Only a few shows remain in the winter/spring season at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, but theres no drop-off in quality as the end nears.
Thursdays offering is a perfect warm-up for next weeks Cinco de Mayo festivities. Mexicos famed Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli de Veracruz is celebrating its Silver Anniversary, and the U.S. tour includes award-winning musical ensemble, Tien-Huicani, one of the premier interpreters of the folk music of Mexico and Latin America.
For 25 years, Quetzalli de Veracruz has been renowned for its visual fiesta of color and folklore. For the Anniversary tour, Quetzalli will present dances from four different regions of Mexico, as well as the traditional pre-Hispanic Danza de los Concheros, which pays homage to Mexicos millenary tradition and features elaborate feather headdresses and shell anklets.
Quetzalli was founded in 1985 by dancer Hugo Betancourt, with Rosalinda Perez and Manuel Vazquez, with a mission to research, practice and promote Mexican folk dances. The troupe has grown from eight dancers to a company of more than 45 dancers and 10 musicians, though 17 are on the 25th Anniversary Tour.
The company makes its home in Xalapa, the state capital of Veracruz, where it operates a school and training program for young dancers. The troupe received its Aztec nickname Quetzalli after the multicolored bird, the quetzal.
Folk dance is one of the oldest and most deeply rooted traditions in Mexico, and Ballet Folklorico literally translates as folk dancing or the dancing of folks-people.
Each region of the country has its own representative dances that serve as a key component of the local celebrations or fiestas. Such a tradition is clearly evident with Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli, as the show is as much about preserving and celebrating Mexican culture as it is dance.
Quetzalli is one of the only Mexican touring companies that incorporates live music in its show. The addition adds authenticity to the shows, which recreate fiestas as they are typically held in Mexico.
Tien-Huicani, named the Best Folk Music Group in Mexico by the Union of Music and Theater Critics, is led by veteran musician and harp virtuoso Alberto del la Rosa. Tien-Huicani will back Ballet Folkloricos dance performances, as well as offer its own musical segments as part of the show.