Son de los diablos [videorecording].
Summary: This piece is based on the traditional Afro-Peruvian street masquerade dance 'Son de los Diablos,' originated in the Corpus Christi celebrations in Lima during the Colonial Period. As the ruling elite in colonial Peru framed it, blacks represented evil forces in a religious drama. However, by the time of slavery's abolition in 1854, Afro-Peruvians had appropriated this dance as a symbol of cultural resistance and practiced it especially during carnival in the barrios where these were relocated. The Son was banned from the streets 1940s when President Manuel Prado prohibited carnival celebrations in Lima. In the 1980's the Movimiento Negro Francisco Congo, a collective dedicated to the recovery and revalorization of Afro-Peruvian traditions, approached Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani to recuperate the tradition of this street dance and to perform it on the streets once again. The group of Francisco Congo would teach the dance, and Yuyachkani would contribute their maskwork.
Summary: Yuyachkani considered this dance a master dance for young actors because it includes codification of the body, maskwork, dancing, and an active and playful relationship with the audience. Peru's most important theatre collective, Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani (www.yuyachkani.org) has been working since 1971 at the forefront of theatrical experimentation, political performance, and collective creation. 'Yuyachkani' is a Quechua word that means 'I am thinking, I am remembering'; under this name, the theatre group has devoted itself to the collective exploration of embodied social memory, particularly in relation to questions of ethnicity, violence, and memory in Peru.
Summary: The group is comprised of seven actors (Augusto Casafranca, Amiel Cayo, Ana Correa, Débora Correa, Rebeca Ralli, Teresa Ralli, and Julián Vargas), a technical designer (Fidel Melquíades), and an artistic director (Miguel Rubio), who have made a commitment to collective creation as a mode of theatrical production and to group theater as a life style. Their work has been among the most important in Latin America's so called 'New Popular Theater,' with a strong commitment to grass-roots community issues, mobilization, and advocacy. Yuyachkani won Peru's National Human Rights Award in 2000. Known for its creative embrace of both indigenous performance forms as well as cosmopolitan theatrical forms, Yuyachkani offers insight into Peruvian and Latin American theatre, and to broader issues of postcolonial social aesthetics.
Credits: Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani, director, producer, masks ; Movimiento Negro Francisco Congo, choreographers/dance instructors ; masks and costumes based on watercolor paintings by Pancho Fierro.
Credits: Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani.