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Meet the Art Makers

 

Dance of the Chinelos

Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet is celebrating its 10th anniversary with Mexico: Mis Raices a two-night show at the Ford, July 12 and 13. Known for his innovative take on traditional Mexican dances, Grandeza Mexicana’s Artistic Director and choreographer Jose Vences took a few minutes to tell us about his artistic process and the dance of the Chinelos. (Watch our video to see the dance!)

Chinelos

“Any dance I choreograph has a part of me in it. My beginnings as a dancer, choreographer and instructor have a huge impact on my current work. When I think of celebrating 10 years since the founding of Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company, I reflect on my childhood and the happy moments of celebration and culture: the Chinelos embodies that particular sense of celebration.

Chinelos is a fiesta, a type of carnival taking place during the spring in my home state of Morelos, Mexico. The Spanish used to have fiestas where they danced with elegance. The natives watched these dances and would later mimic them in underground parties. It was prohibited to dance if you were not Spanish, but later these underground dances of Chinelos became so popular that it became a communal celebration for all classes. This dance is traditionally performed by men and the costuming is ornate and elaborate. The masks worn and overall opulence are direct reflections of the Moorish influence the Spanish brought with them to the New World. The music is loud and just as boisterous as the dancing.

One of my goals with Grandeza Mexicana is to educate the audience about Mexico's rich culture and diversity, and what better way than to connect us all than through dance and art.”


Don't miss Mexico: Mis Raices presented by Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company, July 12 and 13 - Tickets on sale now!

Grandeza Mexicana

 


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Chinelos


“Any dance I choreograph has a part of me in it. My beginnings as a dancer, choreographer and instructor have a huge impact on my current work. When I think of celebrating 10 years since the founding of Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company, I reflect on my childhood and the happy moments of celebration and culture: the Chinelos embodies that particular sense of celebration.