Founded in 1969 in Lima, Perú Negro is now the most widely recognized Afro-Peruvian dance and music company. In order to emphasize the black presence in a nation that has dominantly narrated itself as mestizo, Perú Negro has produced representations of blackness that are grounded both on the history of slavery and on Diasporic idealizations of Africanness. While meant to value blackness through its music and dance performance, Perú Negro’s representations have contributed to romanticize the slave past and essentialize the African roots. This is made clear in the group’s concept of “family” upon which Perú Negro has relied to define who can and cannot belong to the group as well as who is capable of performing blackness. Central to this concept is the idea of blood, both in terms of blood relationships and the “black tendencies,” have been passed down from generation to generation. Membership was exclusive to Afro-Peruvians (the darker-skinned, the “better”). The practice of “keeping it in the family” dates back to the founding of the company and it also relates to the enslaved communities that survived the colonial regime. I am analyzing Perú Negro’s history as divided into three phases, which are characterized by major developments on the international, national and local levels. I arrived at this three-phase historical trajectory by analyzing the following: the shifting context of the Peruvian nation, Perú Negro’s relationship with the state and other sponsors, Perú Negro’s process of internationalization, Perú Negro’s definition of its membership, and the company’s choreographies, music and lyrics. The central research topics of my project are: Black Identity and the Black Body, Black Identity and the Past, Black Identity and Place, and Commodification of Blackness.
|Advisor:||de Santana Pinho, Patricia|
|Commitee:||Acosta-Belen, Edna, DeFrantz, Thomas F., Griffith, Glyne|
|School:||State University of New York at Albany|
|Department:||Spanish-Latin American and Caribbean Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Dance, Latin American Studies|
|Keywords:||Afro-Peruvian, Choreography, Familial bonds, Memorization of identity, Performance, Peru Negro|
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