Video of Dance Flashmob at Novalima Concert in Chicago

We did it again! Our dance flashmob during Novalima’s concert at Clark Street Wold Music Festival  was a lot of fun and here is the video to prove it. Thanks to everyone who participated, and specially to Milagros Guerrero Ormeño, lead singer of the Peruvian dance band, Novalima, for being our accomplice!

Do you have any ideas for another flashmob? Leave your comment here. We want to hear it!

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Afro-Peruvian Dance Flashmob Video

I always liked the idea of being part of a dance flashmob. So last week, when I saw a video of TACA Airlines doing a dance flashmob with live music on a plane, I said to myself: If they can do it, we can do it here too!

I decided to do a flashmob that would pay tribute to the Day of Peruvian Criolla Music (Día de la Canción Criolla), which is celebrated in Peru every October 31st. With less than one week to organize it, I reached out to my network of friends in the dance and music community. And they responded! People from Peru and other nationalities like Serbia, Romania, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the United States, all collaborated. It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm and joy of all who participated. For many, it was their first time learning about Afro-Peruvian rhythms. It showed again the power of music and dance to unite us all.

So, here are the results of our collaboration. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. In fact, we liked it so much that we are thinking of repeating it very soon.  If you want to join us and be part of future dance flashmobs,  just leave a comment here.

NEW LOCATION for Tomorrow’s Afro-Peruvian Music, Dance and Cajon Workshops

 We have a NEW location for tomorrow’s workshops. It is located 10 block aways from the previous location. Here is the new address:
LOCATION
BA Studio

2846 W North Ave, 2nd Floor, Chicago IL 60647
(Meet at side entrance on FRANCISCO AVE)

See map here

3:00 -5:00 PM

COST
$20 per workshop ($25 without RSVP)
Please RSVP via Facebook as attending
Or via chicagourbanite@hotmail.com (Subject: “Workshop”)
=======GET $10 OFF IF YOU TAKE BOTH WORKSHOPS========

PLEASE:
-ARRIVE 15 MINUTES EARLY

 Everyone has to get here early because it’s a locked building so I have to let you in when you get here. We will start on time! 🙂
-Wear work out clothes
-If possible, don’t wear shoes in studio unless they are indoor shoes

QUESTIONS? CALL 630.207.3679

AFRO-PERUVIAN DANCE WORKSHOP
Feb 25th  2012
3pm -4pm
Cost:  $20
Please RSVP via Facebook as attending
Or via chicagourbanite@hotmail.com (Subject: “Workshop”)
Join Ruben Pachas for a hands-on workshop on the diversity of Afro-Peruvian folk dance. He will focus  on the Festejo, a music and dance form developed in the plantation fields during the 18th century. The word Festejo, comes from the Spanish word festejar (to celebrate) .  True to its name, the music and dance of the Afro-Peruvian genre is joyous and vibrant but its traditional lyrics usually narrate the hardships of enslaved life. Participation will be encouraged. The class will last about one  hour and you will learn other Afro-Peruvian dances such as Zamacueca, Lando, Marinera & Vals.
AFRO-PERUVIAN CAJON WORKSHOP
Feb 25th  2012
4pm-5pm
Cost:  $20
Please RSVP via Facebook as attending
Or via chicagourbanite@hotmail.com (Subject: “Workshop”)
Join us for another special workshop with Ruben Pachas and discover the Cajon (Box) drum. This class is an introduction to the Cajon drum & Afro-Peruvian rhythms – Festejo, Zamacueca, Lando, Marinera & Vals.
Students will learn how to play basic patterns and explore different rhythms and stroke combinations on the cajon drum.
ALL LEVELS WELCOME
(Beginners always welcome/Advanced students learn new techniques and refresh your Cajon skills)
CAJON DRUMS
(We recommend that you bring your own)
The Cajon drum (pronounced cahon)is the Spanish word for “box”. The idea of using a simple wooden box as a drum is believed to have originated in colonial Peru where Africans displaced from their homeland substituted cod shipping crates for their native drums. As a result, Afro-Peruvian music is a unique blend of Spanish, Andean, and African traditions. Today, this versatile drum is steadily gaining popularity and recognition and can be heard in many different styles of music worldwide.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
RUBEN PACHAS has a solid background in artistic performance and as a dance teacher with a strong emphasis in field research and dance techniques. He is a graduate of  the prestigious Escuela Nacional Superior de Folklore  Jose Maria Arguedas and has an extensive experience as a professional Folk dance teacher. He is the Founder and Director of Peruvian Folk Dance Center, a Chicago dance group whose mission is to promote Peruvian culture through the teaching and performance of Peruvian folk dances.  
Here is video with a sample of Afro-Peruvian dances performed by the Afro-Peruvian musical ensemble Peru Negro:

