A sold out audience of families with their children arrived a half hour early to pick the best seats for the 4th Annual Folklor De Mexico concert.
The concert celebrated Mexican culture through a combination of music, dance, theater and comedy. The three-hour event in the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall explored the many regions of Mexico and touched upon subjects such as religion and love.
A pre-show excited the audience before the event began. The Ballet Folklorico Las Estrellistas are young children dancers. Their adorable performance and bright-colored costumes delighted the audience and moved them to clap along. It was a testimony to how the young generation can preserve culture.
The curtain opened with a loud drumbeat as a sense of reverence filled the room. The Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc revealed the traditional Aztec ceremonial and warrior dances. The dancers also participated in the percussion through hand held shakers and beads around their ankles.
The show included the Paso de Oro Dance Company, who represented the Sinaloa region of through flirty dances between male and female dancers. Light hearted and joyful, the women wore red and white swirling skirts with flowers in their hair. The men wore gold shirts, black pants, and cowboy hats. The fun lively dance with flashy and seductive kept the audience going.
Then, there was Mariachi Estrellas de Jalisco, a classic Mariachi band that excited the audience. The eight-piece band, which included trumpets, violins and acoustic guitars, provided powerful singing and flawless musicianship. All eight members had equally strong voices. A talented trumpet player entertained the audience with goofy gestures and funny body language that made everyone laugh.
Ballet Folklorico Aztlan de CSUN performed throughout the show, beginning with dances from the region of Michoacan. The women wore flowered hats, handmade purses and braided hair. A unique characteristic of this dance was the women holding up their aprons with both hands the entire time they danced.
The second dance was from the region of Zacatecas. Big swirly skirts and smiles dominated the stage and again, the dance filled the room with joy.
The provocative Raul Ortega, who portrayed the infamous stereotypical Latin lover, provided comedy relief. He engaged the audience with questions about love, and gave humorous advice to the men.
The Teatro Aztlan also performed a comedy skit called “Chicano Idol” that made the children in the audience laugh.
Later in the show, the Ballet Folklorico Aztlan de CSUN awarded their two scholarship recipients and invited them on stage. The first scholarship winner was Cindy Miranda, a senior at Van Nuys High School, and the second was Edgar Siles, a freshman at CSUN. Both students were very grateful for their scholarships and thanked their parents.
The finale of the concert was a joint performance by the Ballet Folklorico Aztlan de CSUN and the Mariachi Estrellas de Jalisco band. The Ballet performed a dance from the Jalisco region, while the Mariachi band supported them through music and smiles.
Although the show was 30 minutes behind schedule, it simply added to the comfortable atmosphere of the event.
A five-piece band of acoustic guitar players, called Los Rayos Del Sol, also performed during the preshow. The melodic music and deep harmonizing voices brought a warm feeling to the concert, like a relaxing backyard party.
The concert provided a good taste of Mexico and brought every color of the culture to life. The only thing missing was a Margarita on the rocks.