Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Our Unique Interpretation of the Afro-Peruvian Alcatraz

Time June 27th, 2011 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

What’s the one sure way to put on a good show? Plan it half an hour in advance.

We were on our way to an orphanage/shelter in the outskirts of Cusco. Our bus was full of basic goods and gifts for the girls and young women who live there, and the plan was to gift them the gifts, play tag and volleyball for a few hours, and see a small performance they had organized for us. Then Lali, our program director, decided we should put on a performance, too. We being everyone in the program. No exceptions.

What then unfolded was a manifestation of youthful genius. We proposed a series of ideas, each more absurd than the last, until we found the one. We were to put on our own “unique interpretation of the Afro-Peruvian Alcatraz,” in which one dancer tries to light the other’s skirt on fire.

I didn’t have a skirt, and if I had I don’t think I would’ve gone so far as to put it on. A tail made of toilet paper, tied to my belt, provided the flammable material. We didn’t have a candle, either, so we settled for a lighter. And Oscar doesn’t even dance Afro. Add to that that our cajón was a cardboard box, and what results is the following video that defies words.

Post-Script: For future IFSA students, I highly recommend taking Afro-Peruvian dance at La Católica. It is an hour and a half, once weekly, of letting loose and having fun. You may even learn how to move your hips.

P.P.S.: This is what the real Alcatraz looks like.