HISTORY OF KURATSA
The Kuratsa is believed to be a Mexican import (supposedly from La Cucaracha dance typical to Monterrey region of Mexico) - the Kuratsa is however, very different in the manner of execution than the Mexican counterpart. Even the "basic" Kuratsa music is not based on Mexican or even Spanish melodies.
Philippine dance researchers, however, point either to the "Kigal" and the "Bikal" as the 'ascendant' of the Kuratsa. The Kigal (spelled "Quigal" in early Spanish writings on Samar culture and lifeways) is a sort battle-of-sexes couple dance that imitate mating birds. The Kigal is in fact called by another name: Binanug or Kiglun (Kigalun?) that's according to a 17th century Samarnon dictionary by Jesuit missionary to Samar, Fr. Alcazar. It is interesting that Banug uis the Waray word for the hawk.
The Bikal is rather believed to be the fore runner of the Waray Balitaw because of the strict emphasis on "joust" of impromptu songs interspersed with dancing. The bikal is survived by the Ismaylingay and many versions of this art is preserved by aging "magsiriday" in Samar and to a lesser extent Leyte.
The Kigal dance step called 'sabay' is in fact very similar to the Kuratsa dance step called 'dagit' or when more daring the 'sagparak'. Dagit means swoop while sagparak is descriptive of a heated 'bulang' (cockfight). The block and chase portion of the Kuratsa (called 'palanat') is never seen in the Mexican social dance La Cucaracha but is very common among Samar 'amenudo' (or couple dances) like the Ismaylingay, Amoracion, Alimukon, Kuradang and Pantomina.
Popular versions of this dance exist in Samar can be classified as the Kuratsa Menor (the usual favorite) and the many versions of the daring Kuratsa Mayor. New genres of Kuratsa evolved as a result of necessity, like-as the name implies- Kuratsa kanan Kadam-an and a very funny Kuratsa nga Pinayungan appropriate for rainy days.