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Sucre, Bolivia


In May of 2002, a group of enthusiastic individuals united to create a folkloric dance group that would show through dance the beauty of Bolivia. In this endeavor they focused on the Californian community, which so greatly embraces other cultures.
Bolivia remains perhaps the most culturally linked to the indigenous peoples. Like most of its neighbors, Bolivia was long dominated by Spain and its attendant culture. Even after independence, Bolivian music was largely based on European forms. In 1952, a revolution established nationalistic reforms granting increased social, cultural and political awareness for the Aymara and Quechua natives. Intellectuals in the country began wearing ponchos and otherwise associating themselves with native cultures, and the new government promoted native folklore by, among other methods, establishing a folklore department in the Ministry of Education.

Folklore Bolivia’s focus is to introduce to the south America, a culture that is rarely represented, yet is very loved by those who have gotten to know it.
With every step, the goal is to shed a positive light not only on Bolivia but also on the whole Latin-American community. We believe, the best way to unite all the different cultures in the world, is to recognize our differences and learn to love and embrace our own and each other’s.
Throughout the years the group has grown in membership and diversity. Among some of the nationalities represented in the organization are: Bolivian, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Mexican, Nicaraguan, Salvadorian, Italian and many others.
“Dance; one of the most complete elements of folklore, it depicts in its movement the daily experience, hardships and joyful journey of a culture. Rituals, myths, costumes, traditions, beliefs, hopes, tears, and laughter are all embodied in the rhythmic swaying, pounding, turning, and acrobatic contortions and movements of a people.”


1. CAPORALES TOBAS: An ancient story says that the Tobas would have arrived at Collasuyu with the Inka Tupac Yupanqui, but it is believed that they came wearing their typical costumes attracted by the fame of the Virgin of Candelaria. Afterwards, a dancing group was formed which would take part in the religious parties with a disguise of wilderness costume.

2. MORENADA CUECA: the dance of "Morenada" (negro dancing group). In this context, the heavy skirtish silver of the moreno (the dancer) has diverse interpretations; it would for example, represent the opulence of the master and it would also mean that he would be wearing a wealthy garment of pearls because of the high price the quicksilver traders would pay for them. While the classical sound of the rattles would remind the crucial marches of the internation of the "black pieces" towards Charcas, Potosi and the Yungas accompanied by a continuous squeaking of the ancient carriages and the heavy chains.

3.TINKU: Inthe annual ritual celebrating the holy cross which takes place on May third of every year two opposing bands meet in a warrior combat. The word “tinku” in Quechua means encounter, union, and equilibrium. Tinku is also the ritual fights between the Alasaya (the ones from above) and the Majasaya (the ones from below). Although it seems to be a war between the two sides in reality is a ritual which although in the early times was to death now is more a way to beget life. From the opposition of the two groups life is born, the spill of blood enriches the earth and therefore assures abundance and fecundity. It is also a way to feed into the male’s ego and “machismo”. With the victory of one of the sides; joy, security and celebration is enjoyed. In earlier times tinku was a lot more violent since the protagonists were usually intoxicated and the celebration of victory sometimes included cannibalism. After death of a man or woman the winning band carried the dead body to castrate it or cut its breast off and feasted on the meat of the opposing side.

4. CULLAQUADA: This is a ritual dance from the "hiladores" who would come back form the big religious ceremonies, transforming into "caito" the product of wool, which was distributed as a gift from the gods, extracted from the sacrificed animals.

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