The Ballet Folklórico de Michoacán recently celebrated its 52nd anniversary. The three-evening event, in honor of founder Roberto García Marín, was filled with joy, color, and music that completely filled the hearts and minds of everyone present. To commemorate Sr. García Marín's legacy, eight dance troupes, various government officials, and several hundred of the general public gathered in the Patio del Quijote of Morelia's Casa de Cultura.
The first night of the festival, Silvia Zavala Tzitzún from the office of the Secretaría de Cultura and current ballet director Luis Antonio Sánchez unveiled a commemorative plaque in the founder's name. Sr. Sánchez commented, "We want to recognize Professor Marín for his entire legacy. Right up until today, our groups of folk dancers continue to execute the choreography that Profesor Marín created more than 50 years ago. This is the oldest ballet folklórico in Michoacán, and we believe that thanks to Professor Marín, it's still the best."
Traditional Purhépecha (Michoacán's indigenous community) dances form an important and stately part of the states folk heritage. Dances commemorate traditional work: the Danza de los Panaderos (Bakers), los Pescadores (fishermen), and los Leñadores (wood choppers) were part of the weekend's festive activities. Other dances memorialize other aspects of Purhépecha life.
La Danza de los Kúrpites (the Dance of the Butterflies, otherwise known as 'the dance of those who find themselves') is one of the Michoacán Purhépecha community's most revered folk dances. This figure represents T'arepiti, the bride. Her costume can easily cost more than $12,000 pesos. Each role in the dance--which can include as many as 40 dancers--is traditionally performed by young single men.
The butterfly dancers performing La Danza de los Kúrpites. In their home communities, the young male dancers perform for a few minutes in the home of each of their girlfriends. The dancers then move to the town plaza, where the dancing continues according to the neighborhood where each group lives.
One last fling. Just watching the dancing exhausted Mexico Cooks!, but we had to head back to the dance festival for its final night. Come back to Mexico Cooks! next week and we'll take you dancing again!
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