Peruvian Scissor Dancing

My documentarian friend Andrea Dunlap over at the Seedling Project pointed out this great footage of a 'scissor dancing' contest in Peru, something she saw when she was living and filming there a few years ago. It happens a few times a year to mark Easter, Christmas, and Yacu Raymi (an annual water festival).

Andrea says participants travel everywhere with an entourage of harpists and violinists, doing intricate, rhythmic, often acrobatic dances using pieces of metal shaped like broken scissor halves as percussion, "eventually degenerating into stunts like dancing with cactus stuck all over the dancer's body, breathing fire, throwing firecrackers, etc...They make their own costumes and they have fierce names like Terror of Puquio, and The Lion." And you thought you were rebel for running with scissors!

Andrea has some scissor dance footage of her own and more photos from her time in Peru on her site. In addition to her focus on the food movement in California, she's currently working on a documentary about the incredible Cusichaca Trust, a group of archaeologists who are studying ancient Incan agricultural techniques and trying to revive them for modern farmers.