A&M International Presents Free Posada at University Fri, Dec. 3

Celebrate the holidays with a festive Mexican tradition as the Texas A&M International presents "Las Posadas 99" on Friday, December 3, at 7 p.m. in the University's Kinesiology/Convocation Building. Admission is free.

This third annual event is sponsored by the A&M International Ballet Folklorico and the University's Student Government Association. It will feature the traditional reenactment of the Joseph's and Mary's journey through Bethlehem plus performances by the A&M International Ballet Folklorico, the A&M International Ballet Folklorico Juvenil, and the University's Mariachi Band.

The reenactment will begin with an introduction and historical overview by members of the Student Government Association. Audience members will then be invited to join the reenactment processional. After the processional, members of the University's Ballet Folklorico will perform five traditional dances from the Mexican states of Veracruz, Nayarit, Jalisco, and Nuevo Leon. The performance will include the premiere of a dance titled "Los Viejitos."

The Ballet Folklorico dancers, all students at A&M International, include Alejandra Acosta, Sabrina Arnould, Jaime Ayala, Omar Carrizales, Imelda G. Chapa, Erika Espinoza, Paula Flores, Maria Garcia, Eduardo Gonzalez, Julio Gonzalez, Alex Hernandez, Iliana Hinojosa, David Jones, Cynthia Ramirez, Laura Rodriguez, Neetash Sharma, Erinn Taylor, and Jessica Zamora.

The dance group is under the direction of Gabriela Mendoza, Associate Director of the University's Office of Student Development, and former professional dancer.

The A&M International Ballet Folklorico Juvenil, also directed by Mendoza, will perform dances from Chiapas and Jalisco. The group is comprised of 5- to 13-year-olds enrolled in a children's ballet folklorico class offered through the University's Office of Continuing Education. They include Angelee Almendarez, Jessica Cuellar, Katie Desiderio, Mikhaela Locklear, Christina Guajardo, Margie Gutierrez, Andromeda Hall, Nadine Lugo, Irasema Palacios, Daisy Pliego, Claudia Rodriguez, Christina Rone, Mary Lee Santana, Tally Stock, Emily Tedford, and Laura Tedford.

The University Mariachi Band, which was formed in September, will present a selection of traditional Mexican music. The Band is directed by Elmo Lopez Sr.

The event will end with a reception featuring traditional Mexican refreshments served during the Christmas season including tamales and champurrado.

For more information on the Posada at A&M International Dec. 3, please contact Mendoza at 326-2280 or the Student Government Association office at 326-2265.

University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu