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Cusco Folk Dances

The dance is a cultural expression with great vitality in the present Cusco and there is not celebration without dancers, especially the local festivities, of high religious aspect, those of the productive cycle, carnivals, anniversaries and private celebrations.

There are many dances in Cusco, in most of the cases are also executed in other departments of Perú. Each one has stable groups or cuadrillas, whose members usually belong to them by devotion to some virgin or saint. Each group has a manager who organizes the activities of the group. In many cases the dances are executed only by men, sometimes with a woman who accompanies the manager. Nevertheless, women are more incorporated, especially in cases like the scholastic groups of dance.

Some of the dances that   are practice nowadays come from many centuries ago and they have been renewed with time, such us chunchus, ukukus, kachampa. Others have been arising from the colony like expressions from racially mixed art and taking sometimes, ironically, some European elements, such us collas, chujchu, majeño, negritos, zambitos, erectitos, etc.

Among the dances from Cusco with great presence in the festivities we can considered:

Colla Capac, which represents the traders who went to the Andean highlands in the colonial Cusco to exchange products for Potosi. It is a very prestigious dance; the costume is characterized by a highly decorated rectangular cap with sequins and a white woven mask. The Maiden, Lady Colla, very elegant.

Capac Colla Cusco

Capac Chuncho, war dance of Inca origin, it had given the continued fighting with the inhabitants of the jungle and also barters with them. It is use huge feathers of colorful f guacamayos a mask of fine wire mesh.

Capac Chuncho Cusco

That recalls the presence of black slaves and it has religious elements. It is characterized by a black mask of plaster which is very ornate hat.

Negrillo Cusco

Ukuku, possibly dance with Inca origins but influenced by colonial and republican. This can be observed in the details of their dress. Traditional character, legendary and traditional presented in different festivals whose appearance has been dumped many legends. Traditionally said to represent the andeanbear, other versions say that represents the alpaca.
Outfit: waqollo, black peluza unku, it is a dancer who is not accompanying groups but the troupes, copying their steps nimbly, and air buffo. The ukuku represents a world between animal and human, dressed in a suit that looks like the skin of an animal and covered with a mask with the same style.

Ukuku Cusco

Some other dances are rather satirical, as chujchus, referring  the diseases of  malaria and other contemporary diseases; the Majeños, representing dealers of wines and alcohol in the colony.; The Sajras, who parody the hell playful , the sijllas, to the bad  administration of justice, and the contradanza, a colonial ballroom.

Other dances are:  

CUSQUENIAN CARNIVAL“ In a religious festival is celebrated with joy that is the festival of carnival, or the temptation of Jesus in the desert. Known as the carnival. Dance in the public domain. This holiday is well spent as a carnival celebration in our city and hence the game is intertwined with the joy and love through dialogue with colored streamers. 
Dance of the Province of Calca, Cusco Department. Through the expression of caresses and processions of birds, which in this case are the Jilgueros. It's like watching the affections of these men, couples with songs of melancholy feelings, show their love sign of purity and truth. 
"INGRATA" Dance of the Province of Calca, Cusco Department. Ungrateful is the first thing that is said to the couple, to the beloved, constantly scolding  the partner, trying to pull away from the other, nostalgia is so fierce that in many passages of the songs expressed strong disappointment aspects.  

"TURKUY" Dancing with irradiation in the Districts fromf Canchis Yanaoca District and capital of the Province of Canas. Cusco  Department.  In both places, the dance is manifested in somewhat different reasons, this is so: in Tinta on January first of each year there are changes in stiff church service, called "camana" (charge of carrying a small stick), the steward is called as "turku" and the dancers as "turkuy" these over to a tall boy (maqtillo) responsible for the care of "turku" and to effect this cleaning step. 
 "SALLAQ tusuy" Dance of the Community of Santa Cruz de Sallaq, District Urcos , Quispicanchi Province, Cusco Department. The carnivals are favorable as a popular festival and this festival is very well used by villagers and even more for young people. Those with enthusiasm and noise are prepared not only for celebration but also for the crush. Men and women are wearing beautiful colorful clothes, where men show their virility and strength is a sign of strength in the agricultural tillage. This dance was investigated by Professor Edgar Caceres Figueroa Molero and Aucapuri Wilger. Executed by the Cultural Center of Huaro Aravicos. 
Dance of the community of Laq'o Marcapata District,  Quispicanchi Province, Department of Cusco. Saraspillu means, the "hair of the corn." Saras = maize; pillu = hair. It also means the flower of maize. The people thank the rain dancing constantly; the warakanakuy is part of the execution of the dance where men with Waraka (weapon) initiate the fighting. All of this is done as usual costume to thank in this case to the Pacha Mama, for the good production of corn. Researched and Compiled in 1988, by the Jesuit Brother Victor Vasquez Vera, the choreographic interpretation corresponds to Professor Edgar Caceres Molero.  

