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BALLET FOLKLÓRICO DE MEXICO DE AMALIA HERNANDEZ

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Ballet Folklórico de México celebrates 100th Anniversary of Mexican Revolution, New York City concert set for Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at Town Hall

The World-Renowned Dance Company Celebrates the Revolution and 200 Years of Mexican Independence With New Additions to its Program

Town Hall Appearance is Midpoint of 41-City Tour

WATCH VIDEO http://www.cami.com/?webid=1730

"Passionate...impeccable...an unequaled point of entry to the riches of a fabulous culture!" LOS ANGELES TIMES

New York, NY. January 15, 2010 – Columbia Artists Music LLC (CAMI) is proud to present the internationally-acclaimed Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández, one of the great dance companies of the world, returning to New York for a one-night spectacular of dance, color, mariachis -- and revolution Wednesday, February 24th at Town Hall.

In a momentous year like 2010, the premier cultural institution that has narrated the living history of Mexico to some 25 million people the world over could not be absent from the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mexican Independence and the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.

"This year, we are bringing a redesigned program, and what I think is the Ballet's best touring cast in ten years,” says Salvador López López, the organization's Executive Director.

Highlights of the new program will be Dioses Aztecas (Aztec Gods), a piece that has not been performed outside Mexico in many years due to the complexity of its mise en scène. Other new additions to the program include two dances from the southern state of Oaxaca, one of the regions with a strongest sense of identity in Mexico: The Feather Dance and The Jarabes. Other dances include Jalisco, an homage to the central-western state where most tequila is produced and where both the cowboy tradition of charrería and mariachi music were born; and El Gusto, a Mexican tap dance from the Pacific coastal state of Guerrero. And the Revolution of 1910-1917 will be celebrated through its female fighters, the soldaderas, who joined the war for democracy along with the men, in a piece called Revolución.

Mexicans do not take the year 2010 lightly. It was 200 years ago they rose against Spanish colonizers to create the largest Hispanic republic in the New World. A hundred years later, the Mexican people started a civil war to shake off a three-decade dictatorship. In the years that followed, the Mexican Revolution inspired some of the most renowned artists of the 20th century, like muralists Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros or Manuel Orozco. These and other artistic visionaries embraced Mexico’s three-pronged heritage of Indian, Spanish and African blood.

It was out of these extraordinary times that legendary dancer and choreographer Amalia Hernández created the Ballet Folklórico de Mexico en 1952, setting out on a quest to rescue the dancing traditions of a nation composed of many peoples, from the northern deserts to the southern jungles, from the Caribbean-infused Gulf coast to the Pacific shores and its ancient cultures. She researched and learned dances from the pre-Columbian era, colonial times under Spanish rule, and the vibrant, chaotic Revolutionary period.

But Amalia – who passed away in November of 2000 at age 83 – had no interest in performing "moving dioramas" or in presenting folklore as dry museum-pieces. Instead, she wanted a dance company that would enthrall viewers as much as educate them. That her work can still dazzle audiences and inspire young dancers is the result of both discipline and artistry.

"We do more than translate Mexican culture onto the stage," López says. "We take the original music and dances and adapt them to transmit their essence, within a certain space, certain rules, a certain time period. In Mexico, there are dances that last two or three days…impossible for a theatre audience. We work to adapt them, translate them and then give them a breathtaking, cinematic quality."

Audiences can see Ballet Folklórico de México’s magic in their February 24th presentation at New York City’s Town Hall. The show is part of a demanding U.S. schedule of 55 shows in 42 cities – all in just 10 weeks. In some cities the company will perform both afternoon and evening shows; clearly, this schedule demands a cast of dancers whose artistic excellence must be matched by pure physical stamina.

Supporting the dancers will be 15 musicians performing onstage, including a mariachi band playing a selection of Mexico’s best-known sones, or songs.

Now closing in on their sixth decade, Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández remains the gold standard for Mexican dance, one of Mexico’s proudest exports to the world.

Ballet Folklórico de México
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
8:00pm
Town Hall
123 West 43rd St
New York, NY
Tickets: $50, $40 Available at Town Hall Box Office or Ticketmaster 1-800-745-3000

Other tri-state area appearances:
Feb 25 at McCarter Theatre in Princeton, Feb 26 at Quick Center in Fairfield, CT

For a full list of U.S. concert dates go to http://www.cami.com/?webid=1730

Ballet Folklórico de México (Ball-ETT folk-LOR-ee-ko deh MEH-hee-ko) has performed in more than 80 countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas and reached over 25 million spectators worldwide. New York City’s most prestigious dance companies, including Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham, have collaborated with it. Both Amalia Hernandez and the company have received more than 200 awards recognizing their artistic merits, including the prestigious Tiffany Award for Lifetime Achievement in New York; the Legion of Honor in France and, for Ms. Hernández, Mexico’s highest award: The National Prize of Culture.

Since 1959, the company has been housed at one of Mexico City's most beautiful structures, the Palacio de Bellas Artes, where it offers three weekly performances. The Ballet also has educated over 25,000 students at its school. More information on Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández can be found on the company’s website: www.balletamalia.com

Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernández ::Trivia
1. Ballet Folklorico of México of Amalia Hernandez have performed more than 15,000 presentations.
2. Ballet Folklorico of México of Amalia Hernandez have been in front of more than 22 million people.
3. Ballet Folklorico of México of Amalia Hernandez have done more than 480 performances for children and more than 1,450,000 kids have enjoyed this spectacle.
4. Ballet Folklorico of México of Amalia Hernandez have completed more than 100 international tours.
5. Ballet Folklorico of México of Amalia Hernandez have visited the United States over 50 times, Latin America over 20 times, Europe over 20 times and Asia over 10 times.
6. Ballet Folklorico of México of Amalia Hernandez have visited 60 countries and more than 300 cities.
7. More than 3,500 dancers have passed through the Ballet Folklorico of México of Amalia Hernandez.
8. More than 30,000 pair of shoes have been used and more than 45,00 pieces of wardrobe.
9. More than 25,000 students and dancers have passed through the Ballet’s school.
10. Amalia Hernandez created more than 100 choreographies.