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Ballet Folklórico celebrates 40th anniversary with ALEGRIA 2010
By Melissa C. Rodriguez, Public Affairs Representative
316-7192
Posted: 01/29/2010
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Come celebrate the 40th anniversary of The University of Texas-Pan American’s Ballet Folklórico with a two-hour, 10-part show enhanced by authentic costumes, special lighting, scenery, and live musical accompaniment. The ALEGRIA 2010, A 40th Anniversary Celebration, concert series will enliven audiences with a fusion of traditional and creative modern footwork, spatial patterns and body postures which will result in high-energy dances packed with innovative style and attitude.


UTPA Image
Ballet Folklórico 2010

The Ballet Folklórico will present the concert on Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 6 and 7 at 2 p.m.; Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 13 and 14 at 2 p.m.; Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 20 and 21 at 2 p.m. All concerts will be held at the UTPA Fine Arts Auditorium in Edinburg, Texas. Adult advance sale tickets are $8 and available at the IBC Bank Wal-Mart branches Valleywide and at the UTPA Payments and Collections Office. Adult tickets will be available at the door for $10 and children’s and UTPA students/faculty/staff tickets will also be available for $5 at the door.

Additional events have been slated as part of the 40th Anniversary Celebration. An exclusive premier dinner and a show will be held on Thursday, Feb. 4. The dinner will be held at the UTPA Fine Arts Auditorium Court Yard at 6 p.m. and be followed by a performance of ALEGRIA 2010 in the Fine Arts Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for this premiere event are $50 per person. For more information about attending this event, contact the dance office at 956/381-2230.

Founded in 1970 by Dr. Amilda Thomas, professor emeritus, the then Ballet Folklórico UT-Pan American, started as an extracurricular activity for a small group of students. The present day Ballet Folklórico is comprised of 30 dancers, 10 musicians – Mariachi Mexico Lindo – and six student production crew members. Today the Ballet Folklórico is led by Artistic and Administrative Directors Francisco Muñoz and Maria Oralia Muñoz, a husband and wife team that took over after Thomas in 1987.


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Ballet Folklórico UT-Pan American 1970

Over the years they have performed for numerous professional guest artists including Vicente Fernandez, Veronica Castro, Mariachi Vargas and the band Creed. The group has also produced ballets, concerts, zarzuelas, and musicals with the Valley Symphony Orchestra, the UTPA Theatre, and the UTPA Department of Music.

In 1999, the state of Texas House of Representatives honored the Ballet Folklórico with House Resolution N. 510. The group traveled to Austin to receive the award and performed in the Capitol’s rotunda.

The Ballet Folklórico has also presented at state, national and international dance conferences including the National Organization of Folkloric Dance and the American College Dance Festival, where they were selected as one of the top 10 choreographies from the South Central division of the United States in 2007. They have also performed in various festivals in Mexico, around the state and in Ottawa, Canada.

Visit www.utpa.edu/alegria to take a trip back in time and celebrate some highlights of the dazzling Ballet Folklórico over the last 40 years.

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