"Qaswa KIO" Dance of the Community of Laq'o, Marcapata District, Quispicanchi Province, Cusco Department. This dance is done in gratitude for the bird of good luck in that area called "KIO" and in every moment of the dance is mentioned saying …kíucha kio. The festival in dedicated to the good production, fruit of good luck. It was made according to each season for "Potato Pallae" or the "sara t'ipiy" that are the harvest seasons. Researched and Compiled in 1989, by the Jesuit Brother Victor Vasquez Vera, the choreographic interpretation made by Professor Edgar Caceres Molero. 
Dance of Ampay community, district of Pisac, Calca Province, Cusco City. It is express n this dance the songs of  love through the carnival game where couples after the pickup of the Andean flowers called t'ikas, start with the celebration, to finally conclude the proof of love called "sirvinakuy"; prior to that they show their love affection saying "the more you hit the more I love you. 
"CARNIVAL OF MOLLOMARKA" Dance of Mollomarka community and communities annexed to the province of Paucartambo and the community of Quispicanchi Chichina,  Q'atqa district. Department of Cusco. It is executed in those communities during the Carnival. Through the dance they express movements that give us the idea to understand the meaning of the Quechua word "Muyuq" subsequently suffers a different interpretation in the pronunciation as "Molloq" which both mean many turns around. The movement of men and the women, show their intentions of wanting to grab the wind with their hands, so they can squeeze it with their arms, flirting body performing that expresses the desire to prove how much they can love each others, even showing some mutual aggressiveness. The stubbornness of wanting to stay with their partners, it is shown in the choreography execution, which gets at the end of the dance. Dance investigated in 2000 by Brother Victor Vasquez Vera S. J., the choreographic interpretation of Professor Edgar Caceres Molero winning First Place in Regional Festival X Huaro Sara Raymi 2000 Dance Workshop: Cusco Art Center.  

Dance of the community of Sulllumayo, Huaro District, Province of Quispicanchi, Department of Cusco. The villagers of Sullumayo meet during the carnival and leave to Huaro with songs and dances and then go to the ranch Pucuta, carrying various agricultural products and native birds to the landowner in thanks for their kindness towards them. The typically aspect in the dance is the love through courtship and male virility, as the response of the females in this courtship. This dance was investigated by Prof. Edgar Caceres Figueroa Molero and Aucapuri Wilger and the Cultural Center of Huaro Aravir. And in turn by the C.E Mx. "Nuestra Señora del Carmen" Urcos, under the artistic direction of Professor Edgar Caceres Molero, a winner at the national level in the dance competition called for healthy youth, modality carnivals in 1997. 
Dance of Tinta District, Canchis Province, Cusco Department. In earlier times the Peruvian currency, called the sun, was taken as a good purchasing power, so much so that in the popular music the people used to sing indicating that store where they were going to spend the money, and in other aspects. Solischay comes from the word soles (old Peruvian currency), saying in a popular way solis or Solischay. Dance in the public domain. 
"CARNIVAL OF Kanas" Dance of the Province of Kanas, Department of Cusco. This dance is performed on January 20 with the so-called clash of "Chiaraje" and "T'oqto" which is the communal clash between communities and continuing throughout all the month ending with carnival festivities, where men and women infected with joy, gambling and drinking are gradually sentimental where to look through the diatribes in their songs are showing their feelings within the coarseness. And so gradually end with the acceptance to end the "sirvinakuy" which means "test of love." 
"Q'ara TAKAYA"
Dance Pitumarka District, Province of Canchis, Department of Cusco. Dance of Inca origin that was replaced in colonial times with the feast of patron saint San Miguel. In Inca times  the four regions (zones) used to get together adjacent to Pitumarka and today four communities gather to celebrate the award of the leather of animals, which serve as very useful, especially for the mooring of agricultural implements and Tethers as the roofs of their homes, as well as for the lined doors, etc. 
"K'AJCHA" Dance of Tinta District, Canchis Province, Cusco Department. Religious holidays are important, meaningful, participatory, for the Andean man, so much so that Tinta and in many other locations it is celebrated the festivities of  the Nativity Virgin, and this is very well used by the dancers in particular and peculiar way, being partakers of stewardship, and participants are those who are mixed up with bullfighting ( part of  the celebration) where the butler or the bullfighter  is accompanied by the dancers  or in circles with the snap of their Warakas they scare the bull that is dealt, hence the name scare k'ajcha which means giving something in this case to scare the bull that is dealt. Their typical outfit, are characterized for been very colorful and handmade embroidery. Dance investigated in 1972 by Mr. Victor Aguilar Vargas. Portrayed by the Association of Folk Art Ink Tupac Amaru; Province Canchis. Compiled in 1984 by Professor Edgar Caceres Molero. 
Dance representative of different trees in the region, danced by tall people each person is wearing tattered clothes tree branches in the arms (sauce, pepper tree, elder, chachacomo, broom) etc. The Face painted in black and red, ther head covered with a chullo (hat). It is dance screaming to the sound of whistle and drum. 

