Performances at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
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The Ballet Follkorico was created to preserve Mexican folk dances and to provide others with the opportunity to appreciate diversity among cultures. The full name of the folk dance company is the Ballet Folklórico Mexico de Los Hermanos Avila. Carmen and Jesus Avila (sister and brother) who are still performing today founded the company in 1972. They were subsequently joined by a second and third generation of Avilas.
Jesus Avila serves as the company’s director, while Armando Contreras is the choreographer, costume designer, and artistic director. The lavish and colorful authentic regalia are an integral part of the show and transition the energetic dancers from one scene to the next. The majestic costumes are symbolic of Mexican culture and are adorned with beads, suede, and colorful pheasant tails, some of which reach six and a half feet in length.
The Ballet Folklórico Mexico has been recognized by U.S. and Mexican officials as one of the most outstanding groups presenting the authentic regional dances of Mexico. The group has received proclamations and commendations from the State of Wisconsin, as well as from the Mexican Government Tourism Office. The dancers consider themselves multicultural ambassadors from around the world. Many of the dancers are college students coming from Mexico, Puerto Rico and from as far as Japan and China. Based in Madison, Wisconsin, the group has performed all over the world, including in Germany, Russia, and Mexico. The dancers rigorously practice four to five days a week to maintain the precision and integrity of their dances.
The program includes historic dances from Azteca, Michoacan, Guerrero, Sonora, Jalisco, and other regions of Mexico, as well as dances dedicated to the “soldaderas,” the courageous women who supported and even fought alongside the men during the Mexican revolution.
The regional dances reflect the unique tradition of a country where many groups were physically isolated form one another, yet shared a common language and spirit.