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UMS Concert Program, March 8, 1983: Ballet Folclorico Nacional --

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Season: 104th
Concert: Thirty-seventh
Power Center For The Performing Arts Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ballet Folclorico Nacional
de Mexico
SILVIA LOZANO General Director and Choreographer
RODOLFO VILLAVAZO, Musical Director ELIA BAILLET, Artistic Director ING. DEMETRIO CRIMPALIS, General Manager
Principal Solo Dancers
Maria del Socorro Guzman Solis Rafael Romero Gonzalez
Raqucl Aguilar Olguin Jose Luis Yubi Mandoza
Rosa Ma de Guadalupc Tapia Bustos Jose Luis Duarte Jimenez Susana Lcticia Rivera Sanchez Luis Valencia Fernandez
Alicia Amalia Baez Aguilar
Esperanza Alvarez Becerra, Vocal Soloist
The Rio Blanco Brothers, Jarocho Musicians
Miguel Hernandez Moncada, Mariachi Band Conductor
Tuesday Evening, March 8, 1983, at 8:00
Power Center for the Performing Arts
Ann Arbor, Michigan
BODA TARASCA (Tarascan Wedding) Music: Michoacan Band
Directly west of the state and city of Mexico is the state of Michoacan. In its northern region arc the Uruapan Mountains, home of the beautiful Lake Patzcuaro. There, a tribe known as the Tarascans (or Purepecha) founded a kingdom that wielded enormous power from the last half of the thirteenth century on into the early sixteenth century. Throughout history the area has been noted for its lacquer works, particularly large trays and jicaras (large bowls), and for pottery, as well as for many dances such as the Wedding Dame.
Originally only Indian songs, called Kanahuas, accompanied the dances at wedding feasts. The combining of these Indian elements with Spanish tradition resulted in a blend of race and culture-known as mestizo. The combined music and dance forms are offered in a tribute to the bride's beauty and to the kindness of the parents in "giving her up." Mestizo influences also appear, for example, as the groom offers his bride flowers as a token of his love.
Thirty-seventh Concert of the 104th Season Twelfth Annual Choice Scries
On the wedding day, the bride's friends show their support of the marriage. Making a colorful entry, they bear oranges pierced with swords, symbolizing her virginity. Various celebratory dances follow, including Waltz of the Newly weds. Pagan Indian Dance, Small traditional dance for three guests, Dance of the Moors, Bottle Dance, and The Muleteers.
JARABE MIXTECO (Estado de Oaxaca)
This dance dates from the year 1488; it originated in the state of Oaxaca. The Mixtecos represent a major portion of the population of Oaxaca. For centuries these people have, through song and dance, glorified their beloved princess Ita Andehui, a sweet, beautiful, and aristocratic princess whose name means "Flower of Heaven." This particular music enraptures the Mixtecos, filling their hearts with happiness which is reflected in their version of the Jarabc Dance. Each part of the dance interprets a different mood. Although Indian in style, one also observes the Hispanic influences in the traces of Spanish waltzes, marches and the famous Pasodoble.
EL NORTE (Dance of the Northern Areas of Mexico) Chotis -Redoba -Polka
For some twenty years before the French conquest of Mexico, the fashion in Mexico was to import popular music from the European continent. The Chotis (known in central Europe as the Schottisate) was a popular Scottish dance which had swept Europe for several decades. The Redoha, Polka and Mazurka, all of Polish origin, were first brought to Mexico as ballroom dances. After the defeat of the French, these dances found a home in the Rancherias (the ranches); there they developed true Mexican characteristics in the choreography and the music. This particular type of music took root in the northern part of the country. It was later strongly influenced by the songs and dances of the cowboys of the American West. In fact, some versions of ?7 None arc quite similar to American square dancing. These dances are accompanied by an accordion, a guitar, and a bass viol.
Esperanza Alvarez Bccerra, Soloist
LOS QUETZALES (Estado de Pucbla)
This dance is indigenous to the northern part of the state of Puebla. It is one of the most spectacular dances from Mexico because of the extraordinarily beautiful attire worn by the dancers. The origin of the dance dates back to the very beginning of the Nahuatl civilization.
The Quetzal is a beautiful bird which is covered with iridescent plumage. As it cannot live in captivity for more than a few hours, the bird symbolizes freedom. The Quetzal's magnificent plumage is simulated by the enormous semi-circular headdress worn by the dancers. This headdress used to be made from pheasant, peacock, and macaw feathers but today, due to the prohibitive cost of these feathers, it is manufactured with colored paper and ribbons woven into a frame of cane. One musician using a small bamboo flute and an Indian drum accompanies this dance.
FIESTA VERACRUZANA (Estado de Veracruza) Music:Jarocho Musicians
Introduccion Musical La Bamba
El Tilingo Lingo El Zapatcado
El Palomo
The city of Veracruz, in the state of the same name, is, in a sense, the gateway to Mexico. It is the spot where Cortcz landed in 1519 and its position, bordering on and parallel to the Gulf of Mexico, makes it traditionally an active part of the international trade.
The lively and cheerful music of Veracruz reflects both a Spanish influence and that of the Totonaca Indian culture. Known as Son Jarocho, this music is fast, light and rustic.
The dances arc accompanied by a small ensemble (usually three or four musician-singers) consisting of various sizes of guitars (such as the requinto, a small, high-pitched guitar, and the jarana, which is similar to the ukelele), and a unique walking harp. The high spirited falsetto yells of the singers and the slapping of the guitar strings with the hand at the end of each phrase further accentuate the complex nature of this music. The singers rely heavily on improvisation, and there is much good-natured rivalry between the musicians for the wittiest and most suggestive lyrics and the most intricate passages.
The word Huapango means "fiesta": the exciting, energetic, and rhythmically complex dances known as Hnapango bear out this meaning. Prominently featured is the Zapateado, a foot-stomping dance with many variations. Perhaps the most demanding variation is La Bamba, where the dancers tic a long ribbon into a bow using only their feet.
LA HUASTECA (Estado dc Hidalgo) Music: Huastccan Musicians
La Rosa -The Rose
La Petenera -A Spanish folk song of Flamenco origin
El Caiman -A large reptile of the crocodile family
Huasteca comes from the Indian word Huaxtla, which means "inhabitant of the place where Huajes (gourds) are abundant." The Huasteca region in the state of Hidalgo has a superior agricultural climate: warm in the plains and temperate in the mountains. The region also has vast petroleum reserves. Responding joyously to the fertility of the land, the natives are happy, open, and lively. A popular dance from the region is the Huapango, which is a Nahuatl word meaning "dance on a resonant platform." The most salient feature of the dance is the precise rhythm of the singers and dancers. In this particular ballet, the dancers depict the classic rivalry between two men who fight for the love of one young girl. The accompaniment is provided by violin, guitar, and jarana.
During fiestas in the Colonial times, Spanish conquistadores would perform a dance known as Christians and Infidels, which commemorated their recent war with the Moors. This dance was intriguing to the Indians, who marveled at the percussive sounds produced by the spurs and weapons of the Spaniards. They imitated the dance and named it Las Espuelas (The Spurs). The Indians were not particularly interested in the historical background of the dance; they concentrated on developing the sound of the spurs as the principal clement ofthc dance. It is a dance which requires great strength and it is usually interpreted by men accustomed to arduous and fatiguing work.
(Estado dc Oaxaca Y Estado dc Tchuantcpcc) Marimba soloist
The state of Oaxaca and the isthmus of Tehuantepec are east of the state of Mexico on the Pacific coastline. The mountains of the Sierra Madre frame this region of dense tropical jungles.
La Pluma (The Feather Dance) is a village celebration of an Aztec legend about the Spanish conquest of Mexico. The amateur town musicians join the flag-waving village singers to watch a band of Indian dancers recnact a dream of the last Aztec Emperor, Moctezuma. In Moctczuma's dream, he imagined himself to be a sacred bird who warned his people of the coming Spanish invasion.
The Tehuana women are called Shuneas; they arc renowned for their beauty, grace, and majestic carriage. This dance and the sensual, romantic marimba accompaniment are called the Zandunga, which in colloquial Spanish means "graceful" or "fascinating." The shuneas carry on their heads jicapestlcs, large, hollow, dried gourds. These jicapestles, lacquered black and decorated with brightly-colored blossoms, are filled with fruits and flowers. Legend has it that the music is the work of a bereaved composer, grieving at the death of his mother. The refrain of the song is: "Ay, Zandunga! Quc Zandunga vana, Mama, por Dfos!"
LOS PARACHICOS (Estado dc Chipas)
Chipas is the southernmost coast state of Mexico. Its swamps and jungles rendered it nearly inaccessible until the national railroad was built in the early 19(K)s. Chipas is the home of the Zapotec people, who produce works of gold and silver of astonishing beauty. It is also the home of blue skies, fertile countrysides, a radiant sun, bananas from Simojovel, precious wood, fruit, the celebrated coffee from Soconusco, enchanting marimbists, and beautiful women.
