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Cusco Carnival, a Traditional Dance

Dance is an Art that includes the movement of the body in a rhythmic way, usually to music and within a given space, for the purpose of expressing an idea or emotion, releasing energy, or simply taking delight in the movement itself. Cusco is considered one of the 50 most beautiful cities in the world. This is thanks to its culture, folklore, gastronomy, history, among other characteristics that make this a unique city.

Cusco has beautiful folk dances that through movements of the body express more than what we watch. One of those dances is the fascinating “Cusco Carnival”!

Danza Carnaval Cusqueño

Cusco Carnival Dance

Description| Cusco Carnival

Cusco Carnival is one of the most popular dances in Cusco. It has a catchy rhythm. Dancers movements are elegant and delicate. Single men and women dance as if they were flirting with each other. This traditional dance is often performed during the Carnivals (the date varies every year).

One of the main steps of the choreography consist of dancing around a tree, which is decorated with streamers, wrapped gifts, typical blankets, among other items that will be taken by the dancers. This choreography or part of the Cusco Carnival dance is called “Cortamonte, Q´ashwa or Yunza”; the objective is to cut the tree and with some luck may a young lady fall for you.

Nowadays, you can observe that in different parts of Cusco and its provinces the traditional “Cortamonte” takes place during the carnivals.

Musical Instruments:

The elegant dance includes traditional Andean music that are played with the following instruments:

  • Wind (quena)
  • Percussion
  • Violin

Where do people dance Cusco Carnival?

Although Cusco Carnival is danced in different provinces of the Cusco region, it is believed to have roots in the province of Cusco and some districts such as San Jerónimo and Saylla.

Pareja de la danza Carnaval Cusqueño

Couple of the Cusco Carnival dance

Women Outfit:

  • Bright mix skirt
  • White and bright Blouse
  • Slips and petticoats
  • White long hats with some details of the old Cusco.
  • White handkerchief
  • Boots
  • Long braids
  • Streamers
  • Flour on the face

Men Outfit:

  • Black vest and pants
  • White shirt
  • White handkerchief
  • Black hat
  • White scarf wrapped around the hips
  • Black shoes
  • Streamers
  • Flour on the face

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