The Inca and the „Vírgenes del Sol“
A scene with the Vírgenes del Sol (Virgins of the Sun) who pay homage to the Inca, the sun god’s son. Freely interpreted with contemporary influence.
Señor de Sipán (The ruler of Sipán)
The Mochica, an ancient civilization who lived in northern Peru (100 AD-700 AD) practiced human sacrifice in order to render homage to their Gods and appease them. They believed in the transmigrations of souls after death.
The Señor de Sipán appears again, in his full splendour, accompanied by a priest and his servants.
This Afro-Peruvian rhythm expresses the competition between men and women, in a sensual way. The dancers try to burn paper towels that are attached to every dancer’s bottom, using a burning candle. This can only be avoided through fast hip movements.
This is the rhythm and dance of Peru’s black population. Festejo literally means „to celebrate“. It was developed by the slaves and is an example of a mixture of African, European and Creole elements. The dance is characterised by free and sensual movements that developed mainly because of the people’s joy when it comes to dancing.
As many other dances, the Festejo used to portray the workers’ joy after a long day in the field. The dancers were most probably accompanied by the rhythm of improvised percussion instruments such as fruit boxes.
Up to the present day, the cajon (box) is the heart of Afro-Peruvian percussion.
Landó (Samba Malató)
The Landó is a fusion of Peruvian elements and the Angolan Lundú. The Samba Malató choreographically illustrates the chores of black launderers.
This dance piece is a choreographic interpretation of the story about a woman who suffers because of her indecisiveness when it comes to love since this leads men to turn away from her.
Son de los Diablos mit Zapateo negro
This dance developed during the Corpus Christi festivities in Lima. Later, however, it was rather performed during carnival time. Since during this period, people have some kind of jester’s licence and are even allowed to make jokes about the devil, the dance portrays little devils who follow their leader.
The choreography also includes steps that are similar to tap dance. The music is played by a guitar and rhythm instruments such as wooden boxes and a monkey’s jawbones.
The Viennese waltz made it from the European ballrooms to Lima’s aristocracy and soon became very popular. The urban population rapidly became familiar with this music and ended up adapting it and developing a Peruvian version of the waltz.
The Marinera portrays a flirt between a couple and looks slightly different in every region of Peru. Lima’s Marinera is characterised by calm and elegant movements and includes, as it is traditional for this dance, a white handkerchief that is used as a kind of romantic language.
The Marinera from north Peru is the most known and popular one. The dance shows how a man courts a woman and the flirting ends with him lying at her feet. The dancers show their virtuosity through their body expression, the use of the handkerchief, the movements of the woman’s dress and the man’s hat. The Marinera is Peru’s national dance.
This is one of the most traditional dances of Peru and it has been preserved in its original form. The dancers imitate the birds’ mating dance; the resulting sensuality of the movements goes back to Afro-Peruvian influences.
Earlier known as Mozamala, the Zamacueca is a very old music and dance style from Peru’s coast. It is the predecessor of the Chilean Zamba, the Argentinean Zamba and the Peruvian Marinera. Most of the theories link the Zamacueca with the Angolean Lundu, an old African fertility dance that was brought to the American continent by slaves.
Certain steps remind one of the Vacunao in the Afro-Cuban Rumba. It is danced in couples, whereby the man tries to seduce the woman. She provokes him but then immediately dumps him. Big handkerchiefs play an important role in this dance.
The Toro Mata (“the bull kills”) is a music and dance piece with Afro-Peruvian roots and belongs to the Landó rhythm, which is very widespread in Peru.
The message inherent to the piece is rather political. The European conquerors and their dances are parodied through the dancers’ costumes and movements. It is therefore a social protest on the part of Peru’s black population.
This is a very popular and widespread dance from Peru’s Andean region. It has a very rural touch and is often performed on festivities. The dancers imitate the movements of sowing and harvesting, which becomes very obvious in movements where stamping is involved. Huaylarsh is usually danced by a young people of both sexes whereby the man tries to impress the woman.
Das Wort „Valicha“ ist das Diminutiv des Namens Valeria. Valeria war einen wunderschöne junge Frau aus Cusco, die einen Musiker inspirierte, ihr zu Ehren diesen Huayno zu komponieren. Dank der typischen Choreographie, der schönen Musik und der beeindruckenden Kostüme ist die Valicha als Tanz auf der ganzen Welt zum Symbol, nicht nur für Cusco, sondern für die ganze peruanische Kultur geworden.
Carnaval de Arapa
This dance is from the district Arapa in Puno and, as all the other carnival dances from this region, it expresses the joy of young herders. They carry white flags as a symbol for peace and love.
This dance is a very particular cultural expression of the people from the Colca Valley in Arequipa. It is a historic reminder of the time, back when this region was conquered by the Incas. According to the legend, Cusco’s young ruler wanted to marry the daughter of the local chief, but in order to be able to reach her, he and his followers had to dress up like women.
This is not exactly a prescribed dance but rather an allegory of the indigenous people from the Amazon region, wearing their traditional clothes. The women embody sensuality and joy, whereas the men embody strength and smartness.