The folklore of Chipas includes many brilliant and colorful dances which reflect the buoyancy of the Spanish as well as the more contemplative nature of the Zapotecs. The representative dance chosen for this program is Los Parachicos.
Tradition has it that a wealthy noblewoman of Chipas, Dona Maria de Angulo, had a young son who became terribly ill during a time of famine and drought in the village. Desperate, she made a vow to St. Sebastian: if the saint would return her son's health she would give up all her worldly possessions. In accordance with her promise, she tied her son to a log carved in the image of the saint and paraded him through the village in a cart, distributing all of her worldly possessions to the poor and hungry people along the way. The miracle was granted and the son of Dona de Angulo recovered his health completely. Dona de Angulo, deeply grateful to St. Sebastian for the gift of her son's life, offered another promise: she would patronize the saint's yearly festival with a dance created in his honor. Since St. Sebastian was but a young man when he was martyred and since the miracle involved her young son. Dona de Angulo called the dance Para HI Chico (h'or the Boy), and hence the dance Los Parachicos was born. In the dance, masked performers run through the streets inviting the villagers to dance with them and take part in the commemorative fiesta.
The Yaqui Indians live in the state of Sonora in the far northwestern region of Mexico. Sonora is one of the few places in Mexico which has remained relatively uninfluenced by European culture. A hunting tribe, the Yaquis arc renowned for their many animal dances, the most famous of which is Las Pascolas Y El Venado (The Hunters and the Deer). In this highly dramatic and symbolic dance, the hunters take on the characteristics of their prey. The dance demands incredible physical skill and stamina as well as a great degree of emotional interpretation.
The accompaniment of the dance is primarily rhythmic, using a caja (percussion instrument), Iniles (gourds filled with pebbles), tamborcitos (small drums) and raspadores (scored femurs). The dancer wears a stuffed deer head, strings of tetiabares (dried cocoons filled with pebbles) around his ankles, and carries large gourd rattles.
ALEGRIAJALISCIENSE (Estado dc Jalisco) Musk: Mariachi Band
El Cabillito --Jarabe Tapatio -Solo de Florco -La Ncgra
The state ofjalisco, whose capital is the famous city of Guadalajara, is a land of sunshine, lying on the Pacific coast due west of Mexico City. Its music and dance are world-famous, synonymous with gaiety, color, and rhythm. Son Jatiscience, the Jalisco sound, is readily identifiable; no truly Mexican fiesta is complete without it. The music, always performed by Mariachi Bands, is usually a medley of tunes, many originating from 15th century Spain and containing complex rhythms.
The dances are known as Jarabe, which literally means "sweet syrup," possibly because many of them are courtship dances. Some sort of jarabe is used as a finale for virtually all fiestas and entertainment throughout Mexico.
The Jarabe Tapatio, known to us as the Hal Dance, has become so popular that it was made the National Folk Dance of Mexico. The jarabe is a mestizo dance, with its roots in the 16th century Spanish seguidilla, fandango and zapatcados and the Moorish zambra. It is a lively dance in triple time with fast, intricate footwork.
The Ballet Folclorico Nacional de Mexico was the first folkloristic group to include a Florcador (a Vacqucro lariat artist) in the program as an integral part of the national culture. This practice has been adopted by most Mexican dance companies.
Remaining Concerts
Ali Akbar Khan, Sarod .....................................Thurs. Mar. 10
I Solisti Aquilani and
Gary Karr, Double Bassist....................................Sat. Mar. 12
Faculty Artists Concert (free admission)......................Sun. Mar. 13
Boston Symphony OrchestraSeiji Ozawa.....................Wed. Mar. 16
New Irish Chamber Orchestra and
James Galway, FlutistDirector .................................Fri. Mar. 18
Murray Perahia, Pianist ....................................Thurs. Mar. 24
Michael Lorimer, Guitarist ....................................Sat. Mar. 26
Fitzwilliam String Quartet....................................Fri. Apr. 8
Chicago Symphony OrchestraGeorg Solti..................Thurs. Apr. 14
Joffrey II Dancers ..............................Tues. & Wed. Apr. 19 & 20
Ninetieth Ann Arbor May Festival
Four concerts in Hill Auditorium, Wednesday-Saturday, April 27-30
The Philadelphia Orchestra Riccardo Mun, Musk Director & Conductor
The Festival Chorus Theo Alcantara, Guest Conductor
Krystian ZiMERMAN.Piam'sf Mary Burgess, Soprano
Gidon Kremer, Violinist Rockwell Blake, Tenor
Carlos Montoya, Guitarist J. Patrick Raftery, Baritone

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