Cuzco continues to celebrate with a contest where its various institutions compete to best show off Cusco’s rich culture through its traditional dances. Today, the multi-day show begins with small children from the city`s kindergartens. They dance around the PLaza de Armas in a salute to their city by performing its typical dances.
It is just charming to watch these little kids who have just left home and started their formal education performing dances that have deep roots in the heart of the city and signify for all its culture and identity. They step and sway into the city’s center and make themselves known to it, at the same time it becomes engraved in their experience.
All the city’s main institutions will parade, performing Cuzco’s culture and showing their loyalty and commitment to it before all the world. before this competition ends. Because of the wide differences of age and the organizations they belong to, the competitions pits similar groups against similar groups for the honor of winning the title of “best” for this year.
For days the children have been rehearsing in the main square in the evenings until their limbs automatically perform the right steps and choreography, their parents to the side waiting for them and encouraging them when they tire.
Todays show is first rate. The competition is demanding. As the schools, one by one, stop and dance before the panel of judges at the Cathedral’s doors. Watching them perform the often complicated steps makes ones heart beat both because they are children and with awe at their skill. They give everything as they dance and as they sing in Quechua, the language of their grandparents. Cuzco never fails to thrill.
Photos taken by Walter Coraza Morveli.