Sunday, March 24, 2019
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UTRGV-Ballet-Folklorico-performing-Puebla---Los-ChinacosEDINBURG – The UTRGV Ballet Folklórico and Mariachi Juvenil Aztlán spent part of Spring Break performing their hearts out at the American College Dance Association (ACDA) South Conference.

Their dedication and hard work earned the two groups accolades and a trip to Washington, D.C., where they will perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts June 8 to 11at the 2016 National College Dance Festival.

The UTRGV Ballet Folklórico, accompanied the Mariachi Juvenil Aztlán, was deemed one of the top 10 presentations for its elegant choreography of dance and music from the Mexican state of Puebla. Nationally recognized adjudicators made the selection based on artistic excellence and merit. The ACDA South Conference was held at the University of Southern Mississippi, where more than 45 college and university dance programs attended from across the nation and competed March 11 to 14.

The dance troupe is under the direction of Francisco Muñoz, artistic director and interim chair of the Dance Program, and the mariachi ensemble is under the direction of Francisco Loera, School of Music lecturer.

The Ballet Folklórico performance, titled “Puebla – Los Chinacos (1994),” was choreographed by renowned guest artist Rafael Zamarripa and restaged by Muñoz. The performance was described as “a beautifully executed dance in the tradition of Mexican folklórico. The dancers and musicians personify the rich cultural tapestry of Mexico with precision, percussive footwork and vibrant costumes transforming the stage into a celebration of community.”

This is not the first time the university Ballet Folklórico has advanced to the National College Dance Festival. They performed at the festival in 2012 and 2014 under the umbrella of The University of Texas-Pan American, a UTRGV legacy institution.

The Mariachi Juvenil Aztlán is UTRGV’s newest mariachi troupe, made up primarily of freshman music students, and is making a name for itself on the university mariachi circuit. In November 2015, the group took first place in the university-level group competition of the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio.