World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival

FESTIVAL DANCERS

Centeotl Grupo de Danza y Baile

DANCE ORIGIN: Oaxaca, Mexico
GENRE:
Folkloric
ARTISTIC DIRECTORS/CHOREOGRAPHERS:
Isai Pazos and Jennifer Robles
First Appearance in SF EDF:
2011
Website:
www.viveoaxaca.com

Regional Dance Group Centeotl of Santa Cruz was founded in December of 2002 by Nerida Robles, Fe Silva Roble, and Benigno Silva to preserve connection with the cultural traditions of Oaxaca and Mexico. Participants maintain physical fitness, live with respect for themselves and others, and work towards academic success in their new country. The tradition of Guelaguetza continues in Oaxacan communities in California, and Centeotl Grupo de Danza y Baile performs Flor de Piña in many cities every year.

2011 PERFORMANCE

CenteotlTITLE: Flor de Piña (Flower of the Pineapple)
DANCERS:
Jazmin Castaneda, Cindy Delgado, Aurora Fabian, Kenia Gonzalez, Kimberly Jarquin, Angeles Juarez, Romelia Macias, Gabriela Ortega, Roxanna Ortiz, Alondra Pina, Chanel Robles, Jenny Robles, Nicole Robles, Karina Romero, Jehimy Rosas, Jessica Serna, Kristen Silva, Katherine Sosa
MUSICIANS:
  Anahi Ambrocio, Emmanuel Ambrocio, Gerardo Ambrocio, Brenda Cipriano, Martin Contreras, Chelsy Cruz, Gereon Gonzales, Steve Gonzales, Alma Guzman, Jackie Guzman, Rosale Hernandez, Rene Jeronimo, Sixto Jeronimo, Alejandro Jezcas, Javier Miguel, Jesus Miguel, Modesto Miguel, Elizabeth Morales, Laura Reyes, Luis Antonio Reyes, Luis Reyes Sr.

Flor de Piña—Flower of the Pineapple, is a folkloric dance with indigenous origins, from the city of Tuxtepec in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. A gentle innocence surrounds sixteen young girls as they dance geometric patterns, hoist pineapples to their shoulders, and offer them as gifts. The dancers’ long braids represent purity and their bare feet show their connections to the Earth. The upbeat music speaks to the happiness of gathering and dancing in community.

A meditative tune called Tonalteca is played for the entrance and the exit and the dancers show off an ancient indigenous art form, the complex and colorful huipil. The huipil dress is a rectangle of cloth, handwoven on the backstrap loom used in Zapotec culture for thousands of years. Intricately embroidered symbols show bright flora and fauna and religious and cosmic concepts. For centuries—and today, as women wear them in modern Tuxtepec—the huipil dress acts as a kind of wearable indigenous resume: its symbols tell a woman’s identity, history and culture, social and marital status, religion, power, and personality.

Flor de Pina is the representative dance of Tuxtepec, the principle city of Oaxaca’s northeast Papaloapan region. The staging represents the world famous Guelaguetza fiesta, celebrated in Oaxaca City each July to honor Centeotl, the indigenous goddess of corn. The fiesta is an exuberant gathering of generosity, music, dance, and food. Groups from Oaxaca’s seven regions bring gifts to distribute—breads, vegetables, other fruits of the harvest that specifically represent their pueblos. Then, to celebrate these gifts, people from this community present representative dances. In 1958, choreographer Paulina Solis was commissioned to create a new dance, Flor de Pina, one that better represents Tuxtepec’s large indigenous population and its bountiful pineapple harvest.

Isai Pazos & Jennifer Robles learned Flor de Pina in Oaxaca’s Papaloapan region and also from instructors of Oaxaca’s Casa de La Cultura.

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