On 27 july 2020, in Lima, at the Grand National Theatre, the Ministry of Culture presented the National Folkloric Ballet of Perú and the Bicentennial National Youth Symphony Orchestra in “Symphonic Altarpiece in Chamber Version”, a special adaptation of the emblematic show that has allowed citizens to experience from music and dance the cultures of the country, through a large format stage production in its more than 19 seasons. “Symphonic Altarpiece in chamber version” was born to be broadcast around the world to celebrate the 199th anniversary of the Independence of Perú .This version proposes a visual and sound journey through four regions of Peru, based on paintings and choreographic creations inspired by the traditional dances of the country. The music has been adapted for chamber music ensemble, as a result of a rigorous academic research, which makes a different, innovative and promising proposal possible for the development of stage shows. This production is part of a commitment by the Grand National Theatre, the “Elencos Nacionales del Perú” and “Cultura 24”, to generate new proposals of cultural consumption, due to the world.
The musical event included several scenes.
Within our Creole repertoire we find multiple artistic expressions, including waltz, one-step and polka. These three manifestations come from European and American influences that developed at the end of the 19th century, consolidating as musical genres in the first decades of the 20th century. One of the most outstanding Creole composers was Felipe Pinglo, who wrote more than 500 songs portraying the daily life of the time.
Io Patati is a choreographic recreation from the department of Ucayali that belongs to the Shipibo-Conibo ethnic group. This ritual warrior dance was performed before or after bloody battles between the native Amazon communities, in preparation for the fight or celebration of victory. The women accompanied with the elaboration of masato and other kinds of drinks to infuse the warriors with strength and courage.
The Feast of the Tulumayos of Huánuco is based on the celebrations of this Amazon community located between the Topa and Tulumayo rivers. Men and women, with faces painted with lines that made reference to their descendants or their territory, gathered around large bonfires to protect themselves from the cold, telling adventures through dance and music. This dance is remembered during the San Juan Feast.
One of the most famous celebrations in our Amazon is the Lamas Carnival, of the San Martín region, which celebrates life, acknowledges for the fruits received and promotes a good year. This choreography reflects that atmosphere of multicoloured joy.
The Toro mata is one of the most popular artistic expressions within the Afro-Peruvian cultural context. Although there is an earlier version, one of the best-known compilations is the one presented by Carlos ‘Caitro’ Soto de la Colina (1973). The first recording of this piece was made by the Peruvian singer Cecilia Barraza at the beginning of the seventies; years later, it was performed by the remarkable Celia Cruz.
Another piece of Afro-Peruvian folklore is the Zamacueca, a mischievous and sensual couple dance that represents the courtship of the man towards the woman. It was developed at the time of the Peruvian viceroyalty, a product of the crossbreeding between the gypsies and mulattoes who lived at that time, finding its oldest representations during the 16th and 17th centuries.
The Arequipa Carnival is a festive celebration that has become the representation of the cultural identity of that city. For several days it displays the clothing, allegories and paraphernalia that paint with colours the squares and streets. The music for this carnival was compiled by the renowned composer Benigno Ballón Farfán. In 2018, his work was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation.
Creation And Artistic Direction
Fabricio Varela Travesí
He is the artistic director of the National Folkloric Ballet of Peru since its creation in 2008. He has been in its history more than 19 successful seasons with the staging of “Altarpiece”, a show that displays the culture of our country using dance, music and performance. His vision and work are always focused on showing the diversity of our folklore from an innovative perspective, fusing tradition with the contemporarity of our society. During all these years, he has taken the dances of Peru to the highest level with the NFB. It has more than 25 artistic tours, as well as different national and international presentations. Among them, the presentations at Casa Peru in Moscow during the 2018 World Cup, the Pan-American Games Lima 2019, the Pan-American Games Toronto 2015, the Cervantino Festival in Mexico, the Biennial of Dance in Colombia, among others. He is a four-time world champion of marinera norteña, Champion of Champions (2008) and best choreographer on three occasions (2004, 2007 and 2010) in the prestigious national competition organized by Club Libertad of Trujillo. He was also national champion of marinera limeña and Champion of Champions in “Ciudad de Lima” 2018.
Pablo Sabat Mindreau
He is the chief conductor of the Bicentennial National Youth Symphony Orchestra, a project that promotes the education and professionalization of the new generations of Peruvian artists within the orchestral music. He holds a Bachelor of Music Cum Laude in Piano Performance from the Instituto Universitario de Estudios Musicales of Venezuela, a Master’s Degree in Piano with distinction from Westminster Choir College (where he won the Westminster Keyboard Competition), and a second Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Hartt School of Music. As a pianist, he has played in orchestras and recitals such as the Cervantino in Guanajuato (Mexico), the Tunja Culture Festival (Colombia) or the Caribbean Composers Forum (Venezuela), also in the United States, Spain, Poland, Austria and Russia. He also accompanied notable soloists such as Gil Shaham, Sarah Chang, Andrei Gavrilov and Lukas Vondracek, among others. Under his direction, the Bicentennial National Youth Symphony Orchestra has established itself as one of the best symphony groups in the country, receiving the “Luces de El Comercio” Award (2016) for the performance of Beethoven’s nine symphonies, and participating in the Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at the Las Palmas Base.