Huaylarsh (also written as huaylash, huaylas, waylash, and waylarsh) is a style of music (huayno) and folk dance that comes from the central and southern highlands of the Andes. The dance takes its name from the Quechua (Huanca dialect) word walarsh, meaning young man and was originally danced by the Huanca, the Quechua people who have lived in the Mantaro Valley since around 600 BC, to celebrate the land as they sowed and harvested potatoes. Although the Huaylarsh is not on the UNESCO list for Intrinsic Cultural Heritage like other Peruvian dances such as the Huaconada de Mito and the Scissor dance, it forms an important, and living, part of the rich and diverse culture of Peru.
The music, style and costume of the Old Huaylarsh (Huaylarsh Antigua) were changed in the 1950s by the Huanca musician and composer, Zenobio Dagha to form what is now popularly known as Modern Huaylarsh (Huaylarsh Moderno). Violin, guitar and saxophone usually support the spectacular choreography and colourful costumes. It is a splendid, high-energy performance, played out as a courtship ritual between young men (called huancas or wancas/wankas) and women (called huamlas or wamlas), filled with intricate footsteps, jumping and, sometimes, acrobatic “show-off” movements by the male dancers.
You can see more images of the dance group Tuky performing the Huaylarsh Moderno in Huancayo by visiting J. Ashley Nixon Communications.