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Viva Ballet Folklórico de México!

As a little girl growing up in southern Arizona I can remember desperately wanting a satiny ribbon adorned skirt with yards and yards of colorful fabric just like the little girls who danced folklórico on festival days outside of the Mission San Xavier del Bac. Last Tuesday night at the Long Center I was again envious of the dancers’ luscious costumes and speed at which they dance the traditional dances of Mexico. Although Amalia Hernández’s Ballet Folklórico de México is more than just about dance. It is a retelling of Mexican and Indian history which artfully showcases the intricacies of their customs but, more importantly, the joyful spirit of the people.

Opening with a passionate Aztec dance and concluding with a traditional Jalisco dance (Sombreros on floor. Check.), some dancers wore elaborate 5 foot headpieces and some large papier-mâché puppets, called “mojigangas.” Ballet Folklórico has arranged a solid, beautifully danced program which also just happens to be a heck of a lot of fun. Believe me any show that has me leaving the theatre with a boa of streamers round my neck and sore hands from vigorous clapping has more than done its job.

Again, I was awed by their stamina and pace (most especially in the “zapateado” tapping sequences). Most of them danced in a majority of the pieces and their energy and enthusiasm never waned. The smiles seem almost surgically enhanced. Each piece in the program is a celebration of life, love, and even death as evidenced by the graceful beauty of a “deer” stumbling to his death in the moving “Deer Dance.”

The conjunto jarocho, a four piece folk ensemble, accompanied most of the beginning pieces. The music was simple but powerful and a nice contrast to the mariachis that were to file in for Jalisco finale. In fact, my only negative note would be that I would have liked the mariachis to make an appearance sooner but when the handsome mariachis finally do make their chorus line across the stage they receive a rock star ovation. This is what we’ve been waiting for and Ballet Folklórico delivers. Surprisingly, a single note by a mariachi was held so long he turned a lovely shade of eggplant. Now, that’s the spirit I’m talking about! The final grito “Viva Mexico!” came followed multiple curtain calls and a standing ovation by a very enthusiastic crowd.


January 21, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,


  1. Very good. makes me wish i could see them

    Comment by Jerry | January 21, 2010 | Reply

  2. Sounds like it was very fun. You really liked that heh? Also makes me want to take up dancing…but then again I think of Thomas…. thanks Aleta

    Comment by Alexander | January 21, 2010 | Reply

  3. So glad you came with me and enjoyed it so much! I say to the show… BRAVO!!

    Comment by Beth | January 22, 2010 | Reply

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