Dressed in colorful customes, the best Kuratsa dancers in the different municipalities of Leyte and Samar islands vies for the crown in Kuratsa Festival.
A feature of the Kuratsa Festival is the Kuratsa Dance Forum which aims to provide a venue where academicians, culture scholars, and kuratsa dance enthusiasts from all over Region 8, can discuss the heritage and artistic value, and the socio-cultural relevance of the kuratsa. Invited are contest participants from all municipalities of Leyte and key cities and municipalities of Samar, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Southern Leyte and Biliran.
Kuratsa Festival is celebrated in Eastern Visayas annually on June 26.
The Kuratsa is a Filipino traditional dance of courtship wherein the male approaches and courts the lady in a form of a dance, depicting the courtship between the rooster and the hen.
The Kuratsa is highly favored by the Visayan people especially the Waray People of Eastern Visayas wherein it is the highlight of almost all of their special occasions.
During weddings and fiestas, the Kuratsa serves as the traditional money dance where guests take turns pinning money on the bride and groom's attire. This symbolizes friends' and families' wishes for good luck and prosperity in the couple's future. Another version of this is basket is put in the center where the lady and the man dances, the dancers and the guests would take turns in putting money to the basket while the dancers dances the kuratsa.
Kuratsa is performed in three parts, with three different rhythms. The dancing couple starts the performance with a ballroom waltz. Then the music shifts to a faster beat for the "chasing" scene, in which the female dancer flees and the male pusues her all across the dance floor. The tempo picks up even more for the final part, in which the chase ends with a furiously flirtatious scene. The female is won over, and the male imitates a flamboyant bird in a mating dance.