Ballet Folclórico Nacional de México de SILVIA LOZANO (BFNM) brings a wealth of Mexican culture and dance traditions direct form Mexico to the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) 5 p.m., Sunday, Feb 16. Booked and produced by Columbia Artists, this program inspired by Mexican history features an ensemble of more than 30 singers and dancers in stunningly beautiful costumes performing to a mix of live and recorded music. A free MAC Chat will precede the program.
BFNM is currently celebrating its 60th anniversary of sharing the legacy of the folklore, dance, music and costumes of Mexico. It maintains residences in Mexico City and Cancun and is a designated Ambassador of Mexican Culture. BFNM has performed in more than 40 countries and five continents and received numerous awards and prizes. Previous tours and performances include The “El Grito” Mexican Independence Day Celebration at the Miller Outdoor Theatre and the Mexican Consulate of Houston, Texas (2016); a 60-day tour of France and Switzerland (2011); a 75-day tour through the Netherlands and Belgium (2009) and a performance as representatives of the American continent for the inauguration of the “Dubai Shopping Festival” in response to an invitation of Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (2002).
The program at the MAC will focus on the following regions of Mexico:
- Oaxaca is one of the 31 states which, with Mexico City, make up the 32 federative entities of Mexico. It is home to four styles of dance: La Danza de la Pluma (Dance of the Feather), a celebration of an Aztec legend about the last Aztec Emperor, Moctezuma; the graceful Sandunga, a traditional Mexican waltz inspired by the Spanish jota style of music with Native American and Mestizo elements accompanied by the romantic marimba; Flor de Piña ("Flower of Pineapple") performed by barefoot women to a hybrid music with Spanish influence; and Jarabe Mixteco, often called the national dance of Mexico, and also known as the Mexican hat dance developed around the glorification of Princess Ita Andehuii, a sweet, arrogant and beautiful woman, who symbolizes the “Flower of the Heaven.”
- Yucatán. Here, the weather is warm and pleasant, the land produces abundant fruits and crops, and the people live in comfort. “Vaquerías” (“Ranches”) is the name given to the fiestas celebrated in this region, which are represented in this dance
- Chiapas. The southernmost Pacific Coast in Mexico is known for beautiful jungle forests, its Zapotec people who produce gold and silver works of astonishing beauty, and brilliant and colorful dances, reflecting the buoyancy of the Spanish Culture and the more contemplative nature of the indigenous people.
- Veracruz Antiguo. La Antigua, Veracruz is regarded as the first real Spanish town in Mexico. The origin of its Son Jarocho regional folk music comes from Spain but also reflects African influences that developed in the Caribbean basin.
- Veracruz Sotavento. The lively and cheerful music of the south end of Veracruz reflects both Spanish and Totonac Indian cultures. The music is fast, light and rustic. The high-spirited falsetto yells of the singers and the slapping of the guitar strings with the hand at the end of each phrase further accentuate the complex nature of the music.
- Guerrero. The music of Guerrero, more than any other State, preserves Spanish tradition. In this dance, the couple uses handkerchiefs to show the nuances of flirtation, which continue to change as the dance progresses.
- Michoacan is located in the northern region of Uruapan Mountains, home of the beautiful Lake of Patzcuaro. The older men of the town danced with their sticks as an offering to the “Sun God” or “Old God,” which in the region of Michoacán is called “Tata Jurhiata.
- Hidalgo, situated near the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, San Luis Potosi and Queretaro, is known for its musical style “son Huasteco” or “huapango” developed in the 17th century, and based on a ternary compass structure.
- Puebla. During fiestas in Colonial times, the Spanish conquerors would perform a dance known as “Moors and Christians,” which commemorated their recent wars with the Moors. This dance requires great strength and is usually interpreted by men accustomed to arduous and fatiguing work.
- Baja California’s dance of the “Calabaceado” is a regional dance from the north of the country. Its origin traces back to 1940s, when little by little, cattle activities became a source of entertainment for the cowboys.
- Jalisco. The music always is performed by Mariachi bands, that customarily play a medley of tunes, many originating from 15th century Spain and containing complex rhythms. The dances are known as “Jarabe,” which literally means “sweet syrup,” possibly because many of them are courtship dances.
This performance is presented as one of the Frida Kahlo Performance Series Events intended to celebrate the “Frida Kahlo 2020” exhibition coming to the Cleve Carney Museum of Art (CCMA) and the MAC June-August 2020. The final performance of the series will be New Philharmonic: “A Salute to Frida” (April. 18-19).
Ballet Folclórico Nacional de México de SILVIA LOZANO comes to the McAninch Arts Center located at 425 Fawell Blvd., on the campus of College of DuPage 5 p.m., Sunday Feb. 16. Tickets are $59. A free MAC Chat will precede the program. For tickets or more information visit AtTheMAC.org or call 630.942.4000.
About “Frida Kahlo 2020”
“Frida Kahlo 2020,” opening June 2020, presented by Bank of America and hosted by the Cleve Carney Museum of Art (CCMA) and the MAC, will be the largest Frida Kahlo exhibition in the Chicago area in more than 40 years. Alongside the 26 original works on loan from the Museo Dolores Olmedo, this multifaceted and immersive exhibition features a multimedia timeline with reproductions of Kahlo’s clothing, more than 100 photographic images from the artist’s life, a family-friendly children’s area, and a poetry garden designed by Ball Horticultural Company enabling museum-goers of all ages to grasp an understanding of Kahlo’s life and work through a variety of contexts. The exhibition and related programming are organized by Frida Kahlo 2020 Executive Director Diana Martinez (Director of the McAninch Arts Center) in collaboration with Justin Witte, Frida Kahlo 2020 Curator (CCMA Director and Curator). “Frida Kahlo 2020” is made possible through support from the College of DuPage Foundation and the generous spirit of Milly and Alan Peterson, founding community members of College of DuPage and lifetime patrons of the McAninch Arts Center. Additional financial support is provided by Bank of America, Ball Horticultural Company, Nicor Gas, Wight & Company, AeroMexico, the National Endowment for the Arts and the DuPage Foundation. For tickets or more information visit theccma.org.
About the MAC
The McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage is located 25 miles west of Chicago near I-88 and I-355. It houses three indoor performance spaces (the 780-seat proscenium Belushi Performance Hall; the 236-seat soft-thrust Playhouse Theatre; and the versatile black box Studio Theatre), the outdoor Lakeside Pavilion, plus the Cleve Carney Museum of Art and classrooms for the college’s academic programming. The MAC has presented theater, music, dance and visual art to more than 1.5 million people since its opening in 1986 and typically welcomes more than 100,000 patrons from the greater Chicago area to more than 230 performances each season.
The mission of the MAC is to foster enlightened educational and performance opportunities, which encourage artistic expression, establish a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community. Visit AtTheMAC.org or facebook.com/AtTheMAC for more information.
The MAC’s 2019-2020 Season is made possible in part with support by Follett, L.L. Bean, Doubletree by Hilton Lisle/Naperville, WDCB 90.9 FM, DuPage Foundation and the College of DuPage Foundation.
Programs at the MAC are partially supported through a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.