Mexico’s famed Ballet Folklorico “Quetzalli” de Veracruz, celebrating its Silver Anniversary, comes to the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, Thursday, April 28.
The U.S. tour includes award-winning musical ensemble, Tien-Huicani, one of the premier interpreters of the folk music of Mexico and Latin America.
For 25 years, Ballet Folklorico “Quetzalli” de Veracruz has been thrilling audiences with its visual fiesta of color and folklore. For the Anniversary tour, “Quetzalli” will present dances from four different regions of Mexico, as well as the traditional Pre-Hispanic “Danza de los Concheros,” which pays homage to Mexico’s millenary tradition and features elaborate feather headdresses and shell anklets.
“Quetzalli” was founded in 1985 by dancer Hugo Betancourt, with Rosalinda Perez and Manuel Vazquez, with a mission to research, practice and promote Mexican folk dances. The troupe has grown from eight dancers to a company of more than 45 total dancers and 10 musicians, though 17 are on the 25th Anniversary Tour. The company makes its home in Xalapa, the state capital of Veracruz, where it operates a school and training program for young dancers. The troupe received its Aztec nickname “Quetzalli” after the popular multi-colored bird, the quetzal.
Folk dance is one of the oldest and most deeply rooted traditions in Mexico, and Ballet Folklorico literally translates as “folk dancing” or the “dancing of folks-people.” Each region of the country has its own representative dances that serve as a key component of the local celebrations or fiestas. Such a tradition is clearly evident with Ballet Folklorico “Quetzalli,” as the show is as much about preserving and celebrating Mexican culture as it is dance.
Stated Betancourt in a press release, “Of the touring companies from Mexico, we’re one of the few that has live music in their shows, and that takes the performances to another level. The presence of Tien-Huicani makes this tour even more special… We’ve had people come to us to tell us that we recreate the fiestas exactly the same way they are in Mexico.”
Tien-Huicani, named the “Best Folk Music Group” in Mexico by the Union of Music and Theater Critics, is led by veteran musician and harp virtuoso, Alberto del la Rosa. Tien-Huicani will back Ballet Folklorico’s dance performances, we well as offer its own musical segments as part of the show.
As noted in the Albuquerque Journal, “The Ballet Folklorico de Veracruz is a company with heart and skill… There was plenty of color and festivity through the course of things, enough to leave the audience clamoring for more.” View video clips of the troupe’s performance at http://www.sroartists.com/artists/balletfolklorico/index.php.
Tickets for Ballet Folklorico — $20/$28/$37 — are available online at www.durangoconcerts.com or by calling .247-7657. All sales final.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m., with doors to the Concert Hall and concessions, serving beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks, opening at 6:30.