Folkmoot 2018 will be Viva Venezeula when North Carolina’s official international folk festival convenes in July for its 35th annual celebration of the world dance!
The rich tradition of Venezuelan folkloric dance and music will come alive on stage with Viva Venezuela by Sentir Venezolano, featuring renowned choreographer Judith Perez and a diverse Afro-Latino ensemble cast!
The internationally acclaimed troupe will present an exciting family friendly performance of folkloric dancers, live percussion, songs, and costumes that represent the rich cultural diversity and traditional ethnic dances of the currently troubled but tradition-rich nation on the Caribbean coast of South America.
Folkmoot 2018 opens July 19 and runs through July 29 and will feature performing dance troupes from Ghana, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Thailland and Northern Cyprus in addition to our troupe from Venezuela as well as Anglo Appalachian and Cherokee dancers and musicians.
Sentir Venezolano is a traditional folkloric dance troupe formed in 2003 when artistic director Perez was asked to choreograph a traditional folkloric dance for a local Venezuelan Day picnic in St. Paul, MN.
Since that humble beginning the dance troupe has performed at Minnesota festivals, parades, Latino cultural events and internationally broadcast on Univision.
Originally from Caracas, Perez was a featured dancer with the prestigious Venezuelan National Dance Company, where she studied ballet and modern dance and also trained as a gymnast and jazz dancer. She also studied traditional Venezuelan folkloric dance styles at the honorary dance foundation, Fundacion Biggott.
The troupe’s performances will include popular dance pieces and musical instruments like:
“JOROPO”: Venezuela is the only country in South America in which Flamenco dance took root. The dance “Joropo”, which was an old Spanish word for ‘a party’, originated in the early 1700’s during the colonization of South America and Venezuela. When the colonials would host parties they would dance their typical dances from Spain. The Criollos or mestizos (Creole) who were often servants at these parties began to adapt the idea of this dance with their local influences, which later evolved into what is now the national dance of Venezuela the “Joropo”. This dance has different variations and rhythmic styles including: ‘Son valsiao’, ‘el escobillao’ and also zapatiao.
“CALYPSO”: This popular dance comes from Callao in the state of Bolivar, which is famous for its gold mines, enthusiastic and kind people, as well as the famous colorful Carnival festival! In the region diversity flourishes and the people speak a language that is combination between Dutch, Spanish and English. This state is on the border with Brazil is which this dances has Samba similar step.
“QUITIPLAS”: Is unlike any instrument in the world. People years ago in the town of Barlovento traveled to different villages for special parties every holiday. People carried with them gifts, foods and instruments to play. It was really hard to carry drums with that were heavy and big. For that reason, they invented a similar instrument from the Bambu tree and created what is called the Quitiplas that is a percussive instrument and creates a similar sound to that of the congas or drums and are light and easily portable.
“TAMBOR”: With this piece the troupe explores Venezuela’s African heritage which has a strong history and cultural roots. The tambor, which means drum in Spanish, represents strength and roots as a race from colonial times and its Creole evolution from the mixture of African, European, Spaniard and Indigenous peoples. Today you can find that this dance is still alive and vibrant in day to day life and can be found in coastal regions of the country, at clubs and house parties.