You are invited to an Afro-Peruvian Music, Dance and Cajon Workshops

Chicago has given me the opportunity to experience art in so many different ways.  One of them has been becoming a member of  a Peruvian folk dance group led by a very talented artist and dance teacher. His name is Ruben Pachas. I first met him at a dance workshop and was very impressed by the quality of his work. His classes are fun, energetic, and enriching.  He knows how to deconstruct dance steps and makes them easy to learn. I want to share this experience with you and invite you to a couple of Afro Peruvian Music and Dance Workshops that he will be offering. These workshops cover the history of the arrival of African culture to Peru, musical samples of three traditional Afro-Peruvian instruments, sample popular dances, and full-class participation in a percussion session and dance routine. The goal is to actively involve the participants in learning Afro-Peruvian instruments, rhythms, and dances. Below are the details for this event:
LOCATION:
BA Studio

2846 W North Ave, 2nd Floor, Chicago IL 60647
(Meet at side entrance on FRANCISCO AVE)

See map here

COST
$20 per workshop ($25 without RSVP)
Please RSVP via Facebook as attending
Or via chicagourbanite@hotmail.com (Subject: “Workshop”)
=======GET $10 OFF IF YOU TAKE BOTH WORKSHOPS========

PLEASE:
-ARRIVE 15 MINUTES EARLY

 Everyone has to get here early because it’s a locked building so I have to let you in when you get here. We will start on time! 🙂
-Wear work out clothes
-If possible, don’t wear shoes in studio unless they are indoor shoes

AFRO-PERUVIAN DANCE WORKSHOP
Feb 25th  2012
3pm -4pm
Cost:  $20 ($25 without RSVP)
Please RSVP via Facebook as attending
Or via chicagourbanite@hotmail.com (Subject: “Workshop”)
Join Ruben Pachas for a hands-on workshop on the diversity of Afro-Peruvian folk dance. He will focus  on the Festejo, a music and dance form developed in the plantation fields during the 18th century. The word Festejo, comes from the Spanish word festejar (to celebrate) .  True to its name, the music and dance of the Afro-Peruvian genre is joyous and vibrant but its traditional lyrics usually narrate the hardships of enslaved life. Participation will be encouraged. The class will last about one  hour and you will learn other Afro-Peruvian dances such as Zamacueca, Lando, Marinera & Vals.
AFRO-PERUVIAN CAJON WORKSHOP
Feb 25th  2012
4pm-5pm
Cost:  $20 ($25 without RSVP)
Please RSVP via Facebook as attending
Or via chicagourbanite@hotmail.com (Subject: “Workshop”)
Join us for another special workshop with Ruben Pachas and discover the Cajon (Box) drum. This class is an introduction to the Cajon drum & Afro-Peruvian rhythms – Festejo, Zamacueca, Lando, Marinera & Vals.
Students will learn how to play basic patterns and explore different rhythms and stroke combinations on the cajon drum.
ALL LEVELS WELCOME
(Beginners always welcome/Advanced students learn new techniques and refresh your Cajon skills)
CAJON DRUMS
(We recommend that you bring your own)
The Cajon drum (pronounced cahon)is the Spanish word for “box”. The idea of using a simple wooden box as a drum is believed to have originated in colonial Peru where Africans displaced from their homeland substituted cod shipping crates for their native drums. As a result, Afro-Peruvian music is a unique blend of Spanish, Andean, and African traditions. Today, this versatile drum is steadily gaining popularity and recognition and can be heard in many different styles of music worldwide.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
RUBEN PACHAS has a solid background in artistic performance and as a dance teacher with a strong emphasis in field research and dance techniques. He is a graduate of  the prestigious Escuela Nacional Superior de Folklore  Jose Maria Arguedas and has an extensive experience as a professional Folk dance teacher. He is the Founder and Director of Peruvian Folk Dance Center, a Chicago dance group whose mission is to promote Peruvian culture through the teaching and performance of Peruvian folk dances.  
Here is video with a sample of Afro-Peruvian dances performed by the Afro-Peruvian musical ensemble Peru Negro:

