After I published this blog, Helen pointed out that these are not "professional" dancers, they are amateurs who make their living doing something else. Now I am even more in awe of their performance.
Yesterday Helen and I got to relive some of the fun we had in Mexico. I was very much surprised to find that the Ballet Folklorio Quetzalli De Veracruz was going to perform at the Curtis Peterson Hall, just ten miles from home. They are not really a ballet as you would think of it, but a series of folk dances done in period costumes, representing various areas of Mexico. When Helen and I were in Patzcuaro, we got to see Danza de los Viejitos, or Dance of the Little Old Men. In Patzcuaro, it was not performed by a professional dance troop, but by local street performers and had a lot of local flavor. The youngest "Old Man" was only six years old and he did a masterful job, as did all the others. We were able to catch a number of performances in the main square and enjoyed every one. So when we saw this dance listed we knew we had to go.
It was much better than we thought it would be, but the dancers were all professional and this program has been presented around the world. The dancing was fabulous, the colors bright, and there was not a lull in the performance except for the intermission. I don't know how they can be so active and keep doing it for such a long time.
I'm posting too many pictures, but I forgot how to insert a slide show. Also, even with the program in front of me, I cannot properly describe most of the dances.
The first dance comes from the area of Guerrero and represents Ancient Mexico. This was a very lively dance that had me wondering how the dancers were able to keep the pace for such a long time.
More from Guerrero
The Michoacan area is the basis for the next few dances. This is the traditional Dance of Lovers or Jarabillo de Novios.
More of the "Lovers". Again, it was lively and well choreographed.
Lovers, picture III.
And picture IV
I'm not sure which dance this was, possibly Dance of Three because it came right before the Old Men Dance.
More Dance of Three
And still more!
The introduction of the Old Men and start of the Dance of the Little Old Men
On this stage they were a bit friskier than we saw on the streets of Patzcuaro. However, in Patzcuaro, there were no women in the cast, only the dancers taking the parts of the old men and their musical background.
Stooped over and walking with a cane, but extremely active with the tapping and stomping, hard to do in the bent over stance.
Getting the audience to participate in the beat.
Comical to the end.
This was the Cowboy Dance representing the northern part of the Baja peninsula.
A slower performance called Procession of the Virgin from the Veracruz region.
More dance from Veracruz.
Still more. The Ballet Folklorio is based in Veracruz, so that are got the most attention.
Unknown dance, also from Veracruz.
This is Danza de los Negritos or Dance of the Little Black Men. It commemorates the legend of the child of a black slave woman being bitten by a venomous snake. She goes into an intricate dance, appealing to her Gods to spare her child. The figure in white represents the woman carrying the dead snake in a bag and the dances act out stomping the snake. It seemed a bit eerie.
The last dances were more refined, but still there was the beat of boots stomping, Not quite like Flamenco dancing, but close.
This was at the closing moments. The crowd was pleased with the whole performance and gave them a standing ovation.
The whole idea of a Mexican production in Citrus County piqued our interest in Mexico even more. We have already decided to spend next winter in Mexico, again, but now we'll have some additional places to explore.
Now, on another note. Yesterday's blog was about Daisy and I mentioned taking the dog to Pat and Lewis, who are as dedicated to saving Labs as anyone could be. Although they are into canoe and kayak racing, their lives seem devoted to saving Labs. Lewis made a video of Daisy and put it on You Tube. See Daisy Meets Judyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?
Sorry for such a long blog!