Between gray skies and black asphalt, Bogotá’s Metropolitan
Comparsas Parade was a riot of color. Groups from all over the city and
the surrounding area participated in the procession that made its way
along Carrera 7, from the Parque Nacional to the Plaza Bolívar.
Jugglers and jesters dressed in fluorescent greens and reds mixed
and mingled with performance artists representing of death and misery.
The day was a constant contrast between the gay and the grim, with
dancers cavorting down the street with robotic police from a dark
future goose-stepping along on their heels. Spectators lining the
parade route could feel their bones shake with the heavy bass beats of
trash-can bands jamming out as they cruised through the city.
Many of the groups involved in the parade kept their contributions
to the spectacle simple and inexpensive, but used the materials they
had in infinitely diverse, creative ways. Empty soda bottles became
drumsticks for one band, while a squad of green-clad divers swimming
down the street turned them into scuba tanks. Garbage cans and empty
oil drums were transformed into drums of a different sort, with each
adding its own unique voice to the cadence.
As one expects in Bogotá, rain came down intermittently throughout
the afternoon. However, it couldn’t dampen the spirits of either the
artists or those who lined the streets to see them.