Tonight: Afro-Peruvian Music Queen Eva Ayllon performs in Chicago

Eva Ayllon is one of the foremost Afro-Peruvian singers  and is coming to Chicago tonight to celebrate her 40 year artistic career. If you have never listened to her music, click on this link for a sample of her most famous songs. http://www.myspace.com/evaayllonmusic. More info about tonight’s show  and about Eva   http://ow.ly/5JWK5 and http://ow.ly/5JWYJ

July 12: Afro-Peruvian Electronica band Novalima performs in Chicago!

If you have never heard of Afro-Peruvian music, you should consider an introduction to this great musical genre by Novalima, a Peruvian band that has successfully blended traditional Afro-Peruvian music with Electronica, Latin American beats and other contemporary genres. I got the chance to see them perform a couple of years ago at the Music Without Borders series at Millenium Park. They brought the house down on that occasion and put everyone to dance with their highly danceable rhythms and great energy . In 2006, Novalima was awarded with the IMA (The Independent Music Awards) for Best Album in World Fusion category and in 2009 they were nominated to the Latin Grammy Awards. In 2010, their song “Machete” from the album “Afro” appears in the film Machete. Here is a video of that song:

Our friends from Sound Culture and Aguzate had the brilliant idea to bring Novalima back to Chicago. The concert will take place  on July 12 at Mayne Stage.  Check the flyer below for information about this concert. Also, I have two tickets for this show to give away. The person that gets the most subscribers to my blog or Facebook page until Sunday gets these tickets. Just send me a list with the names of the people who subscribed. I will announce the winner on Monday. Thanks and good luck!


Tango, Afro-Peruvian, Salsa, Ethiopian, and Brazilian in one weekend.

You gotta love Chicago! This past weekend I had the chance to attend amazing live music and dance performances. My weekend started with a Tango lesson and a  milonga (a tango dance party) at ArTango. Lucky for me, I just happened to attend the milonga where they had a live performance by legendary instructors Oliver Kolker and Silvina Valz. Their elegant interpretation of tango can be appreciated in this video:

On Saturday, I participated in an Afro-Peruvian performance with Peruvian Folk Dance Center at Loyola University. If you ever feel curious about Peruvian folk dances,  this is the  group to contact in Chicago. Peru is a multicultural country, and as such, its music and dances has influences from different cultures. Right now we are working on Afro-Peruvian dances, so we performed a Festejo, which is one of the most joyous of Afro-Peruvian music styles.  I couldn’t take a video of me dancing but here is pic of our group. Can you guess which one is me?

During that same event, I had the opportunity to dance to the music of a fabulous local salsa band called Carpacho y su Super Combo. They played songs that I classify as “salsa dura” style. Here is a little video of their music.I’m sorry  I couldn’t I record more of them but I had to leave the camera and start dancing!

 

That same night I was invited by my musician friend Ryan Mayer from Magic Carpet to attend a concert of his band with super talented Ethiopian singer Abonesh Adinew. It was truly a magical night. Her powerful and intriguing voice took me to a trip in time and space. Abonesh told me that she grew up in the rural side of  Ethiopia and that when she was little, she learned to sing by going to the cliffs and listening to the echo of her voice. How amazing is that! Later, she was chosen by her school to participate in a singing competition. She obviously won the competition, and her singing career hasn’t stopped since then. Abonesh can sing in over a dozen of the 80 plus languages of Ethiopia. She has appeared on film about the life style and culture of rural Ethiopia although her music and song are contemporary and based upon the works of many of the best known stars of Ethiopian music. Here is a video of her performance at Ras Dashen restaurant. The place was dark so you cannot see much of her, but this will allow you to appreciate the quality of her voice. 

My weekend ended to the rhythms of Brazilian music by an impromptu performance at a house party of two wonderful Chicago-based musicians: Luciano Antonio and Luiz Ewerling. We are so lucky to have them here!  Watch this dynamic duo in action here:

 

As you can see, Chicago is truly a cosmopolitan city. Take advantage of it and travel around the world without leaving the city.