Ballet Folklorico de Mexico

Sometimes the long-term effects of a performance are incalculable. Several non-Hispanic acquaintances have told me how much Ballet Folklorico de Mexico impressed them as children growing up in Chicago decades ago; some of them later learned Spanish and/or studied Hispanic culture. Seeing the company is far from a mere filmstrip experience: in the temple of ethnic art, Ballet Folklorico is High Church. Now celebrating its 45th anniversary with a tour of 12 countries in the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East, the 65-member troupe is known for its spectacle and high energy; I’ll never forget the confetti raining down on the audience at the end of a program eight years ago. These performances include the U.S. premiere of a suite of dance and music called Guelaguetza From Oaxaca; among the sections are a men’s feather dance from the Zapoteca region and a dance for women from the Mixteca culture–the jarabes. Whatever their sources and however great their cultural value, Ballet Folklorico can be counted on to ring all the bells and blow all the whistles. Free performance of Los concheros (“The Shell Players”) Thursday, September 25, from 6 to 7:30 in the Harold Washington Library Auditorium, 400 S. State; call 312-747-4050 for information. Regular performances Friday at 8, Saturday at 2 and 8, and Sunday at 3 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress; $15-$45. Call 312-902-1500 for tickets, 312-431-2357 for group rates. –Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/ Ballet Folklorico de Mexico.