World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival

FESTIVAL DANCERS

Bolivia Corazón de America

DANCE ORIGIN: Bolivia
GENRE: Traditional
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND CHOREOGRAPHER: Isidro Fajardo
First Appearance in SF EDF: 2002
Website: www.facebook.com/BCASF

Bolivia Corazón de America was formed in 2000 by Susana Salinas to connect Bolivian American children to their heritage. It continues to showcase Bolivia’s rich and varied culture, and now includes young dancers from other Latin America countries and the U.S. The company educates audiences though innovative high-quality, professional performances, often re-creating Bolivian dances not regularly seen. The dancers perform frequently around the Bay Area, including at charitable events like La Pena Internacional de Las Damas, and COANIQUEM in Pleasanton; also in Sacramento, LA, Chicago, and in China’s Beijing Touring Festival. BCA works with students at Leadership High School, a school that most of today’s dancers attended.

2013 PERFORMANCE

DANCE ORIGIN: Bolivia
GENRE: Traditional
TITLE: Kusisiña, Plumas y Bufones
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND CHOREOGRAPHER: Isidro Fajardo
DANCERS:
Denisse Aguilar, Diana Alemán, Viviana Alemán, Felisa Amaya, Isabel Elias, Isidro Fajardo, Alicia Fernandez, Jennifer Martinez, Oscar Mendoza, Sabrina Rabaneh, Krystal Siliezar.
MUSICIANS:
Edmundo Aliaga (roncoco), Jose Luis Arrazola (guitar, charango), Elvin Gutierrez (panpipes Zankas, Toyos), Rafael Laruta (native percussion), Gilmar López (guitar, panpipes, khena), Edson Veizaga (panpipes Maltas, Antaras, Toyos)

From the Altiplano—the Andes’ twelve-thousand foot high inland plain—here is a presentation of Kusisiña, Plumas y Bufones—Dances of Feathers and Fools.

The first piece, Suri Sicuri, is an UNESCO Intangible World Heritage dance from indigenous Aymara and Quechan communities, dating back to 800 BCE. It is thought to be originally a hunting dance and “suri” is the Quechuan name for the American Rhea, a large flightless bird similar to an ostrich. Sicuri is a musical form performed by marching musicians playing the “sicu,” the Quechuan name for the zampona panpipes.

Local history tells of the Inca once teaching the giant birds to dance to the pipes, opening their wings, spinning in place, and shaking their behinds as if in courtship. In this piece, the dancers’ magnificent feather headdresses represent the bird’s backsides, and their movements mimic the rhea’s turns. Bolivia Corazón De America unites the ancient choreography with contemporary ballet-based movements, to amplify the suri’s delicate movements and its majestic attempts to fly. The dance also shows a character named Tata Kusillo trying to play with the birds until they run off. His children arrive, filling the stage with jumps, turns, and tricks.

The second piece, Kusillo, features the dance of the traditional Andean clown said to represent many characters: a roguish devil, the Andean tiwula fox, and the parody of a Spanish colonizer. Kusillo’s origins are not certain. His crazy and devilish attitudes are similar to the Greek god Dionysus and his earthiness is connected to the Aymara concept of Manq’ha Pacha, the spiritual-physical dimension of Earth’s depths, profound thought and feeling, and realms of the past.

Choreographer Isidro Fajardo learned this dance in Bolivia and choreographed this World Premiere in 2012. The brightly colored costumes are similar to those worn in the Bolivian Andes, and musicians play regional instruments: charango lute; bombo drum; khena flute. The zamponas panpipes are the favorite traditional instrument of the Lake Titicaca region in present day Bolivia and Peru, flutes that mimic the high mountain winds.

2010 PERFORMANCE

Title: Magical Encounters in the Altiplano
GENRE:
Suri Sicuri
Artistic Director/Choreographer:
Isidro Alfonso Fajardo
Dancers: Felisa Amaya,
Melissa Anguiano, Kristin Bard, Esteffany Calderon,
Jaime Echavarria,
Isidro Alfonso Fajardo,
Herbert Godoy, Gabriela Hernandez, Christina Perry, Maria Alicia Lemus, Jeniffer Martinez, Kiuver Orizabal, Laura Rubio, Jesus Sandoval


Magical Encounters in the Altiplano is a presentation of suri sicuri, a dance from Amarya and Quecha communities in northern La Paz, Bolivia, dating back to 800 BCE. Suri is the indigenous Quechua name for the American Rhea, a large flightless bird similar to an ostrich. Sicuri is a musical form performed by marching musicians playing the zampoña (sicu in Quechua) panpipes.  

The dance is set (and peformed frequently) in the Bolivian altiplano, a vast inland plain at altitudes of ten to fourteen thousand feet. The terrain is rocky and the climate is cool, windy, and dry. Indigenous women called indiecitas open the dance, and they move with a delicate humility, a weary sadness for their hard lives, and a discernable pride in their heritage.

One of the women becomes curious at the appearance of a suri. Fascinated, she admires the bird's beautiful feathers and grace, and the suri allows her to dance with him. The flock becomes envious and pushes the woman away, but she has decided she must herself become a suri. She performs a delicate magical ritual, and crowning herself with suri feathers, she is transformed into a large beautiful bird. The suri are filled with joy and they join in a celebratory dance.

It's said that the Inca could make the suri dance for them: at the sound of the zampoña panpipe, the suri opened their wings and spun in place, shaking their behinds. This display is also courtship behavior, and the ancient dance is based around it. The magnificent feather headdress represents the bird's backside. The dancers turn in place, and stretch their limbs to lift up their bodies, mirroring the suri's grace. It's surmised that suri sicuri originated as a hunting dance.

