Choreographer's Note with Micaela Moreno

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“Fall & Recovery 2021,” the Lamar University Department of Theatre & Dance’s annual faculty concert, is packed with a variety of genres as well as audience favorites iMicaela Moreno ncluding ballet, tap, modern, contemporary, and aerial silks but this year we are proud to offer something new for our audience. Micaela Moreno, director of SETX Folklorico, has joined us as a special guest choreographer and has taken on the challenge of sharing not only the style and technique but the culture and traditions of Ballet Folklorico with our students. 

Micaela, we are thrilled to have you here and sharing your culture and traditions with the students at LUTD. Can you give us a little background information regarding the history of Ballet Folklorico and what the audience can expect from your work in the concert? 

Sure thing! Folklórico, which refers to the many traditional dances from Mexico’s different regions and states, can be traced all the way back to the ceremonial and social dances of indigenous people living in Mexico.  These dances were later influenced by Spain and succeeding immigrants who brought their own dances during the Colonial period.  Then in the 1950’s an instructor from Mexico, Amalia Hernandez, began incorporating elements of ballet and modern dance to traditional dances throughout Mexico's regions and evolved it into what we call today Ballet Folklorico. The audience for this concert will have the pleasure of watching the Lamar student's presentation of the Folklorico from two of Mexico’s 32 beautiful states, Hidalgo and Jalisco. 

As a guest artist, what has been the most challenging aspect(s) of this process for you?

My challenge is always the same, no matter what individual or group I teach, and that is to birth in the students an understanding of, an interest in and a respect for Folklorico and what it represents.  If I can convey this to even one student, my goal of keeping true to our culture, traditions and history will have been reached.

Yes, speaking to Ballet Folklorico’s traditional and specialized technique, what were the key elements in transcribing this work to the Lamar University students and staying as true as possible to the tradition(s)?

Key elements in transcribing Folklorico is always in the details.  Because each dance tells a story or passes on the history of the people of the various states and regions of Mexico, much attention must be given to the details.  Unlike most dances that present beautiful choreography, Folklorico focuses on the footwork, the movement of the body and the costume in particular for our story to be interpreted correctly. Therefore, I’ve made every effort to not only teach the technique, but explain why, when and where it comes from and what it means to that particular region of Mexico.

Micaela, thank you for taking the time to speak with us and get a closer look behind the curtain. The last word is yours. Anything you want to say to interested parties, the cast and crew, the Lamar community, etc...?

Absolutely.  First, I want to thank Lamar's Department of Theatre & Dance for giving me the opportunity to be part of this event and for the privilege of being able to invest my passion of Folklorico into the future leaders of this institution.  Second, a great big thank you to the Lamar Folklorico class.  You have been exceptional in your effort and hard work; you have made me very proud and my job an absolute pleasure. Thank you to all those working behind the scenes to assure a successful production and in highlighting the beauty that is Ballet Folklorico.

It has been a delight talking with you and learning more about the history and culture behind Ballet Folklorico. Thank you again, Micaela. 

“Fall & Recovery 2021” will be held in the University Theatre Friday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, November 20 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm. Tickets range from $7 to $15 and may be purchased at lamar.edu/lutdtix or at the door. Follow us on Facebook and Istagram @lamarutheatredance for more information and concert details.