By Pablo Jaime Sáinz
Mexican dance is one of the most precious treasures in the Aztec country. That is due to the fact that each state has its own musical and dance expressions.
That is why on May 19, starting at 3 p.m., the first festival of Mexican dance, “México a través de sus danzas,” will take place at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.
The event is organized by the Mexican General Consulate in San Diego to celebrate the 150 anniversary of Cinco de Mayo. It also celebrates the 100 year history of the Mexican Consulate in San Diego.
The free festival is open to the public and participating dance troupes include Ballet Tierra Caliente; Wa-kushma (Wa: family y Kushma: dancer); Grupo Folklórico Yoneme de la Preparatoria Federal Lázaro Cárdenas and Danzarts, Sabor México, which will offer a showcase of representative dances from eight Mexican states, including Sinaloa, Baja California, Jalisco, Oaxaca, and Veracruz.
Mexican Consul Remedios Gomez Arnau said that Mexico is a diverse country, as reflected in its traditional dances.
“Regional dances are the center from which several elements circulate, including popular culture,” she said. “It is very important to point out that Mexico is a pluralistic country with deep popular, indigenous, mestizo roots, and that cultural expressions vary from one region to another.”
Jose Jaimes, director of Ballet Folklórico Tierra Caliente, which works with youth in Vista, in North County, said that dance is a perfect way to celebrate Mexico.
“Since the Mexican community in San Diego is huge, it is very important to promote our roots through dance, to identify ourselves and present us as we truly are: A strong, united, multicultural community,” Jaimes said. “This event not only celebrates our roots, but it opens many artistic and cultural doors in our community.”
Fernando Lopez Maldonado, teacher and director of Grupo de Danza Yoneme de la Preparatoria Federal Lázaro Cárdenas, in Tijuana, said that this event will promote cultural exchanges between both sides of the border.
“Most likely it will start a interchange relationship that’s more constant, in addition to offering people a variety of folkloric dances from different regions from our country,” Lopez Maldonado said.
Jaimes said that what makes Mexican dance unique is its diversity.
“Mexican folkloric dance stands out because it is a collage of many countries, including European and African, which make it different and rich in styles, musical sounds, and dress,” he said.
More than anything, Jaimes said, Mexican dance is a way to teach people about Mexican history through dance and music.
“Dance is a way of telling our country’s history and of showing that we’re a very rich culture,” he said.
To learn more about “México a través de sus danzas,” please call (619) 308-9950 or visit www.consulmexsd.org.