Ballet Folklorico de Mexico | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Ballet Folklorico de Mexico

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Five years ago, when Ballet Folklorico de Mexico was last in town, I blasted the company for not being Urban Bush Women, the modern-dance troupe I saw the same weekend. The young are so judgmental. Today I see the value of traditional dances done well, even extravagantly, with the result that people actually go see them--even people of a different ethnicity. Amalia Hernandez's company, which she founded more than 40 years ago and which is now an official Mexican export operating under the auspices of the National Institute of Fine Arts, is a true crowd pleaser, a well-trained troupe of 65 dancers and musicians who re-create Mexican history with the help of sequins and confetti, feathers and lace. But their enterprise is sound: preserving the many folkloric traditions of Mexico, which blend native Indian, Spanish, and Afro-Caribbean dance. These programs include the world premiere of Yucatan: Danzon and Jarana plus two U.S. premieres--Gods, a dance dialogue between man and his deities, and Wedding in the Huasteca, a narrative piece about rivalry for a bride. Also on the program are Sounds of Michoacan, Tarima From Tixtla, Zacatecas, Tlacotalpan's Festival, Chiapas, Maracumbe, and Jalisco. Next Thursday through Saturday, September 22-24, at 8 and Sunday, September 25, at 3 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress; $10-$40. Call 902-1500 for tickets. Special performance for student groups Friday, September 23, at 11 AM; call 431-2392 for information.

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