World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival


Compañia Mazatlàn Bellas Artes

Steven Valencia
First Appearance in SF EDF:

Compañía Mazatlán Bellas Artes (CMBA) was founded in 1994 by Yolanda Colosio. The Sacramento-based organization is under the artistic leadership of Steven Valencia, one of the company’s principal dancers. Together, Compañía Mazatlán Bellas Artes (CMBA) and its teaching Instituto (IMBA) are a highly valued cultural and artistic resource throughout the western U.S. and internationally, teaching and performing traditional Mexican folkloric dance and indigenous ceremony, and original contemporary choreography.


CMBATITLE: Revolución: Tierra y Libertad
Carlos Antunez, David Lopez-Mancilla, Steven Valencia
DANCERS: Dominique Adams, Rebecca Almanza, Zulema Balderas, Erik Diaz, Monica Diaz, Christian Flores, Israel Flores, Omar Flores, Alejandra Godinez, Alejandro Hernandez, Elizabeth Lizardi, David Lopez-Mancilla, Claudia Martinez, Mario Miramontes, Bryan Patiño, Ricardo Piña, Janette Perfecto, Jessica Ramos, Roberto Robles Jr., Steven Valencia, Leah Wargo
MUSCIANS: Eddie Gonzalez, Eric Guerrero

In Revolución: Tierra y Libertad, CMBA presents a suite of Mexican folkloric song and dance. The time is 1910-1920, during the Mexican Revolutionary War. The setting is a small town piazza in northern Mexico where a group of traveling musicians sings war ballads (corridos), the CNN reports of the time. The songs—“Corrido del Norte”, “La Cucaracha”, “Jesusita de Chihuahua”, and “La Adelita”—describe revolutionary figures, key battles, and the proximity of the troops, and the town’s folkdancers illustrate the stories.

In 1910, the Mexican working class began their long battle for land reform against accordions, guitars, electric bass, and drums. “La Cucaracha” talks about revolutionary leaders Francisco (Pancho) Villa and Emiliano Zapata. “La Adelita,” the most famous corrido, is about a woman who followed her lover into battle. “La Adelita” is now known as the archetype of the woman warrior, the soldadera who cooked and cared for the wounded and fought alongside her brother, son, or husband. Her story allowed for the perception of the Mexican woman to change, and today the name “La Adelita” refers to any strong and fearless women. This performance is dedicated to the women who have devoted their lives to change and freedom in Mexican society.

The piece was created with the help of Carlos Antunez, Ballet Folklórico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez, Mexico City. Steven Valencia and David Lopez Mancilla choreographed this performance in 2010.

The dancers wear the traditional ranchera style clothing from the era. Men wear striped pants, white shirt, zarape (blanket-like shawl), bullets, straw hat, and black boots. The women have added bullets and rifles to their colorful daily wear to represent their struggle for justice.


Title: Fiesta Tabasquena 
DANCERS: Dominique Adams, Zulema Balderas, Jose Bercerra, Carlos Camacho, Brenda Colosio, Eric Diaz, Tomasa Duenas, Alejandro Hernandez, Elizabeth Lizardi, Jannete Perfect de Sencion, Ricardo Pina, Jessica Ramos, Danielle Rodriguez, Eric Rubio, Jasmine Santacruz, Steven Valencia, Raymond Zamarrippa 
Zenón Barrón, Fernanda Hernandez, Jose Roberto Hernandez, Silvestre Martinez

Compañía Mazatlán Bellas Artes (IMBA) presents typical dances from the state of Tabasco, Mexico. Fiesta Tabasqueña a suite of four pieces represents the beginning of a new season for the cultivation of corn in Tabasco. The community gathers to bless the new harvest and celebrate the coming season, and the townspeople enjoy Tabasqueña music and dance. 

The Mexican state of Tabasco lies in southeastern Mexico, north of Guatemala and south of the Gulf of Mexico. This coastal region is lush and flat, with marshes, jungle, and fertile river plains, where farmers raise cacao, corn, beans, rice, bananas, coconut, and sugar cane. Agriculture is the basis for Tabasco's indigenous folk music and dance forms—originating in a Maya culture called Chontal. The light and energetic music can be recognized as indigenous, but it also has a noticeable Afro-Caribbean rhythm. The style is played by an ensemble called tamborileros, on reed flutes specific to Tabasco and tambores macho y hembra (male and female drums).

