Dance & Music, Peruvian Style

2017.Jul.30 Sunday · 0 comments

in Life

It occurred to me that I’ve sort of moved towards only writing about food, and occasionally drink, here on SaltShaker. For those who’ve been with me over the (can you believe it?) last twelve plus years, I used to write a lot more about cultural stuff, and exploring Buenos Aires and surrounds. I want to bring more of that back, both because it interests me, and, it always seemed to interest my readers. Nothing but restaurant reviews and Casa S menus is getting a touch… boring. Even if useful.

About two weeks ago, Henry’s dance company, Compania de Folklore La Qantuta, was invited to participate in an afternoon of music and dance at a celebration of the Peruvian community here in Buenos Aires, called Cañadulce. I got my usual role as photo & video-grapher. Here’s my pick of the litter….

The show started off with some youngsters dancing the traditional marinera norteña, the highly stylized folklore dance of northern Peru. Way back when I first moved here, I got a massive introduction to this dance at a major competition that Henry and one of his partners participated in.

The cajón is a very common traditional instrument in Peruvian folklore music – basically a box with different sized sides and thicknesses of wood, and a sounding board inside with a hole in the front, kind of like the structure of a guitar. It’s played with the hands, open, closed, slaps, thumps, brushes, etc., to produce a wide variety of different percussive sounds (you’ll get a sense of that in the first of the videos down below).

A bit of afro-peruano music and dance with a troupe of young girls in traditional costume.

And, a local, star folklore dance teacher, Wilmer Palomino, and a quartet of his assistants and top students doing basically the Peruvian version of tap dance.

On to the videos….

A guitar duo was joined in one of their numbers by the organizer of this festival, Carlos Hernandez, playing the cajón, and a rendition of a very traditional and popular Peruvian folklore song, called Cholo Soy.


A friend of ours, Enrique (Kike) Vásquez (the taller of the three, with black shirt, tie, and jacket) and two of his fellow stars of the local Peruvian singing set, as part of the Cañadulce Orquestra.


This one is cut off at the beginning, as Henry forgot to tell me that in addition to his company doing their own presentation, he and one of his dancers were performing with a local Peruvian band, Rimac. It took me a few seconds to get the video camera going.


And, Henry and three other members of his company offering up a traditional dance.


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