Dances Enthrall in Cuzco’s Celebrations

Cuzco is a city that has great celebrations during the year. Each of them is carried out with passion and a lot of interaction among the celebrants. The people of the city like to celebrate to the fullest each occasion. That is why the majority of the feasts are celebrated with typical dances from the highlands, coast, and jungle of our country.

Every time a neighborhood celebrates its anniversary, the people of the neighborhood organize a feast in its honor. Within the celebration you will see the young people participate along with the adults present dances as an offering to the neighborhood. The most well known dances are performed, such as the mestiza collacha, the carnaval cusqueño, the marinera, the wallatas, and many more.

These dances are also seen in the presentations of the schools. On specific dates which require recognition, such as Mother’s Day, the schools get organized and perform small ceremonies in honor of mothers or whoever the day celebrates. They do a series of activities, including jokes, poetry, contemporary dances, and typical dances.

Marinera Peruana
Marinera Peruana

In addition to these dance you can also see the different cargos of the city, the assuming and carrying out of feast sponsorship or leadership. These are very important. On the special day of a saint who is the patron of the group the leader belongs to, for example the Lord of Tetecaca. On this day the leader, the carguyoq, contracts a band or bands and various dancers. They choose a dance—it may be the saya, for example. Their followers carry the cross and parade through the streets dancing in the patron’s honor.

The marinera is another dance performed here, though it is typical of the city of Trujillo. In order to dance this, you need a lot of skill as well as work with your partner, since it is danced in couples.

Carnaval Cusqueño
Carnaval Cusqueño q

This dance requires the man to try to court a resistant woman. He tries to get her to let him give her a kiss while the woman simulates to accept his attentions and then turns away. They continue dancing and arrive at the part where they raise their handkerchiefs. Here you see the value of their costumes that are designed specifically for the occasion. These costumes come from Monsefú and Moche, towns close to Trujillo. Their designers are part of an ongoing competition to make the best costumes. People observe and the qualifying judges have the final word.

The carnaval cusqueño, or Cusco-style carnival, is typical of the Imperial City. The clothing worn is elegant and worthy of any celebration. The steps that this dance requires are quick. They have to match the rhythm of the band. This dance is very popular and is performed with joy and love through the dialogue of colored streamers and colored flour. It is a typical dance carried out in our carnival, the feast that has just passed.

Cholo Qorilazo
Cholo Qorilazo


The cholo qorilazo is a dance that is typical of the province of Chumbivillcas in the Department of Cuzco, specifically the District of Santo Tomás, which is considered the land of the qorilazos. This dance describes the joy of the intrepid cholo qorilazo who falls in love easily. He sings to his love, the inspiration she is and how she is always by his side. Then he also sings to his faithful companion, his horse.

The morenada is a typical dance of the Altiplano, the high plateau. It is filled with energy and is notable especially for the beauty of the China, a beautiful, young, and enchanting young woman who with her elegant steps enchants the Moreno. It is also known as the dance of lights, because of the shine of the sequins and jewels, as well as the bright colors of the costumes.

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