An Unusual Celebration: Unraveling the Allure of Dance Performance: Afro-Peruvian Dance in the Context of Globalization and Tourism

By: Aaron Samuel Davis '14

Advising Faculty: Rosemarie Roberts

Dance performances have moved from the stage to the home. This paper explores Afro-Peruvian dance aesthetic by looking at its origins and understanding its primary principles. In doing so, the paper investigates present day issues of race, community, and economy as dance performances participate in the international tourist industry. Cultural studies critic Dean MacCanell and his account of tourism is useful in my understanding of the term tourist as it relates to Afro-Peruvian dance and tourism. This paper unravels the complexities of modern global society through the eyes of El Carmen, Peru's esteemed cultural ambassadors the Ballumbrosio family. This powerhouse family serves as a case study for the investigation. By perceiving Afro-Peruvian dance performance through Brenda Dixon Gottschild’s critical analysis of the Africanist aesthetic in her book, “The Black Dancing Body,” as well as columnist Joe Carter’s critical essay, “How to Destroy a Culture in 5 Easy Steps,” my analysis of Afro-Peruvian dance concludes with a question: Is it possible to destroy a culture in five steps? That is to say, what is the relationship among race, tourism, and the destruction of Afro-Peruvian dance and the abolishment of its cultural principles?

Related Fields: Dance