One massive part of Peruvian culture, especially around the regions of Arequipa, Lake Titicaca, and the Sacred Valley (where Cusco is located) is cultural dance. From a young age, and as a part of their schooling, boys and girls partake in annual cultural dances at their schools and across the city during certain times of festivity. The dances are complex and usually of a group type. The costumes are all varied and full of colour.
One dance that is quite unusual is one in which the girls play whip the boys and stand over them. Another that is quite unusual is one in which the participants play in herding animals.
Theatre is also a varied and large tradition in the country used not only as a form of entertainment, but as a way to tell about histories between the Incan's and the Spanish, and to pass down Incan traditions, beliefs, and ways of life. Of course, now there is also a mix of more contemporary theatre.
In Cusco every year during the festivals of Into Raymi - the sun solstice - many theatrical pieces of reenactments of Incan beliefs and culture take place through the walled city.
In regards to music, dance, and theatre, Peru really is a treasure trove - there is so much, and so much of it is quite different. And it is not just for those into dance or theatre, or for the elite; these things are for everyone and they happen in the small villages all the way through to the big cities. It's a beautiful thing.
Tahira Nusrat Karim