This Andean dance group will celebrate 18 years of creation and will commemorate them with an international festival to be held in the Tarqui Coliseum. Folk dances are a resource to attract new generations and keep Ecuador’s millenary traditions alive.
Among those groups is the Andean ballet Sumak Pakarina, from the Tarqui parish of Cuenca, which on October 28 will celebrate 18 years of creation with a festival in which groups from Argentina, Bolivia and Peru will participate.
The event will take place at the stadium of the town, Marco Vélez. Julio Lojano, director and choreographer of Sumak Pakarina, Quichua words that mean “Bello Amanecer”, said that through art, which is dance, the customs and traditions of Ecuador are represented and rescued.
“We want to leave a message for the new generations to keep our cultural identity alive.” The group, which was created in 2000, has 35 members between 7 and 40 years old. With colorful and elaborate costumes, the folkloric group participates in different presentations every week.
The director of Sumak Pakarina, who has 18 years of experience in folk dance, seeks to recover the customs, but respecting the colors, costumes, music and steps practiced by the Andean people.
“My pride is to wear a wardrobe of our ancestors and to transmit, despite all the conquest, that our customs are still alive.” Research In order to represent the ancestral customs and the Cosmo vision of each town through dance, an on-site investigation is carried out.
This was the explanation of Fernando Quinde, director and choreographer of the Ñawpa Rimaykuna group from Cuenca, with 10 years of experience. “We carry out field research, visiting towns and communities, witnessing parties and interviewing people.” The steps that the dancers put in scene are determined by the rhythms of each place, for example, of the cañari, salasaca, saraguro, kayambi, among other peoples.
“To determine the steps and the performance of the dancers, the research has allowed me to take as a reference what people do during popular festivals.” Among the dances in which he works are: the chaspishka, traditional music of the saraguros; the saltashpa, typical of the cañaris, and the chola cuencana, which is practiced in various rhythms such as albazos or pasacalles.
These dance customs go back to pre-Inca civilizations, when cultures danced as part of their ceremonies. The researcher Ximena Pulla indicated that prior to the colonization, the dance was the essence of the rituals for the natural deities, among them, the curiquingue ceremony or “golden bird”. (I)