WORLD PREMIERE / Mexico
The folkloric dances of Mexico tell the history of place and people, and this performance—Durango: Recuerdo de Mis Raices, Remembrance of My Roots—brings us to northern Mexico, near the US border. When 19th-century European immigrants brought new musical instruments and lively ballroom dances to the region, Durango communities learned new styles and tunes. As they incorporated their rough, energetic ranchero aesthetics, a distinctive style emerged. This choreography by Artistic Director Erik Noel Díaz features three Durango dances:
Las Virginias is a joyful cuadrilla with interchanging partners and diagonal formations. The style evolved from the stately French quadrille, a ballroom dance introduced by soldiers during the 1860’s French occupation.
El Revolcadero, the recognizable, popular polka of Durango’s folklore, appeared as a protest against Mexico’s social elite, mocking the Europeans’ stiff elegance with exaggerated, harsh movements.
El Jaral is a chotis, evolved from the schottische or Bavarian polka and became popular in Mexico’s northern states, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas.
The Durango style is characterized by movements that are fast-paced, abrupt, and gruff, and performed with vibrant energy. Steps include running movements called corridita; polka-style toe-to-heel steps called punta y talón de canasta; arm movements—acarreo—to accompany running steps; and bailes de jalón dances where partners pull each other’s arms.
The women wear flowered blouses and skirts, the rebozo, and Adelita type boots—styles from the Mexican Revolution. Men wear denim, red neckerchiefs, boots, and a small sombrero. The music is the unique norteño style played with accordion, six-string bajo sexto, and double bass.
Ballet Folklórico Nube de Oro (Cloud of Gold) is a nonprofit dance organization founded in 1995 to teach and preserve Mexican folkloric dance. Nube de Oro’s goals—the development of its dancers’ education, and pride and promotion of cultural dances—have been consistent for over 20 years. The group began with 25 dancers, and is now over 75 dancers strong.
July 13 & 14
Dance Origin: Mexico
Genre: Folkloric (Durango)
Title: Durango: Recuerdo de Mis Raices—Durango: Remembrance of My Roots
Artistic Director/Choreographer: Erik Noel Díaz
Dancers: Daniel Atherley, Adrian Becerra, Megan Rosario Benitez, Tatyana Córdova, Luna Diaz, Sara A. Diaz, Isabella Flores, Gene Exiquio Garcia, Athenea Godinez-Gomez, Elías Cruz Guerrero, Karina Gutierrez, Maya Gutierrez, Lily Guzman, Xanath Jimenez, Alex Lopez, Jovan Lopez, Jacob Fernandez, Gabriel Perez, Aarón Pulido, Jamie Pulido, Karen Pulido, Janesa Rodriguez, Yoshio Rosas, Ana Salgado, Gabriel Salgado, Marisela Salgado, Josue Sanchez, Luis Sanchez, Abdiel Trejo, Daniel Trejo
Musicians: Francisco Rey y su Norteño Banda: Cesar Aguirre (accordion), Daniel Esparza (fifth bass, vocals), Alejandro Guadarrama (saxophone), Jesús Hernández (drums), Francisco Rey (vocals, electric bass), Henry Vega (technician)
Photo: RJ Muna