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Ballet Folklórico de México comes to Riverside


Ballet Folklórico de México comes to Riverside

(September 12, 2000)

The 48th anniversary world tour of the Ballet Folklórico de México, the largest and most widely acclaimed folk dance company in the Americas, comes to Riverside for one day of performances at 12:30 and 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26, at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium.

Guests to this year's performance will see the 75-member dance company perform the U.S. Premiere of Los Matachines, depicting the triumphant struggle of Christianity over pre-Hispanic paganism. The dance has never before been performed outside of Mexico. Dance Company founder Amalia Hernandez incorporates rituals ranging from Mayan and Aztec to the modern.

Using the more than 30 civilizations layered in Mexico's past, the Ballet Folklórico's repertoire is ever growing, constantly unearthing works from the nation's past and discovering new ones in the present.

For instance, the pre-Hispanic "Dance of the Quetzales" has it origins in the legend of the mythological bird sacred to the Indians that symbolized beauty and elegance. The Indian masks and dances of Oaxaca in southern Mexico satirize the Europeans from the court of Maximilian, while dances from Tlaxaca now mime rock 'n'; roll.

Regardless of what era of Mexico's history they represent, Hernandez's; choreography illuminates dramatic events and cultural facets of Latin American life with theatrical flair. The company is known for its lavish costumes and set designs and has become one of the most important cultural institutions in Mexico, as well as one of that nation's official cultural representatives.

A 12:30 p.m. performance on Sept. 26 will be free to about 1,800 students from 14 schools in the Inland Empire. The evening performance is open to the public with tickets available at the auditorium box office, the Postal Annex at University Village and at the UCR Theater.

Both performances are part of on-going effort by the College of the Humanities Arts and Social Sciences, supported in part by a grant from the Maxwell H. Gluck Foundation, to make the arts more accessible to the community served by UCR.

The Ballet Folklórico de México's 2000 tour is sponsored by the American Honda Motor Corp. Inc.; TELMEX; the Mexico City Tourism Authority; Applica Inc., a licensee of Black & Decker Household Products; and American Airlines.

Tickets to the Riverside performance range from $15 to $20 for children 12 and younger; $20 to $25 for seniors age 55 and older, students with ID and groups of 20 or more; and $25 to$30 for general seating.

For more information, call the municipal auditorium at (909) 787-3944, the Postal Annex at (909) 686-5545 or the UCR Fine Arts Ticket Office at (909) 787-3319.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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