The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts is pleased to welcome the Andean folk music and dance group Chayag in an exhibition of their performance artwork in the Upstairs Gallery at the Newport Visual Art Center from October 2-31. “Chayag: The Art of Performance” will include costumes, instruments and tapestries–historical works as well those created by the group’s performers following traditional designs. Based in Lincoln County, Chayag is currently led by Newport-based musician and craftsman Alex LLumiquinga and Portland-based dancer Luciana Proaño, and includes additional collaborators from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Latin America. The exhibit will open during the First Friday Reception from 5-7pm on October 2, and LLumiquinga and Proaño will present an artist talk at 6:45pm during the reception, with a performance to follow at the VAC. The performance will include two traditional songs and dances by Chayag and one contemporary dance by Proaño.
Alex Llumiquinga has played Andean folk music for the last 25 years. He was inspired as a boy by his grandfather and the popular Andean folk groups of his native country, Ecuador. He later traveled the world sharing his music as part of Chayag. After coming to the United States, Llumiquinga has continued performing and sharing his music with a diverse population in the Pacific Northwest. Over the past year, Llumiquinga and Chayag have hosted various workshops and dances at the VAC.
Luciana Proaño is a Peruvian dancer and artist dedicated to multidisciplinary and cross-cultural work. She has training in ballet, modern dance, yoga, Peruvian folk dance, gymnastics, percussion and anthropology, and has worked as a dance reviewer and photographer. Proaño has an aesthetic style which deeply blends her Peruvian heritage and world travels. She has lived in Portland, Oregon, since 1994 and continues dancing, teaching and touring.
The term “Chayag” means “to arrive” in Quichua, the indigenous language of the Incas. As a performance group, Chayag has been sharing and preserving the ancestral music, dance and culture of the indigenous people of the Andes for more than 20 years. Chayag was founded in Quito, Ecuador, and in the early years the group traveled to many countries and was well-received in South America, the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Australia, participating in festivals celebrating multiculturalism. In 2001 Chayag member Alex LLumiquinga settled in the United States, where he began performing in schools, colleges, public libraries and music festivals. Today Chayag’s musicians and dancers come from Ecuador, Bolivia, Mexico and the United States.
Chayag performs with various authentic instruments, including the Charango (ten-string lute), El Bombo (Andean drum), Quena and Zamponas (Native South American flutes), Cajon (Peruvian sound box) and guitar, among other instruments. The group shares information on the legends behind these unique instruments and dances, including indigenous, European and African influences. Besides these instruments, “Chayag: The Art of Performance” will exhibit traditional outfits, including head dresses and wooden shoes, and tapestries and landscape photography of Peru. LLumiquinga will present his hand-crafted Charangos and Zamponas.
LLumiquinga and Proaño have started a related project, “Inka Jam,” a musical group which blends Peruvian, Spanish, jazz and Bolero influences. Inka Jam has played at festivals in Portland, Corvallis, Lincoln City and San Francisco, and performs on the last Saturday of each month at Portland’s Las Primas restaurant.
The Upstairs Gallery is open from noon to 4:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday.