Fuerteventura magazine Interviews
March 2023

Laura Padilla - Kirumba Comparsa

“We are a group of people that does all this, and gets no profit from it, it’s only to bring life to the Carnival”

Laura Padilla - Kirumba Comparsa

It is the carnival season and after various years of pandemic, the population wants to enjoy again its most emblematic celebration. Once again, the traditional comparsas (dance troupes), murgas (orchestras), queens, etc., are back, all over the island’s municipalities. We wanted to find out more about the rebirth of those comparsas and this is why we wanted to speak to one of the organisers. From her dance school, Laura Padilla, director of the Cinco Sentidos school, promotes and collaborates with the reactivation of the Carnival and we wanted her to tell us how those groups, that entertain us, with their dances and songs, are created.

Laura, when was the Kirumba comparsa created?

It was created in 2020.

During the pandemic!

Yes, and the first show was during that same year, for the presentation of the group, but after spending so much money on the costumes, etc., we couldn’t continue and enjoy it. This year, we are back, after two years, with more enthusiasm and hope than ever. It will be the first year that we perform a full show.

When did your shows start?

We did a small show in Puerto del Rosario, on February 24th, during the Batucadas and Comparsas encounter, but the first big show is now, in March, in Gran Tarajal.

How many people are in the comparsa?

At present, there are 20 of us in the dancers’ group, 18 adult women, who work, which makes rehearsals complicated at times, and two men.

There are always fewer men dancers, isn’t that true?

Yes, it happens everywhere. In 2020, we also had a batucada (percussions group), but we went our separate ways, and this year, a batucada from Puerto del Rosario, called “Bloco da Silva” plays with us.

Do you have other shows planned, other than Gran Tarajal?

We intend to enjoy ourselves here, surrounded by our people, but we indeed collaborate in other carnivals and we will participate in the Coso of Morro Jable, but we won’t be able to participate in others on those same dates. We are also delighted that various hotels on the island have called us to bring the carnival to local tourism.

Is it complicated to create a comparsa?

Yes, there are many rehearsals, this year, it took almost six months, but at times we can rehearse for ten months. Commitment and time are two key factors.

When we see those nice costumes, we always think that they must be quite costly. How do you finance them?

In addition to being costly, it represents a lot of work, because costumes are at our expense. We create a workshop to create the costumes and organise various events to collect funds. If it wasn’t for the many small businesses that have collaborated with us, both in the municipality and in other areas of the island, who I would like to thank, it would be impossible. What tends to lack, is support from the ayuntamientos, because we are a group of people who does all this and gets no profit from it, it’s only to bring life to the carnival, and as well as our time, we invest our money. Normally, the few subsidies we get, arrive much later than the expenses, and some people cannot afford that kind of investment. We, as the Cinco Sentidos school, both in Puerto del Rosario and Gran Tarajal, tend to collaborate with everything for both the Carnival and other events. Our idea is to reactivate the murgas, the comparsas, etc., because they are slowly disappearing, and this way, we prevent our traditions from dying.