Can 44 Dancers Tell 1000 Years of Mexican History in 120 Minutes?

The Ballet Folklórico de México presentation Tuesday night in Madison was spectacular. If I were to write a New York Times review, I’d say, “Choreographer Amalia Hernández’ ballet is a most eloquent personification of el pueblo mexicano. Her stunning display embodies 1000 years of Mexican history with vibrant colors, masterful dancers, and elaborate pageantry. When the tour arrives in your part of the country, you must go.”

I could describe here the plumed headdresses and horn ankle bells of the Aztec dancers, the graceful señoritas mexicanas spinning their wide skirts, the enthralling deer dance of the Yaqui, or the caballero with his flirty lasso. However, in this case, a video may convey the most detail:


If you’ve never seen the regional costumes and dances of the region that created the Mexican song, La Bamba, I highly recommend this short clip. See what the couple are making with their feet. They are tying the knot! The musicians are live during the show. The presentation I saw had 21 musicians listed, their instruments include: violin, guitarrón, guitar, vihuela, trumpet, harp and drums.


Amalia Hernández may have left this earth 18 years ago, but her work is very much alive, proclaiming the glory of her beloved homeland’s plurality of cultures. Does her work capture the essence of México? The answer to that and the question in the header is a resounding ¡Sí¡

The show is still playing in Mexico City, if you miss the US tour. ¡Viva México!

Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco! Olé! -Rebecca

Para leer este ensayo en español, haz un clic en ¿Sería posible para 44 bailarines contar 1000 años de historia mexicana en dos horas?

folkloric dancer by RC

Artwork by Rebecca Cuningham, all rights reserved 2018.


Rebecca Cuningham

17 thoughts on “Can 44 Dancers Tell 1000 Years of Mexican History in 120 Minutes?

  1. They did such a great job of representing indigenous cultures, rural campesinos, the upper class and the 1910 soldaderas, Caribbean style carnaval, and children’s games and humor. Wonderfully varied!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! The La Bamba video makes you want to get up and dance, it’s infectious!

    Love watching indigenous dancing in whichever country I’m travelling. Think I’ll start to take some videos of the dancing before it’s lost.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I appreciate your comments! Yes, La Bamba is very danceable. : ) I like your idea of videotaping the dances of the indigenous people you see performing on your travels. That would be a wonderful way to help preserve the culture for future generations. -Rebecca

      Liked by 1 person

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