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“Ritual Scissors Dance” – Puppetry with Jose Navarro Theatre

21st July 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm


An intangible cultural performance interpretation of the Scissors Dance, explored using various puppet techniques, and rearrangements of the traditional music with elements of fusion that takes you into an exhilarating journey to the very heart of this ancestral Peruvian Andean dance, that has been included at UNESCO’s ‘Intangible Heritage of the Humanity’ list.

Performed by Jose Navarro Theatre, an international collaborative company led by the Peruvian – British artist, Jose Navarro who was trained in Mime by Juan Arcos, graduated in Art at Peru’s National University of San Marcos in Lima; and holds an MA in Theatre Practice – ‘Puppetry and Object Theatre’ at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London.

Jose Navarro Theatre productions are entirely self-made, inspired on Peruvian native roots in combination with the finest modern techniques into a unique enticing performance which audiences of all ages can enjoy. Mostly related to Puppetry, Mime, Scissors Dance and Music. Physically and visually captivating that can be seen and enjoyed anywhere in the world as they transgress all language boundaries.

The stunning traditional costumes are all hand embroidered and made by Bella Lane, who is offering hand embroidery workshops the day before.

This is an authentic piece of ritual dance from the high Andes of Perú” THE SCOTSMAN

“ Rarely have I seen such totally effective glove puppets achieving a remarkable degree of elegance and precision. Subtle and mesmerisingPuppeteers UK

The experience of watching is riveting, and produces a sense of otherness consistent with its being a shamanistic ritualDance Around the World

The skilled kneeling, jumping and spinning of puppets was absolutely lifelike, interacting with the audience to let them experience the rhythm of the danceSin Chew Daily

The experience itself is transcendental and enlightening. Ritual Scissors Dance moves beyond the act of the Peruvian dance itself. Another form of an ancient art is amalgamated with the performance, at once taking the entire show to a whole new levelThe Star Online

Performed by: Jose Navarro & Bella Lane

Music: Written by Cameron McBride.

Duration: 55 mins followed by a Q&A

Price: £10

Seats are limited, Please book tickets for this special performance in advance or call Fabrications on 020 7275 8043 to check availability. There will be 2 showings starting at 2pm & 4pm. The show is suitable for all ages from 6 years upwards. (All children must be accompanied by an adult)


At the heart of this dance there is a form of competition, ‘Atipanakuy’ in the Quechua language, where dancers challenge one another; accompanied by a variety of melodies on harp and violin; accompanying the percussive rhythms of the dancers who skillfully sound a pair of metal blades resembling scissors, which are held and moved by the dancer in one of his hands. The dancers perform in turn, each trying to surpass the other. The costume of the dancer is bright on the eye and full of symbolic meaning. The dance is a syncretic expression of Spanish influence and Andean Native roots.

Because of its links with pre-colonial Andean rituals, the dance was forced underground and had to be performed in secret. It was associated with the great religious rebellions in the 16th century the Taki Onqoy, which called for the restoration of the regional Wakas (Shrines) cults and the expulsion of the catholic cults after the fall of the Incas. The dance keeps alive the ancestral rites and the cult of Andean Gods such as the Apus or Tayta Wamani, spirits which live in the sacred mountains and are represented by the condor. The dancers start with simple steps which progresses to more and more complex and highly skilled movements, until at the end, culminates with tests of bravery, magic and feats of endurance, in which, each dancer has to prove his courage and magical skills through fakirs like acts. Without doubt this dance symbolizes the very deep roots of Peruvian Andean culture.

You can also book directly with us at the shop or over the phone (and save on the online booking fee)

Please Note: The workshop will take place in the Fabrications studio (which is downstairs from the shop via 12 steps)


21st July 2019
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Barley Massey