Every once in awhile, I try to take some time to bring to the spotlight a person/group that is moving and shaking up the dance world. This past week as many celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I want to highlight Calpulli Mexican Dance Company.
Led under the direction of C-Founders Juan Castano and Alberto Lopez, the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company is dedicated to produce dance-based programming while incorporating live music to promote the rich diversity of Mexican and Mexican-American cultural heritage. Through its vision to be a cultural, educational and artistic institution, the company has three distinct areas of programming:
Through their touring company, they perform a variety of traditional dances from various parts of Mexico such as Veracruz, Jalisco, La Huasteca, Guerrero, and Oaxaca; dances for specific Mexican holidays such as Dia de los Muertos; and celebrating the cultural history of the country from the ancient Mayan civilization to the Mexican Revolution.
Arts-in-Education and Enrichment Programs
Through their array of programs, schools are able to access’ the company’s expertise on Mexican traditional dance and culture which adds value to the educational experience. These programs include:
- Lecture Demonstrations/Assemblies: Dances performed from distinct regions highlighting their unique costumes and rhythms.
- Instructional Workshops: Led by Master Teaching Artists, students learn a section of a dance and learn about its cultural background.
- Residencies: Extended engagements where dance curriculum extends and connects with lessons in the classroom. Classes meet one or more times a week for several weeks and can conclude with a culminating performance in professional costumes.
These are free or low-cost programs and activities that are geared specifically underserved Mexican and Mexican-American communities. Held at their studios in Queens, Staten Island, and New Rochelle, the focus is to provide learning on the fundamentals in dance and music, teamwork, and supports a healthy and active lifestyle.
To learn more about the company, please visit their website: www.calpullidance.org