World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival


Ballet Folklórico Costa de Oro

GENRE: Folkloric
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR: Benito Murietta Valles
First Appearance in SF EDF: 2013

Ballet Folklórico Costa de Oro is dedicated to the preservation of Mexican traditions and culture. Dance and music are the tools used to educate the youth and community about Mexico’s rich and beautiful history. The company welcomes people of all walks of life to learn and dance with them. They have been performing in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2006 primarily for schools, weddings and private events.

The year 2009 marked the opening of the Ballet Folklórico Costa de Oro Dance School, allowing the company the opportunity to grow exponentially. The excellent reputation of the company has allowed them to perform for professional sports organizations, local theaters, and community festivals.


GENRE: Folkloric
TITLE: Los Huicholes de Nayarit: Danza del Maiz; Danza del Mono; Danza del Venado Azul
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR: Benito Murietta Valles CHOREOGRAPHERS: Cipriano Galindo Flores, Steven KoneffKlatt
Analyssa María Briones, Elizabeth Briones, Fabian Briones, Lorena Morales Castañeda, Mónica Flores, Itzel Nayeli Gómez, Carmen Hernández, Veronica Jauregui, Zoe Lopez, Chris A. Lundell, Lyzette Madero, Melissa Madero, Isabel Alexandra Magaña, Laura Elena Mendoza, Dianna Melissa Muñoz, Benjamin Musson, Myriam Ochoa,Rubiliza Pelayo, Ronnie Romo, Jonathan Rubalcava, Silvia Salcedo, Dulce María Torres, Benito Murietta Valles, Sergio Zamora

Los Huicholes de Nayarit is a staged interpretation of three dances from the Huichol (Wixaritari) people of the northern state of Nyarit. Danza del Maiz celebrates the importance of maiz (corn), from planting to harvest. Danza del Mono is an offering to a sacred doll, featuring the bright symbol of the Ojo de Dios, (Eye of God). Danza del Venado Azul celebrates the mysterious and sacred blue deer, a mystical creature connected to peyote rituals and the moonlit sky. In Huichol tradition, men perform this trance-like dance while carrying a wooden image of the blue deer, and a shaman interprets the meaning.

The Huichol are a relatively nomadic group, mostly living in Jalisco, Nayarit, and Zacatecas. When the Spanish arrived, these indigenous communities withdrew into remote regions of the Sierras. Even today, few outsiders are allowed to participate in Huichol life, so their dances, symbols, and rituals hold a mysterious spiritual significance. All aspects of life are prayer, from agriculture to shamanic ceremonies, with special reverence towards corn, blue deer, peyote, and the eagle.

The yarn weavings known as Ojos de Dios are possibly related to sacred talismans called nieli’ka: the hole design in the center is experienced as a portal through which humans and God perceive each other. Some accounts describe the Ojo de Dios as a stunning image experienced during peyote-inspired trance. Since the 1960s, Ojos de Dios have become known as works of art, providing income for Huichol communities. Creating these bright yarn weavings is also a form of meditation and they are displayed for healing and protection, the four points representing the elements. Families weave them for their children, adding a woven layer for each of the first five years.

The costuming is modeled after traditional dress, and the danzas, drum, and chanting are modeled on ceremonial pieces performed for hundreds of years. The basic choreographies/movements have been staged for performance, originally by Cipriano Galindo Flores, and adapted here by Steven KoneffKlatt with the intention of sharing the sanctity and mystery of Huichol danza.

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