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Ballet Folklórico de México performs at Wharton Center, March 4 

EAST LANSING: México’s oldest, most celebrated dance company, Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández, visits Wharton Center for an evening of the finest in traditional Mexican folkloric dance, on Thursday, March 4, 2010, at 7:30 p.m., at its Cobb Great Hall. 

Organized by Hernández more than 50 years ago to help preserve Mexico’s rich heritage of traditional culture, the 75-member company will perform a vibrant and colorful Mexican seasonal celebration. This event will be presented as part of Wharton Center’s Dance Series; tickets range from $15-$28.

For more than five decades, Ballet Folklórico de México has been providing theatrical spectacles that dazzle with colorful costumes and props, live mariachi and marimba musicians, and briskly paced programs of dances that sweep across history and geography to provide a vivid portrait of the culture of traditional Mexico. 

Regional dances from Michoacán, Guerrero, Chiapas, and other states, as well as dances from the pre-Hispanic roots of Mexican culture, combine in an atmosphere of celebration for an experience that has been a hit with audiences all over México, and around the world.

Amalia Hernández, who died in 2000, was widely considered one of México’s greatest cultural ambassadors.  She became interested in dance at an early age and began her career as a dancer, teacher and choreography at the Mexican Academy of Dance.  Her success in adapting traditional dances fro the stage prompted the Mexican government to sponsor the company at international festivals. 

By 1959, the company had grown to more than 50 members and was re-christened Ballet Folklórico de México and was moved into the Palace of Fine Arts, the foremost stage for the arts in México City.  It has gone on to give more than 5,000 performances and both Amalia Hernández and the Ballet Folklórico de México have been distinguished with more than 200 awards recognizing its artistic merit.

Ballet Folklórico de México continues to prosper under Norma López Hernández, Amalia Hernández’ daughter, and grandson Salvador López, who is the general director.  Performances by the company typically feature 1,012 dances, each of them from a different region and historical period.

The dances include Matachines, an evocation of the customs of pre-Latino Mexican peoples who danced as an act of worship for their gods, Sones de Michoacán, a folk ballet composed by Hernández to portray the rattle dances of the jarabes common to several Mexican regions, The Danzón and the Jarana, which includes urban dances influenced by African, Caribbean and European elements, rhythms, each representing the rich culture which México’s heritage entails.

Box Office: http://www.whartoncenter.comor call 517-432-2000 or 1-800-WHARTON.






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