The History of Folklórico
Most people in our society do not understand the history of folklórico and how it came about, especially when we do not live in the country where it started. I attempt to present the beginning of folklórico, its growth, and how it will grow in the future. The United States is known as "the melting pot" because of the many different cultures it is made of. Oddly enough, when it comes to Mexicans, it is little known that they are mostly Mestizos, or of indigenous and European bloodlines that is how folklórico came to be. I will focus on Ballet Folklórico de Mexico which is a folkloric ballet ensemble of Mexico. For the past five decades’ folkloric dancers have performed dances in costumes that reflect the traditional culture of Mexico. Folklórico is composed of Ballet steps and musical pieces reflecting various regions and folk music genres of Mexico.
The Background of Folklórico and how it migrated to the United States is what most interests me. According to the Houston Institute of Culture, the origins of folklórico stem from ancient people, the mezcla or mixing of the races by foreign peoples and their evolution of culture and traditions. At a time before borders existed, the Aztecs viewed all the land extending from present day Mexico north to the day U.S. as Anahuac. The culture and dance traditions of these indigenous groups have remained alive through folklórico dancing. As any other race for instance, Hmong’s who migrated to the United States bringing their culture, music and food with them. Over the years, many people who have lived in the U.S. for generations, such as the Yaqui Indians in Guadalupe, Arizona, have performed their folklórico dances in the same geographical region for hundreds of years. That is exactly how folkloric travelled to the United States.
Most of the dances reflect the traditions of indigenous Mesoamerican culture, which is a region in the mid-latitudes of the Americas (Houston Institute of Culture). Anybody who has the true desire and passion about the Mexican culture can try folklórico, dancers range from the age of 2 to over 35 year olds and there are other particular dances that can be performed by older man, they are called Los viejitos . Just like any other dance, Folklórico has its own flavor and rhythm; Folklórico includes different types of movement. There are two important definitions of: Ballet and Folklórico which must be considered in order to understand what Folklórico dances are.
Ballet: A theatrical work incorporating body positions, dancing, music, and scenery to convey a thematic atmosphere. (Baile) is a festivity were many people gather to dance.
Folklórico: The traditional beliefs, legends, and customs of people.
Ballet folklórico consists of some basic set of steps called zapateados which involve percussive heel-stomping.
Just as in the U.S., where scenery and culture changes because of the different races settling here, so does Mexico. Every different region of Mexico has a different dance style. For instance there is Nuevo León, Jalisco, Veracruz, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Nayarit, Guerrero, Yucatán, San Luis Potosí, and Puebla. All this different regions of Mexico have their own customs and dance routines.