World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival


Mexican Bicentennial Tribute

Dance Origin: Mexico
: Folkloric
Artistic Director/Choreographer:
Zenón Barrón

To celebrate both Mexico’s Bicentennial and the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Mexican Revolution, this special commission brings together acclaimed choreographer Zenón Barrón and six renowned local ballet folklórico companies:

  • Ballet Folklórico Alma de México of South San Francisco grew out of the Folklórico Dance Program begun at South San Francisco High School. The company was established in 1991 under Artistic Director Martin Cruz and General Director Patricia Martinelli. Its purpose is to educate the high school’s students and larger community of the rich history, music, and dance culture of Mexico’s folklórico dances.

  • Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Carlos Moreno was established in 1967 to fill a need for cultural activity among young Latinos. The company is based in Oakland. Artistic Director Carlos Moreno, Jr. has been dancing for almost forty years. He received training locally from many maestros from Mexico, and at the Ballet Folklórico de Mexico in Mexico City. Dancers in the company have been trained primarily by Carlos.

  • Compañía Mazatlán Bellas Artes is the home company of Instituto Mazatlán Bellas Artes de Sacramento. IMBA was created in 1998 under the direction of Yolanda Colosio and Steven Valencia to train dancers in the art of Mexican folk dance and contemporary ballet. In 2000, the school established a performing company, which creates many of its own works. Artistic Director Steven Valencia studied with Los Decanos de la Universidad de Guadalajara, Sacramento and San Jose State Universities, Universidad Veracruzana in Vera Cruz, Ballet Folklórico de México, Zenón Barron, and ANGF (National Folkloric Organization).

  • Ensambles Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco was founded in 1992 to preserve the tradition of Mexican folk dance with quality and authenticity. Under Artistic Directors Zenón Barrón and Norberto Martinez, Ensambles’ work has been recognized in the U.S., various states in Mexico, and China. In 1999, Ensambles began creating and designing full-scale productions that show the rich tradition and ritual of Mexican folkloric and dance history.

  • Los Lupeños de San José promotes the awareness, appreciation, and understanding of Mexican culture through traditional and traditionally-inspired folk dance. Founded in 1969, the company performs a varied repertoire from master teachers on both sides of the border. A program of the Mexican Heritage Corporation, Los Lupeños—under Artistic Director Tony Ferrigno—has produced original full-length concerts and collaborations, and toured with Linda Ronstadt and Mariachi Los Camperos.

  • Raíces De Mi Tierra celebrates its fifteenth year as one of Sacramento's premier adult Mexican dance companies. It was founded at CSU Sacramento by Jose and Roxana Borrego, as a family of college students and alumni dedicated to the preservation and celebration of Mexican dance. Led by Artistic Director Roxanna Borrego, the company has a strong commitment to community: it produces and presents performances, hosts workshops, and teaches folklórico dance in local schools.

Zenón Barrón was born and raised in Guanajuato, Mexico where be began his dance training at the age of twelve. He studied with América Balbuena at the Universidad Autónoma de Guanajuato. He was honored with being selected to participate in the Cultural Exchange program with Casa Cultural Florencia Italia in 1980. Later he became a member of the Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad de Guadalajara under the direction of Carlos Ochoa. Deciding to further his professional dance training, he moved to Mexico City, attending classes at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes while a earning a degree in Dance Instruction. He was subsequently accepted as a member of the world famous Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández. Moving to San Francisco in 1992, he founded Ensambles Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco.


Title: El México Revolucionario
Grupo Experimental de Música Folklórica Vinic-Kay—Fernanda Bustamante, Joe Constancio, Manuel Constancio, José Roberto Hernández, Tom Lepps
DANCERS: Ballet Folklórico Alma de México of South San Francisco - Martin Cruz, Sergio Gutierrez, Adelina Lara, Patricia Martinelli, Michelle Morales, German Reules, Ivan Rodriguez, Juliana Vazquez; Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Carlos Moreno - Francisco Arevalo, Eloisa Diaz, Moriah Fregoso, Olivia Grajeda, Maciel Jacques, Carlos Moreno, Lisa Moreno, Luis Paniagua, Itza Sanchez, Antonio Sanchez; Compañía Mazatlán Bellas Artes - Dominique Adams, Rebecca Almenza, Zulema Balderas, Jose Bercerra, Diego Campos, Elizabeth Lizardi, Ricardo Pina, Steven Valencia; Ensambles Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco - Ricardo D. Acosta, Lupe Aguilera, Maria Anaya, Salvador Arellano, Meredith (May) Belany, Maricela Benavides, Diana Chavez, Yamil Elai Fernandez, Linda Gamino, Monica Giese, Jesus Gomez, Ashley Hernández, Prescilla Lopez, Wilfredo Manalo, Norberto Martinez, Andrea Parber, Annette Preciado, Jeannette Quintana, Raul Ramos, Vanessa Sanches, Nayeli Silva, Mario Sosa, Juan Carlos Tovar, Lupita Troncoso, Sandra Valadez; Los Lupeños de San José - Marco Chavez, Yvonne Dominguez, MandyRose Gutierrez, Arturo Magaña, Gerardo Silva, Eduardo Torres, Jessica Torres, Malena Vega; Raíces de Mi Tierra - Irma Abella, Angélica Hernández, Abelina López, Manuel Pérez, Alvaro Ramírez Vidales, Osvaldo Ramírez Vidales, Salvador Rodríguez, Lorena Ruedas, Antonio Sarabia, Laura Ward

In 1910, the Mexican working class began their long battle for land reform against wealthy landowners and the corrupt government of Porfirio Díaz. Folk songs called corridos emerged from this struggle: they sing the praises of revolutionary heroes and courageous women soldaderas who fought alongside their husbands, brothers, and sons.

Zenón Barrón, also a 2010 Festival panelist, presented five corridos in El Mexico Revolucionario, accompanied by Grupo Experimental de Música Folklórica Vinic-Kay: Fernanda Bustamante, Joe Constancio, Manuel Constancio, José Roberto Hernández, and Tom Lepps. Carabina 30 30 opens, followed by original choreography in grand ballet folklórico style:

Vals de los Curros
, from Mexico City, shows young aristocrats living in luxury, in contrast to the social classes fighting for reform.

Corrido de Francisco Villa is a song from the northern part of Chihuahua in Parral about legendary Mexican revolutionary leader Francisco (Pancho) Villa. Villa's attempt to overthrow Porfirio Díaz was a battle for social rights, not to seek the presidency:

Aunque nunca estuve sentado en la silla, no envidiaba la presidencia.
Even though I never sat in the chair, I did not envy the presidency.

Las Soldaderas, a song from both northern and southern Mexico, celebrates the Revolution's famous women soldiers. These women joined the troops to play crucial roles in the fight for independence—from cooking to bearing arms.

La Muerte de Emiliano Zapata honors Emiliano Zapata who formed and commanded the Liberation Army of the South and fought beside the peasants for their liberty and rights until his death:

Abril de mil novecientos diecinueve, en la memoria en aras del campesino como una mancha en la historia
April of 1910, you will remain as a spot in history in the memory of
the farm worker       

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