Dancers from Raíces del Peru in the Calgary Stampede Parade on July 6, 2018. © J. Ashley Nixon
Raíces del Peru (Roots of Peru) entered the Calgary Stampede Parade for the first time in 2017. This time around they excelled again and won the Best Cultural Entry award for the second year running. In one of the largest parades in North America, where something like 4,000 participants walk or ride (in vehicles and on horseback) a 5 km route around the downtown core in front of more than 200,000 onlookers, the community group was recognized for their diversity in dance, costume, and music. Probably also for their smiling.
The group, comprising more than 60 dancers presented a rotation of dances that form part of the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) of Peru, including the Marinera Norteña, from the Pacific coast; Valicha and Huaylarsh Moderno from the Andean mountains; and the Afro-Peruvian dance called the Zamacueca. There were also two traditional reed boats (balsas) from Lake Titicaca, “paddled” along the Parade route by two young performers.
Perhaps the most spectacular, given the gorgeous spectrum of colours, masks and costumes was the Diablada Puneña from Puno in the southern Andes, a folkloric dance involving devils, dragons and Saint Michael the Arc-Angel that got the crowd cheering.
Short photo gallery
For a short selection of photographs of Raíces del Peru in the 2018 Calgary Stampede Parade, please visit J. Ashley Nixon Photography here.
Longer photo gallery
If you were in the parade and/or know someone who was, and would like to see more, there is a bigger selection of photos that you can view here.