MFA recital: Viva La Mexicana

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The dance department will put on Viva La Mexicana this weekend, Feb 12-13.

There will be a fiesta in the Performing Arts Center lobby at 7 p.m., and the concert will take place in the PAC dance theatre at 8 p.m.

This performance is the thesis of graduate choreographer Sarah Sanchez. Sanchez is responsible for many aspects of the show, including choreography, costumes and more. When it was time for her to choose a topic for her thesis, she was advised to pick something that she was passionate about, had experience with and could be added to the field of dance.

“My mind immediately went to Ballet Folklorico, the Mexican folk dance form,” Sanchez said. “I took Ballet Folklorico classes from elementary to high school. It was a big part of my life. After finding only a few books and articles on Ballet Folklorico, I was convinced that this topic needed to be expanded.”

Sanchez and her performers put in time and effort to make the performance as good as it can be. Sanchez wasted no time when it came to preparations, she began to choreograph for the show in September. Since then, she has continued to perfect the show through rehearsals.

“Rehearsals entailed breaking down footwork at the beginning,” Sanchez said. “Since only one of my dancers has Ballet Folklorico experience, I had to take time to dissect the quick, articulate steps to the rest of my case before moving on to the skirt-work and floor patterns.”

Not only will the show consist of many different colorful dance pieces, but it will also tell a story, which was the most difficult part for Sanchez. However, she was able to transition all of the sections into one long, continuous thought. The performers are ready to take it onto the stage Sanchez said.

“For the main show, there will be seven dancers, including myself performing,” Sanchez said. “For the outside portion during the fiesta, there will be 15 dancers inviting guests to join them in Latin social dances, such as cumbia, salsa, merengue and bachata.”

The title of the concert, Viva La Mexicana, means Long Live the Mexican Woman, which celebrates and promotes empowerment to the Mexican American Woman. The show will stick closely to this theme and share with the audience various untold stories about women.

“The dancers and I are excited to connect with the people in the fiesta and share this colorful entertaining side of our Mexican culture,” Sanchez said. “The audience can expect to see lively group dance numbers, intimate duets and trios, an aggressive quarter scene and a spoken word solo.”

This event has free admission and is open to the public.