Laura Pérez component of the murga lanzaroteña Las pijoletas assures that being murguera is a way of life and not a simple hobby.
“It’s not just a hobby, it’s a way of life!”
- What does Carnival mean to her? Does it occupy an important part in her life?
Laura confirms that the Carnival plays a very important role in her everyday life. She also tells us that many people describe this passion as madness and can’t understand it, although she doesn’t see it that way. The members invest a lot of time in the murga (carnival group) and renounce other things they would like to do, just to have the necessary time for their murga.
- When did she begin with the murgas?
Laura’s story starts with the women’s murga Las Pijoletas, which she joined during its first founding year, today 9 years ago. She has always felt very attached to the carnival, she participated in batucadas and other carnival groups. In 2010 she was inspired by a friend to join the world of the murgas and this decision gave her a whole new feeling towards carnival.
- What does she feel when she is on stage?
Like all members of a murga, Laura explains us that she feels a bunch of different feelings: thrill, adrenaline, excitement until reaching tranquillity, that moment when you just feel comfortable and can’t stop smiling and showing the audience how you feel.
- How does she manage to cope with her personal life and the great amount of time that a Murga involves as for rehearsals, fittings, etc.?
The everyday life of a murga member means an enormous effort and willingness to make sacrifices. However, they try to adapt the times for the rehearsals and events of the murga to all participants, as everyone knows that it is quite a challenge for the whole murga family.
- How did they come up with the name Las Pijoletas?
The name was created during the initial period of the murga, during one of the first meetings where two members expressed this idea, and all agreed that it was an original name that defined them well.
- How do they arrange the choice of their costumes? Are they counting on external help, or are the costumes made by the murga members themselves?
Laura tells us that several members present different designs and ideas and then they all bring in further ideas, until they finally decide on the definitive design. For the costume production professional tailors are then commissioned. However, they make the headdress and everything else that goes with it themselves.
“The silicone gun is almost always plugged in here.”
- How does she see the role of the murgas, as social criticism or rather as entertainment?
Laura believes that both concepts go hand in hand. On the one hand, she finds that the murgas are a means of expression, that allows the members to pronounce what everyone thinks. And on the other hand, they are considered entertainment and fun, which in her opinion is the main factor.
- Compared to the other islands, the participation of murgas decreases on Lanzarote. Does she think that this is only an occasional drop, or is the interest in murgas decreasing steadily? What does she say about the current level of the murga competition in Arrecife?
Laura confirms that the participation on the island has decreased. Once there were 15 murgas participating, but now there are only 8. It is not easy to maintain a murga year after year. Nevertheless, she is confident that it is only a temporary drop and that next year there will hopefully be much more murgas.
On the other hand, regarding the level, she thinks that this has gone up a lot. You can see that more work is done every year, and all are trying to outdo themselves.
- We all know that the murgas are characterised by the lyrics of their songs. We would like to know if they write them all together, or if there are members who are dedicated to this task exclusively.
For their lyrics they have external support, although many of the ideas come from their own members and, not forgetting their friend and musical coordinator, Acoran Ramos.
- Was it easy to be part of a women’s murga? Does she believe that there are more and more women, who join this world to stand up for their rights?
Laura believes that female murgas have to work harder to compete with male murgas, especially because they don’t sound the same.
However, she doesn’t think that the increasing number of women in the world of murgas is just because they want to stand up for their rights, but simply to get away from everyday life and enjoy themselves, which is the mission of a murga.
- We have informed ourselves and found out that your performance is on January 26, 2019. Tell us a little bit about your intentions for this upcoming New Year.
Laura lets us know that they are very enthusiastic and full of zeal. Their intention is to enjoy and have fun, leaving the stage with a good feeling, people telling them that they liked it and, if they make it to the finals, that would be like a double win. But the biggest reward is to see the audience enjoying the show and having fun, because thanks to them they keep on fighting year after year.