Ballet Folklorico de Mexico

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Ballet Folklórico de México

Ballet Folklórico de México, form of popular entertainment that emerged in Mexico in the mid-1940s to promote popular cultural nationalism, usually with government support. The best-known company is Amalia Hernández's Ballet Folklórico de México, which performs in the Bellas Artes Palace in Mexico City and sponsors an international touring group. An early concern with folk culture was gradually supplanted by emphasis on spectacular choreography and dramatic costumes. Similar folk-dance groups arose in Cuba and Venezuela, where they focused on the African and other traditional heritages of the people.

The concern for the preservation of authentic folk dance and for regionalism has stimulated the creation of many groups, especially at universities and among ethnomusicologists, in Mexico, Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, and Brazil. Folkloric material is increasingly available through recordings, brochures, televised festivals, and videotapes. In the southwestern United States, Hispanics have established dance groups in their schools in efforts to maintain their culture and support political and union activities. A major dance competition is held annually in Tucson, Arizona.

See alsoMusic: Popular Music and Dance .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

"Ballet Folklórico Nacional de México," video released by RTC (1987); and Ballet Folklórico de México, performance catalog published yearly by the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes.

Additional Bibliography

Dallal, Alberto. La danza en México. México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, 2000.

Ramos Smith, Maya, and Patricia Cardona. La danza en México: Visiones de cinco siglos. México: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, 2002.

                                     Guy Bensusan

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Chávez (y Ramirez), Carlos (Antonio de Padua) (b Mexico City, 1899; d Mexico City, 1978). Mex. composer and conductor. Début as composer 1921. Travelled in Eur. and USA 1922–8. Wrote for Mexico City newspaper El Universal 1924, contributing to it regularly for rest of his life. Lived in NY 1926–8, forming friendships with Copland, Cowell, and Varèse. Dir., Nat. Cons. of Mexico 1928–34. Cond. Mexico SO 1928–48. Founder and dir., Mexican Nat. Institute of Fine Arts 1947–52. Dir., composers' workshop, Nat. Cons. 1960–5. Cond. f.p. of Copland's El salón Mexicó, 1937. Comps. incl. 6 syms.; pf. conc.; vn. conc.; opera The Visitors (lib. by Kallman) (1953–6); ballet Caballos de Vapor (Horse Power) (1926–7). Nationalist style but rarely used folk material.

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Ballet Folklórico de México, Mexico's national dance company. It was founded in 1952 by the dancer, choreographer, and teacher Amalia Hernández. Sponsored by the Mexican government, it is headquartered at the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City and regularly tours worldwide. It began as a company of eight dancers that produced dances based on Mexican folklore for television and concert performance. Greatly enlarged, today it is recognized as one of the world's preeminent "ethnic" ballet companies and presents a wide range of colorful dances that spotlight Mexico's regions, history, and culture. The company also runs a dance school.