World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival


Colectivo Anqari

DANCE ORIGIN: Bolivia and Peru
GENRE: Traditional
First Appearance in SF EDF: 2013

Formed in 2012 by artists with different backgrounds in Andean Music and Dance, the Colectivo focuses on the instruction, practice and promotion of traditional and understudied dance and music of the Altiplano. This repertoire is played upon indigenous wind instruments, and corresponds to the seasons and festivals during which it is played. Anqari is the name of the Aymara deity that represents the wind. Colectivo Anqari is a collective of musicians dedicated to the performance of traditional music and dances of the Kollao Altiplano, a culturally-rich region in the heart of the Andes mountains.


DANCE ORIGIN: Bolivia and Peru
GENRE: Traditional
TITLE: Mistisikuri
DANCER/MUSICIANS: Miles Bainbridge, Pamela Darington, Tajin De la Torre, Gabriel Escóbar, Edith Leni, Jaime Luna, Alex Ramirez, Sebastian Ramirez, Jose Rivera, Fernando Torres, Luis Valverde, Edson Veizaga, Freddy Veizaga, Chris Yerke, Milene Yerke, Hector Zapana
Carolina Flores, Claudia Gonzales, Jenny Guillen, Susana Rivero, Franxis Rodriguez, Claudia Saldańa


Luis Valverde presents Mistisikuri, an urban expression of indigenous Andean dance. It’s a joyful baile alegre from Aymara-speaking peoples near Lake Titicaca in the high altitude plains of the Andes, danced in the streets from La Paz to Puno and also along the pathways of Andean pueblos. This performance recreates a festival scene where ensembles gather to play and dance. In the altiplano, a festival procession can last all day, a dance party fueled by community spirit, laughter, dance, drink, twirling dancers that resemble flowers, and the haunting panpipe flute.

The Kollao Altiplano is the home of Quechuas, Aymaras, Uros and Chipayas, ethnic groups living there since before the Incan empire. Seventy percent of the population still speaks the native languages. This dance is called sicuriada in Bolivia, and sikumoreno in Peru. Sikuris are the musicians and siku is the name for the panpipe flute, originally a pre-Columbian ceramic or bone instrument, invented and played in the altiplano. The siku is a two-part instrument, with each “half” sounding the alternate notes of a complete scale. Siku players use an interlocking technique to play a melody, a technique called trenzando, or “braiding”.

The Mistisikuri tradition performed here was developed in the 19th century in Bolivia and Peru among urban indigenous and mestizo (mixed descent) communities. They adapted the indigenous dance and music, “borrowing” the siku panpipe from the pueblo. They built shorter, higher-pitched bamboo pipes to play rapid, light-hearted music, and they also created a separate percussion section and added a corps of non-musician dancers. In the 19th century, to be of indigenous descent carried a social stigma, so the original Mistisikuri costumes were exotic, the clothing of sailors, matadores, and soldiers. The dance returned in its present form to the pueblos in the 20th century, and urban ensembles turned again towards indigenous dress. Colectivo Anqari is dressed according to this later tradition, with ponchos and ch’ullus, or woolen hats. The piece was created by Luis Valverde in 2012 and set for this presentation.

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