Bolivian Dance Performances

“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. Bolivian Dance is a spectacular art form!

Videos of Bolivian Dance Performances

Bolivian Dancing – Video 1

Bolivian Dancing – Video 2

Bolivian Dancing – Video 3

Traditional Bolivian Dance Costumes

The music and dance steps are made even more special by the ornate costumes worn during the performances. 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. They are 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.

Free Dance Performances in Sucre, Bolivia

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 Mexicano taco nights. But Thursday night’s event, “Bolivian Dancing”, really had my interest sparked, and I didn’t know what to expect.

I was blown away by the Bolivian Dance Performance.  It was 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 performances.  I recommend watching them all for the impressive dance performances – 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)!

For more about Kultur Berlin hostel, visit their website: Kultur Berlin

*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!


20 thoughts on “Bolivian Dance Performances

  1. It was great to read about the Bolivian Dance Performance. The masks of the performers are very interesting and their costumes are amazing too!

    1. I have only watched it, but I imagine it would make me quite tired! I didn’t know Bolivian Dance was a thing until I was in Bolivia, so don’t worry! I am happy to know I had the opportunity to introduce you to it!

  2. I loved hearing about Caparoles and its folkloric and ritualistic. As someone who likes to dance ( I am no Beyonce mind) hearing about dance traditions in other cultures really fascinates me.

  3. Having never been to Bolivia, this style of dancing isn’t something I’m familiar with. But I love learning about new cultures and traditions when I travel, much like you 🙂 x

  4. The head wear in the second and third videos are very impressive without a doubt. The dancers don’t seem to get tired at all from their vibrant dance routines!

    1. I know, it’s kind of amazing. I would be panting out of breath after 1 dance! Especially in the high altitudes of Bolivia! Thanks for watching 🙂

  5. Traditions are always admirable as much as we don’t maintain more of them nowadays. And I’d love to see the Bolivian dance! Woow! The costumes are too pretty so I can imagine how good the dance is like!

  6. You are right those videos are extremely impressive and look like a performance from a very professional show rather than one in a hostel courtyard. The costumes are top quality and the dance routine with the heavy masks is commendable.

  7. Folk music is always so good no matter where it comes from. I love dancing and watching new forms too. This is amazing and loved the neon lights, costumes and the cool step done by the performers. Would love to watch it someday.

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed it. I am always amazed by traditional folk performances from just about anywhere too!

  8. I always like to see traditional dances from around the world. I’ve never seen Bolivian before and I really love it. The costumes are very interesting.

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