The University Arts Committee is hosting the Latin American ensemble Ballet Folklorico Feb. 17 at Evans Auditorium. The ballet is part of the Encore Performing Arts series.
The ensemble has performed for professional artists and been honored as one of 10 top choreographies by the American College Dance Festival. The group was honored by the State of Texas House of Representatives, and will soon visit the university.
“They specialize in Latin American folklore, Latin American dance, but especially Mexican folklore,” said Nico Schuler, Chair of the University Arts Committee.
Michelle Nance, associate professor of dance, said Ballet Folklorico will tell stories about different cultures of ten Mexican states. Each state has its own distinct dance, clothes and theme.
One culture’s dance emphasizes footwork. Another culture’s dance focuses on body movement. A culture’s dance can be a duo, a group of eight people or choreography of 24 performers.
“It’s challenging getting that many people to move around and still have some kind of pattern,” Munoz said.
All the dances have energy but do not share the same emotional tone. The “Corridos Mexicanos” is a folk dance with a dramatic, romantic tone, whereas the “La Leyenda de la Llorona” has a tragic and sorrowful mood. The ensemble is an emotional rollercoaster from happiness and freedom to conflict and drama, while being a mix of the expressions of Native American and Hispanic cultures.
Ballet Folklorico has culturally diverse music. Munoz said the ensemble uses a variety of instruments, including harps, flutes, and drums originating from Latin America and Spain.
“Being aware there’s a whole other world besides the one little world that you’re interested in helps humanity,” Nance said.
She said the event should be entertaining, enlightening and educational. Nance said the ballet communicates with dance, and thus is understandable to anyone. The ensemble can create awareness, tolerance and appreciation for other traditions and cultures, she said.
“The goal of the University Arts Committee is to expose students to things they wouldn’t normally get to see or other places they would have to pay a lot of money to go see it,” Nance said. “They can see high-quality entertainment and art events at a lower price.”
General admission tickets are $25. Students with valid IDs can receive a $10 discount. The event is scheduled for Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Contact Event Coordinator Liz McDonald for more information, ticket sales or group reservations at 512-245-3501 or http://www.encoreseriestxstate.com.