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Danza Floricanto/USA celebrates classic novel through folkloric dance

Danza Floricanto/USA is the oldest existing professional Mexican folk dance troupe in Southern California. Courtesy photo
Danza Floricanto/USA is the oldest existing professional Mexican folk dance troupe in Southern California. Courtesy photo

Danza Floricanto/USA, Los Angeles’ most acclaimed Mexican folklorico ensemble, now 38 years old, blends the vocabulary of traditional Mexican folk dance — indigenous, African, influenced and contemporary movement expressions — to create a contemporary evening length dance work.

Alma Llanera-Spirit of the Plains is a 90-minute dance work inspired by the well-known Chicano classic novel “Bless Me Ultima,” written by Rudolfo Anaya. Three Stages’ audience will get a chance to see this show Oct. 5, 6 & 7.

“In conjunction with the Sacramento World Music and Dance Festival, we wanted to offer something special to families here in the capital region,” said Executive Director Dave Pier. “Danza Floricanto/USA will join Lula Washington Dance Theatre and Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company for three delightful days of world dance at Three Stages.”

Gema Sandoval’s 14-member company takes the audience on a thrilling exploration of a young boy’s rite of passage into manhood, the straddling of two cultures and the importance of the values that span across our cultural divide. Blending the vocabulary of traditional Mexican folk dance-indigenous, African influenced and contemporary movement expressions choreographer Sandoval and her company Danza Floricanto/USA bring to the stage a vibrant dance rendition of a boy’s coming of age story.   

With this work Floricanto strives to expand world dance by imbuing it with a social and political conscience.

“This program is Floricanto’s evolution into a more personal vision of dance, informed by over three decades of exploring folklorico and my sensibility as a woman of color living in Los Angeles at this critical point in time,” said Sandoval.

Founded in 1975 Danza Floricanto/USA is the oldest existing professional Mexican folk dance troupe in Southern California. From an Aztec ritual to the vibrant fiestas of today’s Jalisco, from the Spanish-influenced tropics of Veracruz to the conflictive realities of the Chicano experience, Danza Floricanto/USA presents the bold, colorful panorama of its Mexican heritage as it interacts with its American reality.

Danza Floricanto/USA, under the direction of Sandoval, has recreated the movement, costume, and song of 17 different regions of Mexico, and over half a dozen works on the Chicano experience which celebrate cultural identity for the Mexican American community and the immigrant experience for the rest of America.

This award-winning, 36 year old company has been enthusiastically received on tour throughout California and the American Southwest. Their mission is to preserve the Mexican culture, validate it as a cultural expression of the Latino people in the American Southwest; to create awareness for it through the medium of music and dance; and finally, to explore ways in which it can connect with mainstream American culture.

Danza Floricanto/USA will perform in Three Stages for four shows: 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5; 2  and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7. Tickets are $19 to $29; students and children get in for $12.  Tickets may be purchased online at threestages.net or from Three Stages ticket office at (916) 608-6888 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Three Stages is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, facing East Bidwell Street.

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Posted by on Sep 21 2012.
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