Blog January 25, 2022
Vitu Valera and Mikongo Get Kinetic with Peru Dance Group on “Mamakumba”

I’ve always taken issue with that old chestnut, “writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” First of all, I’m a music writer, but also it feels like it’s more of a jab against dancing than anything else, and an unfair one at that. I don’t even know that much about dance, but I know that architecture has been made about dance and I don’t really see why dance couldn’t return the favor. You can dance about anything; just ask these guys.

A dance team from Lima, Peru put together this performance, titled "Desde Mi Cuarentena,” to express how it felt to live through quarantine, set to the music of Mikongo and Vitu Valera. Directed by Diego Milla, the dancers include Daniel Vasquez, Francisco Chavez, Jesus Pinto, Jefferson Maita and Cruz Miguel Soto. They must’ve been involved in the cinematography as well, because that must have been another unseen dancer’s choreography. The song, “Mamakumba” was released in September 2020, on the New York record label Turntables On the Hudson Records and it was also a product of quarantine, with the Peru-based Mikongo sending musical fragments to Valera in Barcelona, where he would manipulate the sounds with synthesizers, together building this slice of minimalist Afro-Peruvian electronic music.

All in all, I'd call it a successful dance about (staying inside of) architecture (way too much).

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