From the heart of Peru to the heart of Chicago.

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Peru Profundo has been built up on a solid foundation of family, tradition and experience. For more than 9 years, we have been progressively advancing our shows through dance,song, video and storytelling.

Administrators & Primary Dancers

Carmen Mejia - Director

Carmen is a Master dance teacher and director of Peru Profundo who was born in Lima but raised in the northern province of Piura. Her dance experience began in high school where she was taught Andean and Afro-Peruvian dances such as Festejo, Huaylarsh, Huayno, Marinera Nortena and Tondero. Carmen performed in local festivals and shows representing her school. After moving to Chicago, Carmen joined a Columbian dance troupe which introduced Carmen to a Peruvian dance troupe called "Peru-Folklorico" directed by Vilma Buleje. In the 80's "Peru-Folklorico" was the only performing Peruvian folkdancing grupo in Chicago. She currently works as a Social Worker specializing in Foster Care services and is a Master's candidate for Pastoral Counseling from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Carmen has returned to Peru several times to offer her service, observe dance traditions and collect hundreds of folk artifacts from Catacaos, Piura, Cajamarca and Lima. She is also exteremely involved in the Peruvian community here in Chicago through her work with the Peruvian Consulate, Saint Ignatius Parish and the Peruvian Arts Society. Carmen puts her efforts in diffusing her beloved Peruvian dance and music into her nieces and nephew as well as create and direct Peru Profundo.

Kathy S. - Choreographer/Dancer

Kathy is one of the co-founders, co-directors and lead choreographers for Peru Profundo. She was born in Chicago but raised in Lima. There, she began dancing festejos when she was three at family parties in Chorrillos. Her career is as a bilingual elementary teacher for the Chicago Public Schools. She has an MA from Columbia College Chicago and an MAT from National Louis University. Tia Carmen always prodded her to formally learn Peruvian dancing after seeing her dance a festejo at the University of Illinois in Urbana but it wasn't until she spent six months in Piura, Peru teaching ESL that she truly felt inspired to learn. In 2002 she applied for an Illinois Arts Ethnic Arts grant and was awarded one to learn Festejo, Lando and Tondero from Carmen. In 2008 she was awarded a teacher travel fellowship to receive dance instruction from master teachers in Lima, Piura and Cuzco.

Hildebrando Alcazar - Instructor/Dancer

Hildebrando "Brando" Alcazar was born in the province of Angaraes, which is a district of the Lircay department of Huancavelica in southern Peru. In his hometown, people traditionally dance Huayno, Marinera Serrana and Carnavales. Brando learned to dance watching his mother and her friends dance at festivals and local community gatherings. Brando is fluent in Spanish, English and Quetchua. 30 years ago, Brando began performing infront of audiences as a pioneer in Peruvian dance in Chicago. Brando and his mom-Mrs. Irene U. de Alcazar- were the first to perform Andean dances publically in Chicago for entertainment at cultural gatherings. Like Carmen, Brando belonged to the dance group directed by Vilma Buleje, which was composed of 15 couples at the time but has since disbanded. Out of the dancers who performed at the time, the ones who remain performing are Brando and Carmen. Brando is not only a talented dancer but a talented singer as well. He has been singing for the Saint Ignatius Parish Spanish choir for 25 years. He is proud to be teaching Andean dance and song with Peru Profundo for four years now.

Ronald S. - Tech

Ron has been very busy as the webmaster for Peru Profundo Dance Company. As the Company premiered in more shows, those media began to occupy the website. Building on what was currently "live", he worked on a site that was to complement the style and energy of the group while giving the visitor an educational, interactive experience though media. Born in Chicago to Filipino parents, Ron enjoys participating in a multicultural group where people of many ethnic groups gather to dance. His profession is as a IS Director at a social service organization in Chicago.

Special Thanks

Levy Senior Center, Elvis Cabrera Gastelu & Los Guapos del Centro, Jose Fernandez & Zelmy Rey Academy of Dance in Piura, Rosamaria Alvarez-Gil (CINERUNA), Lois Weisberg, City of Chicago Cultural Affairs, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the Old Town School of Folk Music, Skokie Public Libary, Navy Pier of Chicago.

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