Ballet Folklórico Mexicano Fuego Nuevo
DANCE ORIGIN: Mexico
Ballet Folklórico Mexicano Fuego
Nuevo was founded in 2005 under the direction of Miguel Ángel Martínez and José Luis Juárez,
two former members of the Ballet Folclórico Nacional de México Aztlán/Xcaret. The dance company’s
mission is to express and transmit the rich array of the Mexican folklore.
BFMFN dancers bring diverse styles and talents together to form this unique
dance group, presenting numerous performances throughout the Bay Area. Fuego
Nuevo is dedicated to those who embrace their roots, live them, or would like
to be part of them.
ORIGIN: Campeche, Mexico
Eighteen local Ballet Folklórico dancers grace our stage, presenting Carnival in Campeche: Unique Dances and Traditions. They dance to celebrate Campeche, the Mexican state that lies west of the Yucatan, bordering on the Caribbean, the state that boasts the oldest Carnival in Mexico. Founded in 1582, the Campeche Carnival expanded at the turn of the 20th century, as neighborhoods organized street events, and eventually created a marvelous city-wide party. Now a regional showcase of culture, visitors can enjoy Spanish folklore, old-world elegance, and Mayan music in pentatonic scales. The festivities begin with a funeral procession and burial of the bad mood—a rag doll dressed as a pirate. When the bad mood is gone, a flower float parade passes, and musicians play guitar-like jaranas, as people dance and eat all night long.
This suite of dances begins with La Cananga, evoking old Spain with a slow, fluttering of the rebozo, the iconic, versatile garment worn throughout Mexico. This is a sareo, dating from 1815, when elite Spanish families hosted formal dances—called sareos—in their elegant homes. Next is Rondeña, a visually colorful dance with double footwork and circular movements. Next, Jarabe Criollo, is from the 18th century, with footwork imitating church bells! A jarabe is a traditional mariachi song, and this is one of the oldest known in Mexico. The final two dances are Fandango Campechano, showing a strong 18th century Spanish style, performed with lively cheer; and Campechanita Habanera, a classic Cuban habanera from 1861, a spicy dance with strong footwork.
Co-Artistic Director Miguel Ángel Martínez brings these dance forms to us directly from Campeche, Mexico. They were developed by Capullo Sosa, first ballerina of the First Folkloric Ballet of Campeche. This choreography was developed in 2013.
The Campeche women’s dress shows a mix of colonial Spanish style and pre-Columbian Mayan symbols and colors. Women wear braided hair and blouses with hand-embroidered onion flowers and pumpkins. Symbols on the coat represent city walls and ships. The Santa Maria shawl replaces the Catholic mantilla. Red coral rosaries honor San Francisco and the black rosaries honor the Lord of San Román. The men’s costumes are traditional white, with wide trousers, long shirts, gold buttons, and patent leather shoes.
TITLES: El Tilingo Lingo, La Paloma y El Paloma, La Bamba, Zapateado Veracruzano
In 1519, on the Catholic holy day of La Vera Cruz (The True Cross)—Cortéz disembarked on Mexico's Gulf Coast, founding the principal port of New Spain. The busy port of Veracruz became an entry point for the conquistadors, and over centuries, for Afro-Cubans and enslaved Africans. The rich cultural legacy of the Veracruz people lives in its enchanting music and dance.
The son is a Mexican musical form, always played for dancing. Jarocho sones (a traditional musical stylte from Veracruz) reflect the mezla, or mix, of Indian, Spanish flamenco, and African influences. The instruments, the guitarras de son and jaranas, are forms of the Spanish guitar. The tarima was probably invented by African slaves, in place of a traditional drum. It is a wooden platform played as a percussion instrument by the dancers' feet. Traditionally, musicians play with one foot on the tarima, as couples take turns dancing to the sones. Today, the dancers wear antique white crinoline skirts and carry handkerchiefs from the Andalusiana and Valenciana of Spain. Their embroidered camisóns are ancient Huipil, and the aprons, jarochos (combs), and big skirts are African, as are the men's guayaberas.
Sones are in 4/6 time—except la bamba, which is in 4/4, and each copla, or verse, expresses a single idea. There are unlimited coplas, as singers continue to invent them. La Bamba, one of the oldest and well-known son jarocho, was probably preserved from 16th century trovadores (workers) of the Veracruz Port. The following lyrics are from the sones jarochos presented today by Fuego Nuevo's spirited dancers.
El Tilingo Lingo
The guest international musical group, Los Cumbancheros, plays traditional music, including regional music from Mexico and Alta California. Musical Director Rick Mendoza has more than 30 years of experience with Mexican music and dance. The group learned traditional music from Mexico's maestros from the states of Michoácán and Veracruz. Margarito “Mago” Jiménez helped developed the vocal harmonies of the ranchera and bolero styles of music. In the final dance of this medley—Zapateado Veracruzano—the musical rhythms of Spanish zapateado and flamenco footwork sound alone.