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5 popular typical dances from Cusco festivals

  • Published on Apr 21, 2016 Culture
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Cusco’s traditional dances first sprang centuries ago and have renewed themselves over time, as in the case of traditional dances like Chunchus, Ukukus, and Kachampa. Other dances appeared during the colonial time and merged European and Andean elements together, thus creating incredible dances such as Negritos, Zambitos, Collas, Chujchu, among others.

Most of these dances are performed in local holidays, carnivals and religious festivals, lively exhibiting the entire culture of Cusco. Here we will summarize five dances, most often performed in Cusco festivities:

  1. La Danza de Los Negritos: A dance created during the colonial time in which dancers dress up as black slaves, wearing black plaster masks and colorful hats while performing joyful dance moves. This dance is also performed in Huanuco and Ica Region.
  2. Los Jilgueros: This dance first appeared in the Province of Calca, Cusco and it is inspired by the courtship rituals of the Andean birds, called hooded siskin (jilguero)
  3. Turkuy: A popular dance in the Provinces of  Chanchis and Canas, Cusco, which represents a powerful emperor  that holds a golden hammer and is protected by the turkeys, represented by the dancers.
  4. Ukuku: An Inca dance that traditionally represents bears and/or alpacas, showing a mystical world between animal and human. To perform this dance, dancers wear clothes and masks similar to animal skins and face.
  5. Carnaval de Ampay: It is the principal dance of the Ampay community in Cusco in which the singing of love is expressed. In this dance, couples collect flowers called T’ikas to start the celebration and finish by performing the “sirvinakuy” which is an Andean trial marriage.

This list mentions only a few out of the tens of Cusco dances that you may encounter during your visit to Cusco. Find them out and celebrate with their welcoming music!

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