Yuyachkani: Los Músicos Ambulantes


Photo/ Foto: Marlène Ramírez Cancio

Los Músicos Ambulantes

In this performance, Yuyachkani explores Peru's rich folkloric traditions through music, masks, humor and the child-like concept of a farm animal cosmos. "Los Músicos Ambulantes" is a parable about four aging domestic animals that run away and form a quartet rather than be put out to pasture or face the butcher's block. Based on Luis Enríquez & Sergio Bardottis "Los Saltimbanquis" and the Brothers Grimms classic fairy tale "The Town Musicians of Bremen", the performance tells the story of the journey of four musician animals from four different regions of Peru: an Afro-Peruvian hen ('La Plumosa'), a donkey from the Southern plains ('El Burro'), a cat from the rainforest region ('La Michicha'), and a dog from the Northern coastal area ('El Chusco'). The animals abandon their hometowns in search of their dreams in the capital city; upon meeting each other along the way, and after many adventures and exploits, they decide to form a music group, the Músicos Ambulantes (Traveling Musicians), and to tour the country telling their multiethnic story. The resulting performance, by now a classic piece in Yuyachkanis repertoire (performed since 1983), is a popular musical theater celebration of Peruvian cultural and ethnic diversity.


Since 1971, Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani has been working at the forefront of theatrical experimentation, political performance, and collective creation. "Yuyachkani" is a Quechua word that means "I am thinking, I am remembering." Under this name, the theater group has devoted itself to the collective exploration of embodied social memory, particularly in relation to questions of ethnicity, violence, and memory in Peru. Founded through the initiative of Miguel Rubio, Teresa Ralli and others, the group is recognized throughout the world as one of the most premier exponents of Latin American theater. For the past 38 years, they have created performances intimately aligned with Peruvian society, involving the spectator in an act that is at once reflective and emotional. Yuyachkani creates a theater for all that reveals Peru's great diversity, drawing on rituals, the sacred, and Andean space to provoke an introspective investigation into the past that can help us understand the present.