Danced by tall women with big skirts. On their heads they carry small t chullos with small ornaments. They dance with Waracas in their hands accompaniment the performed songs. Dance is a satire on women who cannot cook, wash clothes and cook. 

They are the sewers of Oca (tipe of potatos), who dance in work clothes, with hoes in hand and shoulder bags, dance represents the planting season of this precious tuber.  
It represents the calandria birds like the skylark, which feeds from the peppers, whose colors are yellow, green and blue are often caught in the locker room. The dancers are hot peppers in their pouches and bags of coca in their hands.  
Very old Dance.  Circular hat called chullo, vest and shorts; each dancer takes coca pouches in one of the hands and in the other a colored flag, with the dancers singing.  
Dances are of different kinds of planting season. The costumes are in agricultural work. The dancers perform different movements with regard to planting; a woman invites food, beer that is serves by an Andean man. They dance following the rhythm of the whistle, drum and bass drum.  
During the festivities of Corpus Christi and across the litter of the Virgin del Carmen and Rosario the dancers dressed chullos, white shirt, circular skirt, bells on their knee and sandals. It represents the male goats in the mating season, sleeping with different women every night so that Corpus was banned in the year 1892 by Archbishop Benigno Yabar. 
Possibly of Inca origin, the dancers wear sheep hat, triangular Unku, leather skirt decorated with mirrors, using large chucos Huacamayos adorned with feathers, carrying sticks in their hands. This dance represents the Inca chiefs with flags of colored feathers.  
Dance of Inca origin, this dance represents the submission of higher Inca authorities replaced to the religious devotion.
Costume: A cap and crown of thorns adorned, pants to the knee, unku. The dancers carry on the hand a cross and they have a curved back.
Music: Only the sound of the pututos (seashells).  

Due to its characteristics possibly from colonial times. It is a parody to the mistis and the Spanish and especially to the authorities and huaylacas.
Costume: They wear as soldiers with red pants, boots and women with long coats, unkempt hair.
Music: Typical band, the dancers dance shouting orders and pretending to represent the everyday life of different authorities.  
Dance of Inca origin and mixed with colonial influences and Republican, represents the young people looking for singles, with unremitting demonstration of endurance racing. Represented by a chief sergeant and a group of characters who take their orders and their accompanying women with parental consent.
Costume: Circular Montera (hat), shirt, sticks, metal cross. 
Dance that represents the sunrise, this is celebrated during the festivities of the crosses and San Juan.
Costume: The best costumes adorned with flowers.
Music: Typical band with metal instruments.  
The transportation from the loved woman, full of unforgettable actions for the future spouses.
Possibly Inca origins to the beginning of a possible sirvinacuy as proof of marriage.  
Satirical dance is a parody of recruiters who hired people for forced labor in the jungle Qosñipata.
The dance is represented by a contractor of a policeman, hired and an Andean man. 
The festivities of the Carmen Mamacha Paucartambo of Quyllur Rit'i, the Inti Raymi and carnivals are important reasons to see these dances and many more, also previously performed in Corpus Christi. It is noteworthy that in Cusco holidays dances performed in parades should be clearly Cusquenian, as there are festivals where they usually hire highland dances very attractive to young people today.

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