In Pelegracion, the community gathers for a blessing of the corn. The men arrive from a day of work in the fields, and the women bring baskets of food for the fiesta. Next, in Rojo y Azul (Red and Blue) and Flor de Maiz (Flower of the Corn) dancers celebrate the cultivation of the corn and its unique colors in the region. The final dance, Tigre, is a more free dance form about the hunting of a (possibly legendary) tiger. The male costume represents the traje choco, shirt and pants used for field work. The women's blouses are embroidered with vibrant images of flowers and animals, and their hair is pulled back and fastened with a row of brilliant combs.

This piece was choreographed in 2004 for IMBA by Zenón Barrón, and the dances are typical dances in Tabasco. This piece was restaged by the company in 2008 and performed at Sacramento Community Center Theater, Wells Fargo Center for Arts, Gallo Center for Arts, and Mondavi Center for Arts.


TITLE: Por los Caminos del Sur: Las Amarillas (La Costa Chica), Samba (Samba), Alingo Lingo (Sone), Tapeado (Zapateado de Cajon)
BALLET MASTER: Alvelardo Cisneros
DANCERS: Dominique Adama, Gabriella Baez, Zenon Barron, Ruby Bustamante, Alejandro Hernandez, Jesusa Nino, Raymond Madrigal, Saray Munoz, Mateo Partida, Osvaldo Ramirez, Daniella Rodriguez, Desiree Rodriguez, Manual Sabin, Rebecca Tejeda, Steven Valencia, Raymond Zamarrippa
MUSICIANS: Zenon Barron (cajon), Fernanda Bustamante (violin, vocals), Jose Roberto Hernandez (guitar, vocals), Saul Sierra (guitarron)

Instituto Mazatlán Bellas Artes de Sacramento performs a suite of traditional Guerrero folkloric dances entitled Por Los Caminos del Sur (By the Southern Roads). The first piece, Las Amarillas is from the Costa Chica, a 200-mile long coastal region southeast of Acapulco, which is one of two regions in Mexico with a significant African-Mexican community. The second piece is a Mexican form of samba, the third, Alingo Lingo, is a popular son typical of rural mestizo music. The fourth piece, Tapeado, is a zapateado (footwork) dance performed to the percussive sounds of the cajón or wooden box.

The costumes worn are typical outfits from Guerrero’s rich folkloric tradition. The men wear a manta, meaning blanket, and the sombrero de palma, or straw hat. The women wear brightly flowered full circle skirts, colorful ribbons and flowers braided within their hair, and drape the indigenous, earth-toned huipil (poncho) over their blouses.


TITLE OF PIECE: Nayarit Mestizo
CHOREOGRAPHER: Maestro Zenon Barron
DANCERS: Dominique Adams, Alexander Baez, Gabriella Baez, Zulema Balderas, Zenon Barron, Erick Gonzalez, Marizza Grey, Robert Grey, Raymond Madrigal, Jesusa Nino, Brenda Perez, Osvaldo Ramirez, Daniella Rodriguez, Desiree Rodriguez, Eric Rubio, Manuel Sabin, Becky Tejeda, Steven Valencia, Raymond Zamarrippa
: Fernanda Bustamente (Violin), Jose Roberto Hernandez (Guitar & vocals), Fernanda Bustamente (Violin), Jose Luis Reynolds (Vihuela), Vocals: Silvestre Martinez, Boris Garcia-Requinto

The dances in the 2006 Festival are joyful expressions of the sones. Women display their feminine guile through fancy fan work and the swirling and spiraling of their colorful floral skirts. The men show off their virility and bravery through percussive footwork, and skillful manipulations of their machetes. The music and dances of Nayarit express the spirit of fiesta and the excitement of coming of age. These dances are competitions for the men and women to show their bravado.

The men’s attire is a stylized representation of the countryside land workers’ dress with the typical handkerchief knotted at the neck to absorb the sweat of a hot day's work in the fields. The women wear fancy ranch-style dress consisting of a layering of colorful fabrics over a vibrant full circle skirt, their hair braids interwoven with fanciful ribbons.

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