ON STAGE with……. Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández
Photo’s by: Ramon Hernández
Entertaining San Antonio audiences for the twelfth time Ballet Folkólrico de México de Amalia Hernández graced us with another unforgettable performance this past weekend. Thanks to ARTS San Antonio for bringing back the dynamic choreography, vibrant costumes and a cast of 65-70 dancers whose artistic and physical excellence wow the audience from the Matachines opening scene to the gaiety of the Jalisco finale. Accompanying the dancers on stage are 15 musicians and a Mariachi band that are part of the world famous and highly lauded Ballet Folklórico group.
Delia Isurza-Rodriguez, Director of Administration and Education for ARTS SA inititally introduced Viviana Hernández daughter of the late Amalia Hernández and Artistic Director of Ballet Folklórico de Mexico to the Edgewood Fine Arts Academy in the mid 90’s when I served as Dance Facilitator. The Academy high school dance students and the children of the community were given opportunities to participate in master dance sessions led by Viviana. She and members of the troupe re-introduced and educated the children of the community in folklóric dance and Mexican culture. We had the pleasure of participating with Viviana for a couple of years and always enjoyed the evening performances that made it possible for dance students to be enriched in Folklórico dance and experience theatrical venues. Thank you Delia for making this happen for the children of Edgewood. Delia Rodriguez, has been working with ARTS SA for 16 years. She started working with ARTS SA during her senior year of high school and she remembers her first big production she was involved with at the Municipal Auditorium. The stage play “Jesus Christ Superstar” was in town and Delia couldn’t believe that a big group of nun’s were protesting (loudly) outside of the auditorium.
I was greeted by Janelle Avon, a former dancer that now serves as publicity coordinator and Layla Maldonado technical production manager as I sat and interviewed Viviana. The artistic director states that a dancer should have an education in dance and start at a point where the body and its movement capabilities is the focus. Viviana’s future plan is to open a Dance Education School per se here in San Antonio where the curriculum includes and is not limited to: contemporary dance, barre and center work and head to toe (zapateado) techniques. Technique being the main focus of study. In July, Viviana spends a month in England teaching contemporary dance at one of the universities then returns home to Mexico City for company rehearsals 3-4 times per week.
Close to curtain time I was pleased to see children and teen’s come in for the performance. Mr. Don Nuñez, Folklórico dance instructor at the Edgewood Fine Arts Academy walks in with his dance students who seem to be enthused about the show.
Ballet Folklórico de México fun trivia: the company has presented 15,000 performances, danced before 22 million people, made 50 US visits, completed more than 100 international tours, visited 80 countries and more than 300 cities, 3,500 dancers have passed through the company, 36,000 pairs of shoes have been used, 45,000 pieces of wardrobe have been used, Amalia Hernández has created 100+ choreographies for the company.
After San Antonio the production takes them to Austin followed by a West Coast tour including Las Vegas. May God grant them traveling mercies.
An old dance teacher once told me that a dancer who experiences different forms of dance enriches their life as a dancer and a person. Not sure about that but I do appreciate and see the beauty in all forms of dance and life.
Remember an Old Dancer never dies they just hop from Barre to Barre…….with that, till next time see you
ON STAGE .