Ballet to grace Reynolds stage

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Ballet Folklorico de Mexico will hold performances this Thursday and Friday night at 7:30 in Reynolds Performance Hall.

Over the past decade, the group has taken their show to an international level and gained many supporters across the globe.

As a young girl, Amalia Hernandez announced to her father she wanted to be a dancer. At the time, the accepted role of a woman in Mexican society was to stay in the home. So it was not without some hesitation that Amalia’s father hired a ballet teacher to instruct the 8 year old in the family’s home.

Hernandez went on to create her own dance company in 1952. Originally there were only eight members. Shortly after the group was given the opportunity to perform on a TV program called “Función de Gala.” Soon the company gained new members and attracted the attention of the Mexican Department of Tourism, which asked the dance company to take the show on a tour of North American countries.

Some of the more popular dances performed by the company include “Los hijos del Sol”(Children of the Sun), “La Danza del Venado” (Deer Dance) and “Navidad en Jalisco” (Christmas in Jalisco).

With the support of the INBA (the Mexican National Institute of Fine Arts) the company was able to secure a theater where they could perform two shows a week – one on Sunday and another on Wednesday. Since 1959, the Ballet Folklórico de Bellas Artes has kept this schedule along with occasional international tours.

Many UCA Theater students, like junior Conley Basham, are especially excited about the opportunity to view the world-famous ballet.

“While a traditional ballet is more controlled, I’m interested to see how a Mexican ballet will differ. I think it will be more sensual and powerful,” Basham said. “It’s really exciting to see such unique and eclectic productions coming into Conway.”

Sophomore Christa Whitlow agreed: “It’s refreshing to know that I can experience different cultures and still stay so close to home. I’m really looking forward to seeing it,” Whitlow said.

Tickets are available at the Reynolds box office and online from the UCA Web site.

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