In Time for Dia de los Muertos: Colorful Ballet Folklorico Comes to San Jose
The Hammer Theatre Center presents Ballet Folklórico de México, the acclaimed dance ensemble representing the rich tapestry of Mexico's cultural history. This long-running troupe based in Mexico City brings together mariachis, intricate hand-crafted costumes, dances of folklore, and many other facets of traditional Mexican culture in a brilliant and colorful performance. "The gorgeous costumes and breathtaking formations keep coming, dance after dance," says The New York Times. The Stage calls its performances, "a vibrant, joyous celebration of the folk dances and music of Mexico, with the sophisticated kick of a Las Vegas show." Just in time for Dia de los Muertos, the troupe arrives in the Bay Area for its multi-city return to the United States. Ballet Folklórico de México will be presented 2:00pm & 7:00pm, Sunday, October 28 at the Hammer Theatre Center, 101 Paseo De San Antonio, San Jose. For more information and tickets, the public may visit www.hammertheatre.com or call (408) 924-8501.
Ballet Folklórico de México was founded in 1952 by Amalia Hernández, a dancer, dance teacher, and choreographer at the National Institute of Fine Arts. Over the last six decades, the group has grown exponentially-both in size and reputation. Originally consisting of just eight performers, the ensemble had over 50 when it represented Mexico at the Pan American Games in 1959. The Ballet Folklórico is now world-renowned for the incorporation of regional dance and traditional Mexican dress and Mexican folk music into its routines. The troupe is influenced by baile folklórico, a term covering a wide range of dances. Some of Hernández's most famed routines include her adaptation of the traditional Danza del Venado and Los Quetzales. Other outstanding routines include Los Matlachines, featuring the oft-disregarded northern dance tradition, and the Charreada, a dance developed out of the tradition of the charrería (a competitive event similar to rodeo). In total, baile folklórico pioneer Hernández created over 80 routines that preserve Mexican dance traditions, with contemporary tweaks. Today, the Ballet Folklórico is officially considered an Embajador Cultural de México. The troupe performs three times a week at Mexico City's prestigious Palacio de Bellas Artes, and has toured to more than 300 cities in almost 80 countries.
The Hammer Theatre Center is a distinctive, state-of-the-art performance venue in the heart of downtown San José. Owned by the City of San José and newly operated by San José State University (SJSU), the Hammer Theatre's mission is to serve the community through artistically and educationally excellent programming that is expressive of the unique characteristics and diverse cultures that comprise Silicon Valley. The broader vision of the Hammer includes arts, innovation, and technology programming on the Paseo de San Antonio, creating a vibrant pathway between SJSU and the Tech Museum and bridging the urban spaces from Saint James Park down to the South of First Avenue cultural district. The Hammer also aims to connect SJSU's more than 37,000 faculty, students, and staff with the downtown cultural and economic corridors.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Ballet Folklórico de México