“Caparoles” is the term for the style of traditional Andean dance which found it’s birth place in northern Bolivia. Caparoles is folkloric with it’s ritualistic roots. Today, it is performed to the beats and melodies of Bolivian folk music and is considered to be an Icon of Bolivian culture.
The music and dance steps are made even more special by the ornate costumes worn during the perfomances. Masks have been an important part of ritual dancing in the Andean cultures for centuries for religious reasons. Today, masks are made from modern materials and are unbelievably intricate works of art. You can visit the small Mask Museum in the city center of Sucre to see some of these inspiring pieces up close. Giant head-pieces adorned by feathers, ribbons, sparkles, long curly wigs and even LED lights make for a spectacular show. I was extremely impressed at the performer’s abilities to dance with these enormous things on their heads and faces.
I stayed in a delightful and lively hostel while I was in Sucre, Bolivia. (Click for more about my time in this wonderful city). My hostel, Kultur Berlin Hostel, was located a few short city blocks north of the city’s central plaza close to good restaurants and shopping. Kultur Berlin was part bar and part hostel – both sharing a large and inviting outdoor courtyard. Every night the hostel has a different theme. I was less intrigued by Italian Buffet, and Mexicana taco nights. But Thursday night’s event, “Bolivian Dancing”, really had my interest sparked, and I didn’t know what to expect.
I was truly blown away by the Bolivian Dance Performace. It was so above and beyond any expectations I might have had for a free show in the courtyard of a hostel. Between each number, the cast changed into another jaw-dropping set of costumes. Above are links to video’s I recorded with my little camera of the performaces. I recommend watching them all for the impressive dance performaces – but if you don’t have much time or don’t have much interest in dance, I would still suggest clicking around for a moment on each to at least see the fabulous costumes (and how well the dancers move in them)!
*I am excited to announce that I have created a brand new YouTube page where I will be able to upload videos from my travels. Now you will get to experience some of what I do in a whole new way!