Thursday, August 29, 2013

An Evening with Traditional Clothing

Chiclayo’s cultural center sponsors a wide range of exhibitions throughout the year including crafts, art, customs, and last night a presentation of traditional clothing worn all across Peru. The clothing was modeled in combination with traditional dances from each represented town/region, and there were many of them during the two-hour event. All of the presenters were from the Chiclayo area and did multiple presentations, which means they were not only well acquainted with dances from the various regions, but were also adept at quick costume changes.

This couple began the evening by dancing the Tondero in clothing worn throughout the northern coastal regions.

The clothing this couple is wearing representing the village of Inca Wasi (which in Quechua means ‘house of the Inca’) is worn not only at festivities but also for everyday use.

Despite assurances from Maribel that this guy is wearing traditional clothing from Callejon de Huaylas in the Ancash Region, I had a tough time believing it. I’m thinking 1930s Zoot suiter in the USA or some Bohemian enclave today. Anyway, they’re dancing an up-tempo version of the Huayno.

One of my favorite dances to watch is the Festejo (slave dance) here performed by these people representing the village of Zaña in the Lambayeque Region. Zaña has a large Afro-Peruvian population dating back to the days of slave importation in the early 1500s.

My favorite of the evening was this couple representing the village of Jauja in the Junin Region. They danced a slower version of the Huayno…their movements so graceful, deliberate and sophisticated that the entire audience was held spellbound.

The evening would not have been complete without purely traditional Inca clothing worn here by dancers representing Huancavelica.

The performance finished with a curtain call that was greeted by a standing ovation and a rush of photographers.

Admission to cultural center events is usually free and last night the audience was served finger sandwiches while seated during the performance. What a wonderful way to spend a Wednesday evening in Chiclayo!  

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