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Mi Champeta

Choreographer by Elijah Alhadji Gibson
Music: Soli by Chongo de Colombia; Esclavo Moderno by Manuel Alvarez Y Sus Dangers; Colombia Afro (feat. Karin B.)

by Randon; Pim Pom by Wganda Kenya; La Invite A Bailar by Kevin Florez Ft. Simon

Costumes by Elijah Alhadji Gibson
Lighting Design by Ty Frazier

Historia (History)
Joel Rivera

Picóteras (Foundations of Champeta’s musical sound)

The Company


Politico: Cambio and Progreso (Political: Changes and Progress)

Adolfo Paz-Guzman, Andrea Minotti, Antonio Olivares, Joel Rivera,

Palenqueras (Women of San Basilio)

Amberly Daniels, Briah Napier


La Idioma (Language)

The Company

Perreos (Celebrations)

The Company

Born into a royal family that ruled what is today Guinea-Bissau, Benkos Biohó was seized by the Portuguese slave trader Pedro Gomes Reinel, sold into slavery, then transported to what is now Colom-bia in South America. After many es-capes, he along with ten others, founded San Basilio also known as the “Village of the maroons”.
The village of Palenque (walled city) de San Basilio, located in the foothills of the Montes de María southeast of Cartagena, is one of many Palenques that existed in the seventeenth century that served as a refuge for escaped slaves. San Basilio was home to the first free Africans in the Americas and many other famous Afro-Colombians, as well as the rich traditions that are embedded within Colombian
Champeta, a music and folk dance that originated among inhabitants of African descent of the Colombian city of Carta-gena De Indias, is linked with the culture of the Palenque of San Basilio. The word “champeta” originally denoted a short, curved knife, and in the 1920s started to be applied to residents outlying the districts of Cartagena, who were poor and of African descent. In the 1970s it was used to identify a dance and then a musical genre in the 1980s. The conception of champeta includes four central aspects: musical expression, the distinctive language, the loudspeakers (picós), and celebrations (perreos).
Race and ethnicity in Colombia descend mainly from three racial groups: Amer-indians (native indigenous), Africans, and Caucasian (White Colombians also descended from Spanish, Lebanese, and Syrian peoples) that have mingled throughout the last 500 years. Demographers describe Colombia as one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the Western Hemisphere and in the world, with 85 different ethnic groups.
With Champeta permeating through Colombian culture over the years, it has taken on other forms of expression, such as dance, political activism, costume, and literature. Lyrics often display the rebellious attitude of challenging social and economic exclusion or relate to dreams of change and progress. In addition, Champeta culture has become better-known in Colombia due to the develop-ment of complex dances set to the rhythms of salsa, jibaro, and reggae.

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