Chula is a dance and music genre which originated in Portugal, dating at least from the eighteenth century.
The traditional Portuguese Chula folkdance has a tempo and rhythm marked by a bass drum, a triangle and cymbals, and is native to the Upper Douro. It incorporates singing accompanied by violins, violas, accordions and percussion. The Portuguese Chula was an important influence on the emergence of samba rhythms and Rio Grande do Sul Gaucho dance in Brazil.
Chula in Bahia, Brazil, Santo Amaro da Purification and surrounding areas, is an expression of the African-Brazilian culture. It is a style of samba practiced during dance festivals and involves short steps and cyclical movements typical of samba. The music features strong drum rhythms and call-and-response guitar or viola playing.
Chula in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, is danced as a challenge and is practiced only by men. A four-foot wooden stick called a spear is placed on the floor. At the sound of bagpipes, Gaucho dancers perform different tapping steps back and forth across the spear. After each sequence is performed, another dancer must repeat it and add complexity. The dancer who loses can not maintain the rhythm, touches the stick or can not perform the sequence of choreography danced by the dancer before.
Today this dance is generally performed at cultural events such as festivals and rodeos.
McGowan, Chris; Pessanha, Ricardo (1998). The Brazilian sound: samba, bossa nova, and the popular music of Brazil.
"Chula". Retrieved 24 February 2012.