World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival


Ballet Folklorico Alma de Mexico of South San Francisco

DANCE ORIGIN: Nayari & Sinaloa ,Mexico
GENRE: Mexican Regional Dance
: Patricia Martinelli
: Martin Cruz
: Bernie Sandoval
First Appearance in SF EDF: 1999

The Mexican states of Sinaloa and Nayarit share the glistening shores of the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez) and the Pacific Ocean. Agriculturally the richest regions of Mexico and with the largest fishing fleets, the coastal states of Sinaloa and Nayarit boast a vibrant, tropical style that expresses itself in the music, dance, dress and cuisine of the people. Sinaloa, in particular, is known for a bold, boisterous music style known as banda.

American big band music with a distinctive Latino twist, banda music was established in the late 1930s in Sinaloa, and exploded in popularity throughout Mexico by the end of the 1990s. Banda, meaning “band,” refers to the huge brass ensemble featuring trumpets, trombones, tubas and drums. Immigrants from northern Mexico carried banda music with them to Texas, Arizona and California.

Ballet Folklorico Alma de Mexico of South San Francisco grew out of the Folklorico Dance Program 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 about the rich history, music, and dance culture of Mexico’s folklorico dances.


TITLE OF PIECE: Vuela Paloma, El Novillo, Mazatlan, El Sinaloense, El Toro Mambo
DANCERS: Nerieda Angulo, Martin Cruz, Ricardo Gomez, Vanessa Ibarra, Miguel Lozano, Patricia Martinelli, Ana Martinez, Jenny Martinez, Corin Medrano, Fabian Mejia, Francisco Ortiz, Joseph Ortiz, Alejandro Pacheco, Alizbeth Pascasio, Claudia Reynoso, Danielle Rosales, Marlene Sanchez, Elena Trejo, Liz Valencia, Cecilia Vieyra, Lisandro Zuńiga, Olga Zuńiga
BANDA SINALOENSE LA QUEBRADA: Clarinet: Victor Joel Gonzales, Jesus Armando Olivas, Refugio Rodriguez, Trombone: Carlos Alberto Bentacourt, Jesus Cortez, Mario Ivan Noriega, Trumpet: Enrique Bastidas, Manuel Marquez, Jesus Reinel, Marcos Rios, Drums: Luis Alfonso Arellano, Ernesto Contreras, Tuba: Edgar Gregorio Lizarraga, Vocalists: Anibal Javier Bengolea, Edgar Omega Rico, Armonia: Manuel Valdez, Luis Valde

Ballet Folklorico Alma de Mexico of South San Francisco performs a medley of five festive dances accompanied by banda music that are typical of those found in the native fiestas of Nayarit and Sinaloa. The lyrics in the first dance, Vuela Paloma, recall a forlorn lover longing to fly as a dove in order to be reunited with his beloved. The second, El Novilla, describes a brave young bull learning to fight. The third piece, Mazatlan, depicts the beauty and sensuality of the women who live in the port known as the “Pearl of the Pacific Coast.” El Sinaloense, the fourth in the suite, expresses the pride and joy of the people of Sinaloa, while the final piece, El Toro Mambo, is typical of a popular Carnival of Mazatlan dance which focuses on the animated motions of a brave toro (bull) playing in the rodeo.

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