompanied by a song whose first line is “Malhão, malhão, o malhão do norte” which when translated means “Winnower, winnower, o winnower of the North”.
O Malhão Malhão
Dean & Nancy Linscott dance notes, 1978 ; "the song tells about a lazy character (the malhão) who never worked, but led an easy life of singing, dancing, eating and drinking." Translator's comments: "The "malhão" is a type folk dance of which there are many variants in Central and Northern Portugal. The word malhão could be literally translated as "mallet", but in this context it would be better to translate it as winnower (a person who winnows the grain), which owes to the dance's rural origins as a form of celebration at the high point of the agricultural calendar." https://lyricstranslate.com/en/%C3%B3-malh%C3%A3o-oh-winnower.html Portuguese English translation Ó malhão, malhão, Que vida é a tua? Oh, Winnower, What kind of life are you leading? Ó malhão, malhão, Que vida é a tua? Oh, Winnower, What kind of life are you leading? Comer e beber, ó tirim-tim-tim Just eating and drinking, oh dring-ding-ding Passear na rua... Walking through the roads... Comer e beber, ó tirim-tim-tim Passear na rua... Ó malhão, malhão! Quem te deu as meias? Oh winnower, winnower! Who gave you those stockings? Ó malhão, malhão! Quem te deu as meias? Oh winnower, winnower! Who gave you those stockings? Foi o caixeirim, ó tirim-tim-tim It was the shopkeeper, oh dring-ding-ding Das perninhas feias! With the ugly legs! Foi o caixeirim, ó tirim-tim-tim Das perninhas feias, Ó malhão, malhão, Quem te deu as botas? Oh winnower, Who gave you those boots? Ó malhão, malhão, Quem te deu as botas? Oh winnower, Who gave you those boots? Foi o caxeirim, ó tirim-tim-tim It was the shopkeeper, oh dring-ding-ding Das perninhas tortas! Who had crooked legs! Foi o caxeirim, ó tirim-tim-tim Das perninhas tortas! Only these top three verses are in the YouTubes by Amalia Rodrigues & Linda de Suza. Extra verses... Que será de ti? Com quem vais casar? What will you do in this life? Who are you going to marry? Que será de ti? Com quem vais casar? What will you do in this life? Who are you going to marry? Com mulher bem rica, ó tirim-tim-tim A very wealthy woman, oh dring-ding-ding Pra me sustentar! So she can support me! Com mulher bem rica, ó tirim-tim-tim Pra me sustentar! Ó malhão, malhão! Ó Margaridinha! Oh winnower, winnower! Oh, little Margaret! Ó malhão, malhão! Ó Margaridinha! Oh winnower, winnower! Oh, little Margaret! Eras do teu pai, ó tirim-tim-tim You belonged to your father, oh dring-ding-ding Agora és minha! But now you're mine! Eras do teu pai, ó tirim-tim-tim Agora és minha!
Other Malhão songs
Malhao – The Dance
Malhão (pronounced Mahl-Yah-oh) is a popular in the historical province of Portugal called “Estremadura” which is the westernmost part of Portugal along the Atlantic ocean, as well as in central and northern regions.
Footwork varies, but all Malhão dances share a basic walking step on beats 1, ,3, 4, 1, ,3, 4, 1, ,3, 4, 1. A S,Q,Q,S,Q,Q, pattern. Performers in the malhão usually dance around a circle.
Poruguese in Asia
Recreational fixed Malhao
This dance is based on a dance from Vila Nova de Gaia in Portugal.