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Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández: 60th Anniversary Tour

by Rita Kohn
October 5, 2012
Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University
4602 Sunset Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46208
317-940-6444
This review was originally published in NUVO Newsweekly, Indianapolis, IN.

Rita Kohn is a member of the Board of the Dance Critics Association.
Swirling in color, the 60th anniversary tour of Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández was fast-paced, crisp and alluring, with live music and representative settings adding to the overall effect of sharing the diverse cultures of Mexico. The "Deer Dance" of the Yaqui people most impressed with authenticity of what life was like before intervention of the Spanish conquistadors and how traditions have been maintained since with passing on of aboriginal ways.

An observation for this reviewer was how close this Yaqui dance is to the U.S. Woodlands and Great Plains Indians hunting dances. The respect for all creatures and recognition of the nobility of the animals being hunted for food deeply pervades tribal life and serves as a reminder that nothing is killed except for necessity and even then the spirit of the animal is preserved in the clothing worn during the ritualistic dance preceding a hunt.

The program's nine interludes paid homage to the pre-Hispanic and post-Hispanic religious celebrations, national pride during the Mexican Revolution of 1910, and the lasting importance of Quetzal, the mythological bird of Mesoamerica.

Both traditional dances and modern group dances were impressive with intricate percussive footwork and interweaving patterns where hand props combined with bells and rattles sewed onto men's and women's clothing to create a total ambiance of movement and sound within the cosmos.

Both acts opened with a musical overture foreshadowing the range of tempos to come. Juan Solana, Consul of Mexico in Indianapolis, was also in attendance.
Photo courtesy of Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández.

Photo courtesy of Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández.


Photo courtesy of Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández.

Photo courtesy of Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández.


Photo courtesy of Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández.

Photo courtesy of Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández.

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