Ah, darkest Peru. Famous not just for jam-obsessed, duffle coat-wearing bears but also for the Kusikay Company which, until November 15th, is putting on a visual marvel of proportions perhaps hitherto unknown to South America-bound backpackers. The Garcilaso theatre in Cusco - which was built in 1963 as a cinema - is hosting a production of the Paukartanpu, a show steeped in history. Inspired by Cirque du Soleil and traditional Andean customs, it features music, dance, song and acrobatics, recalling ancient Peruvian culture. Sounds good? I think so. The stage show takes as its inspiration Paucartambo's annual festival of Virgin of the Carmen and, if you don't get to the country in time for the Kusikay production, you might be lucky enough to catch the real celebrations in any number of Peruvian villages from July 15th to19th. Apparently, on the main day of the festival, villagers vault across the rooftops of their houses, performing all sorts of crazy acrobatics, to represent the Virgin blessing the attendants and casting out the township's demons. This all culminates in a grand finale where war is waged against the demons - although, obviously, good always outs.
The Kusikay Company, despite only being a year old, prides itself on providing amazing shows that combine a Broadway-esque ambiance with Cirque du Soleil dance moves and the long traditions of Peruvian culture. The man behind the genius is Caesar Aedo who was born in Peru but later moved to Paris to learn his craft. Over 30 actors, 100 masks and an orchestra of 18 make up this troupe of madness and mayhem and I defy anyone not to have a good time while watching it.