After living in Peru for nearly a year (between this year and last), it seems traditional regional dances are perhaps the most valued form of culture that is actively practised here in northern, coastal Peru. That and richly flavourful mestizo culinary traditions, but that is something to contemplate another day.
Last year I shared photos from a local dance competition featuring the regional speciality: La Marinera. Here are some photos from the annual dance festival that recently took place at the public elementary school less than two blocks away from my apartment. They are not the best of quality, but you’ll be able to appreciate the colourfulness of a small selection of the dozens of Peruvian regional dances.
A co-worker’s seven-year-old niece (an avid reader of books she loves to borrow from La Cometa Lectora) invited me to the event, and even after working from 9am to 6:30pm that very busy Project Chiclayo-filled Saturday, I couldn’t not attend it.
One has to love ‘Peruvian time’; the festival entrance ticket listed 6pm as the start time, but when I arrived at 7:56pm, people were just beginning to sing the national anthem (clearly, I have learned how to really tell the time here). Of course, since just about every day is hot, dry and sunny, it had to rain that evening, but when I left cold and damp at 10pm, it was still not over–it ended after 11pm (I could hear the music from where I live).
A dance from the mountains of Peru.
They really twirl in this dance!
A dance from Peru’s Amazon rain forest geographical region.
They started slow, but they also reached a very fast rhythm!
The Tondero, a dance from the northern coast of Peru (Piura and Lambayeque).
The cutie on the left invited me. She came to greet me before dancing with a giant hug
and looked proud to be showing off her gorgeous (coastal) dance outfit on stage.
All of these kids are wearing rented dance outfits, much cheaper than buying new,
but still incredibly expensive considering how little people earn.
The school’s Peruvian instrumental ensemble complete with cajón players, a guitarist, two singers, recorder players and zampoña players. A talent-filled band also performed.
I was impressed with the high level of musicianship of all the children.
Another coastal dance, interpreted by students from a private dance school.
Let alone a long and memorable work day,
it was certainly a beautifully colourful night to remember.
Thanks for your visit!