On April 16 and 17, joyful accordion notes and lively polkas will beckon Texas A&M International University's Ballet Folklórico to the stage for "Una Primavera Mexicana" featuring dances dating back to the Mexican Revolution.
The annual dance concert by the 30-member group celebrates the arrival of spring and will be held on two dates. Two concerts are geared especially for children, while the third is open to the general public. Both take place at TAMIU's Kinesiology/Convocation Building and are free of charge and open to the community.
The children's presentation is Wednesday, April 16 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and also features guest ballet folklórico groups from González Middle School and the Vidal M. Treviño Magnet School. More than 2,700 children are expected to attend both shows.
The general public presentation is Thursday, April 17 at 7 p.m. Guests will include the Ballet Folklórico Juvenil, a children's ballet group, and TAMIU's Guitar Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Gilberto Soto.
Gabriela Mendoza-García, director of the Ballet Folklórico, said that the Concert, fully adorned in the colors and sounds of Mexico, serves to remind and educate the public about the centuries-old traditions, customs and culture of Laredo's closest neighbor.
Founded in 1996 by Mendoza-García, TAMIU's Ballet Folklórico has included students from Brazil, Canada, China, France, India and Mexico, the United States and Zambia, and is well versed in dances from all regions of Mexico.
"This performing dance organization is comprised entirely of TAMIU students and alumni whose positive attitude toward work has produced a dedicated and talented group of dancers that are also storytellers, historians and cultural ambassadors," Mendoza-García said, "Each dance the group performs tells a story or provides a unique history lesson in motion on Mexico."
Mendoza-García said dances at "Una Primavera Mexicana" are authentic renditions of traditional steps and incorporate teachings of Pedro Serna, a folkloric dance consultant from Zacatecas, Mexico. A former member of Ballet Folklórico de Zacatecas, Serna has danced with Amalia Hernández's famous Ballet Folklórico de Mexico. He currently directs his own dance group in Jalpa, Zacatecas.
"Our choreography is also a product of what students learned from various master teachers at national and international conferences," she said.
Dancers will present selections from throughout Mexico including the states of Veracruz, Nuevo Leon, Chiapas, Michoacan, and Jalisco, Mendoza-García said.
"We encourage the public to come, bring their families and enjoy these stories in motion. By doing so, they will help us to preserve an art form for generations to come," she said.
For further information, please contact Mendoza-García at 326-2281, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org visit offices located in Student Center, room 226B.
TAMIU Spring semester office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.