Baile Folklorico Dance & Culture Today VS. The Past
Baile folklórico is literally ‘folkloric dance’, which is a collective Spanish term for traditional Latin American dances that emphasize the local folk culture. The dance highlights on the local folk culture with ballet characteristics, for instance, the pointed toes movement, almost similar music, the exaggerated movements, and the highly choreographed arrangements. This dance is basically a properly choreographed dance style that displays the diversity of the Mexican culture. Most of the people now do not understand the history of the folklórico and how it came about. The costumes and the music attempts of this dance type ultimately reflect the living cultures of their regions, respectively. The regions of Mexico, the Southwestern United States, and Central American countries are known for a handful of locally distinctive dance forms, but the main body of the dance remains the same. Therefore, the elements from all cultures are combined together to produce a language of movement, which inspires and represents the regional, national and personal ideas about beauty and entertainment.
The Dance and Culture in the Past:
It is believed that the Mexican folk dancing occurred long before Amelia Hernandez formed it in the 1950’s. The periodic waves of the Mexican nationalism during the 19th and the 20th centuries revived folk dance as a tradition and kept it alive. It was fully adopted by popular culture in the mid-20th century. It is basically an amalgamation and reflection of the regional and ethnic diversity of Mexico. After the War of Independence in 1810, folklórico received its first important surge of popularity. After the 1910 Revolution, the dance form blossomed as a result of the dramatic changes that occurred in the Mexican society. The Mexican consciousness expanded after the Revolution, as the resulting nationalist movements incorporated with the indigenous art forms and re-identified folklórico as a national expression. After 1960, the Mexican government made a strenuous effort to promote folkloric dance and preserved it for its social and aesthetic values.
The Dance and Culture Now:
Folklorico has now become a defining element of the Mexican popular culture at national and international levels. This dance form has carved a way for itself as a successful niche in the Mexican psyche. The folklórico has served as a tool in the construction of the Mexican national identity, by entrenching the regional dances that existed since the 17th Century, but they were not equally recognized or appreciated. Today, a large number of young men and women throughout the nation enjoy learning, practicing and performing the folklórico dance. The people now have whole-heartedly accepted it as a part of their culture. It gives them a sense of community and cultural pride; at the same time it allows a certain community to share their heritage with others. The dance form still remains traditional because of the deep connection with the Mexican culture and history.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folk_dance_of_Mexico#Diversity https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baile_Folklorico#Dances http://www1.ucsc.edu/oncampus/currents/97-05-05/folklorico.htm
By: Kate Morgan