Proyecto Lando/Cunamacué Collaboration
DANCE ORIGIN: Peru
MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Pedro Rosales (Proyecto Lando)
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND CHOREOGRAPHER: Carmen Román (Cunamacué)
First appearance in SF EDF: 2014
On the web:
Proyecto Lando combines Afro-Peruvian music with elements of jazz and salsa, providing a colorful, powerful swing that makes you want to dance non-stop. Led by Pedro Rosales, the band features a two-saxophone section, guitar, bass, cajon, congas, and traditional cajita and donkey’s jaw. This musical concept began in 2004 and materialized in 2009, in collaboration with Peru’s best musical arrangers, and the music can be heard on the 2009 CD “The Wooden Bronze,” and the 2012 CD: “La Hemorragia Del Sabor.”
Cunamacué’s mission is to promote the continuity of Afro-Peruvian culture, representing it not as a point in time, but as a living, vibrant, and evolving form whose music and dance is a means of current contemporary expression. Cunamacué uses Afro-Peruvian movement vocabulary and movements inspired by modern dance and dances of the African Diaspora to express its themes. Founded by Carmen Román, the company has performed locally and abroad, collaborating with local and international artists, creating original compositions in both music and dance.
DANCE ORIGIN: Peru
TITLE: Espiritu, Fertilidad, Quimba, y Sabor! (Soul, Fertility, Rhythm and Flavor!)
MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Pedro Rosales
MUSICAL ARRANGEMENT: Felipe Pumarada
CHOREOGRAPHER: Carmen Román
DANCERS: Aliyah Dunn-Salahuddin, Eyla Moore, Carmen Román
MUSICIANS: Jorge Colaizzo (donkey’s jaw), Larry De La Cruz (alto sax), Rosa Los Santos (cajita, vocals), Javier Navarrette (congas), David Rodriguez (cowbell, vocals), Pedro Rosales (cajón, lead vocals), Evelio Roque (tenor sax), Darren Smith (baritone Sax), Jose Soto (bass), Javier Trujillo (guitar)
Here’s a new Afro-Peruvian piece, Espiritud, Fertilidad, Quimba y Sabor!—Soul, Fertility, Rhythm & Flavor!—from the teamwork of choreographer Carmen Román and musician-composer Pedro Rosales. This performance features the festejo and the landó, two dances created in the Afro-Peruvian revival of the 1950s-1960’s. Here they are revived again—with new elements from the African Diaspora and a spirit of contemporary inventiveness.
At the end of the 1960’s, the world-renowned music and dance company Peru Negro Cultural Association created today’s Afro-Peruvian dance vocabulary. In this revival period choreographers re-stitched their broken African history, reclaiming dance elements lost under Spanish colonialism. New ideas and new forms evolved in conversation with other dancers in the African Diaspora—including companies from Cuba and Senegal, and choreographers like Katherine Dunham, who presented the first positive public representation of all-black casts.
The revival also enriched the music, bringing in Afro-Cuban congas, bongos, and cowbells and re-structuring musical patterns to accompany the Peruvian box drum, the cajón.
The first dance is landó. Peruvian poet and folklorist Nicomedes Santa Cruz says this matrimonial dance is derived from the lundú—a Brazilian dance evolved from an Angolan couples’ dance. The salient move is the pelvic bump. Carmen’s canon-like phrasing allows individual dancers to shine, and she also brings in elements of water and spirituality. The music is original, composed for this choreography by Pedro Rosales in collaboration with Felipe Pumarada.
The second dance, festejo, the most popular Afro-Peruvian dance, shows the joy and swing of community life. It also shows how a great collaboration can begin with the music. Pedro Rosales composed the infectious melody to capture the vibe of Peru’s crowded dancing spots; and Carmen based her choreography on the song. As the saxophones jazz things up, Pedro sings, With swing and flavor, with a lot of emotion—that’s how I sing my soulful song!—and the dancers embody the upbeat theme.
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