The costumes are made by Susana Salinas, and the headpieces come from Bolivia. The shield-like covering of the hunting gear was originally made of jaguar hide hardened into a protective shape. The musicians play the Incan zampoña pan flute. Two performers are needed to complete the musical scale, reflecting the Andean ethos of the balance of opposites.

2008 PERFORMANCE

TITLE: A Day in the Life of a Campesino
GENRES:
Salaque, Tinku
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/ CHOREOGRAPHER
: Susana Salinas
DANCERS: Felisa Elizabeth Amaya, Maria Luisa Bachinello, Juan Alberto Bandera, Kristin Bard, Isidro Alfonso Fajardo, Ryan Flores, Randy Flores, Gabriela Jacqueline Hernández, Luis Alfredo Hernández, Elsie Lopez, Maria Alicia Lemus Lovo, Oscar Armando Luna, Wendy Michelle Millán, Melisa Palacios, Christina Perry, Laura Rubio, Edwin C. Siliezar Jr., Juan José Urrutia

Artistic Director and Choreographer Susana Salinas created Salaque and Tinku to premiere at this year’s Festival.

Salaque was originally danced in southwestern Bolivia. It celebrates the planting and harvesting of quinoa, a grain native to the Andes—a grain so sacred that Incan emperors are said to have sowed the first seeds each year with golden implements. In this dance, farmers express their satisfaction and gratitude for the harvest with rhythmic tapping of heels and flirtatious swishing of skirts. The men wield shovels and the women sling on atados filled with provisions, and carry flowers to symbolize abundance. The songs are primarily in the Quechua language, expressing the work of harvesting in the time of love.

The next dance, Tinku, is a pre-Columbian ritual from Potosí, 12,000 feet above sea level. It is remarkable that these traditions survived, as many indigenous people died in Potosí's Spanish silver mine, which opened in 1541 and operated for several hundred years. Tinku, in Quechua, means encounter or duel, and this dance is known as a “fierce celebration.” Originally, communities, or ayllu, danced on sacred grounds to settle feuds. The pututu—made from a bull’s horn—was sounded as the call to fight. Teams of dancers faced off, comparing feats of strength, vying for favor from Pachamama, or Motherland. What did the traditional dancers win? Practically everything until the next tinku: abundance, fertility, prestige, coveted land and water rights, as well as favors from the losing party. These ritual confrontations are still practiced in the Potosí region.

2007 PERFORMANCE

TITLE: Suri Sicuri and Tobas
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER: Susana Salinas
DANCERS: Felisa Amaya, Maria Amaya, Sarita Barbara Arrescurenaga, Alberto Banderas, Daniela Camacho, Fabiola Diana Camacho, Marvin Espinoza, Isidro Fajardo, Priscilla Fallas, Ryan Flores, Irene Garcia, Gabriela Hernandez, Luis Hernandez, Israel Lazo, Maria Alicia Lemus, Oscar Luna, Wendy Michelle Millan, Osmar Morando, Quang Nguyen, Melisa Palacios, Christina Marie Perry, Laura Rubio, Alvaro Salinas Jr., Edwin Siliezar, Juan Jose Urrutia, Magali Vasquez

Bolivia Corazon de America performs two traditional pieces. Suri Sicuri is a dance dating back to 800 BCE from the Andean communities in northern La Paz. The name refers to the ostrich, the suri, as the magnificent headdress is made of its feathers. The dance is performed in harvest ceremonies and depicts the hunting of the suri. Sikuri is also a popular musical form performed by a large number of marching musicians playing the panpipes know as siku. Two performers are needed to complete the musical scale, which reflect the Andean ethos of the balance of opposites.

The second dance, Tobas, is a dance that commemorates the clashes between Incan and Amazon warriors. Tobas is a tribute to the powerful warrior people, the Toba, who are part of a large group of indigenous peoples from Argentina, Paraguay, and the Amazonian lowlands of Bolivia. The name toba comes from the Indian language Guarani meaning, “big forehead,” as it refers to the Toba people who cut their hair short in the front to signify they were in mourning. The Toba were a fierce people who, originally nomadic hunter-gatherers, successfully resisted colonial intrusion for many centuries. Using spectacular masks, costumes, and feather headdresses, the dance consists of agile jumps and quick-footed steps rhythmically syncopated to the sound of the drums.

2005 PERFORMANCE

TITLE OF PIECES: Tinku, Suri Sikuris
CHOREOGRAPHY:
Susana Salinas
DANCERS:
Maria Luisa Bachinello, Juan Alberto Bandera, Andrea Bermudez, Daniela Camacho, Elizabeth Camcho, Fabiola Camacho, Ryan Flores, Elvin Gutierrez, Alfonso Guzman, Oliver Guzman, Andrea Lino, Lillian Lino, Christian Morando, Osmar Morando, Melisa Palacios, Jhamil Reynolds, Alvaro Salinas, Jr.

Bolivia Corazon de America performs two traditional pieces. Tinku is a pre-Columbian ritual from Potosi, Bolivia in which two communities come together in a "fierce celebration." Originally performed on sacred grounds, people fought for their ayllu, or community. Each community would compete and compare strength in an attempt to gain favor for abundance and fertility from Pachamama, the mother land. Winning the battle meant gaining prestige, land rights and favors from the losing party. Tinku is also a musical rhythm done to a marching movement.

From the Andean communities in northern La Paz, Suri Sikuri is a dance dating back to 800 BC. The name refers to the ostrich, the suri, as the magnificent headdress is made of its feathers. The dance is performed in harvest ceremonies and depicts the hunting of the suri. Sikuri is a musical form, performed by a large number of marching musicians playing the panpipes, know as sikus. Two performers are needed to complete the musical scale, which reflect the Andean ethos of the balance of opposites.

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